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Dog Bite

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AdeyB | 23:49 Thu 29th Jan 2015 | Law
8 Answers
Hi guys, new here, just have a qustion for all you nice helpful people.

In aug last year my parner and i purchased a static caravan on a site where i have been going since i was 5 (im now 32)

Long story short, we rang the site owner the weekend before we were going down to move in to see if it was ok to go down, site owner said "yes its fine to come down"

We went down on the thursday night with our dog, hes a 4 year old japanese akita.
The next morning we got up and decided to go to town to get some supplies, so locked the dog in the caravan.
About an hour later my partners phone wrang, i answered it, was the site manager, he said the gas mans at the van he wants to do a gas check and theres a big dog in the way"
I said "ok well come back now, give us 15 mins"
5 mins later we got a call again, site manager again, this time my partner answered, "the gas mans opened the door and the dogs got out onto the decking" (which is secured with a gate so he would be sercure on the decking)
2 mins later we get another call "the dogs biten the gas man"

Now when we got to the site office, the gasman was there with the manager, he had a deep gash on the back of his hand and puncture wounds up his arm, he said to the manager, me and my partner the following,
"I dont want anything to happen to the dog, its not the dogs fault,
I shouldnt of gone in when id seen the dog, he seemed ok when i went in, but as i turned for my tool bag he tried to push past me and get on the decking, i panicked and grabbed him by the neck and that when he bit me"

To try and cut this short but keeping informational, he had the spare key from the site office, when he entered the decking he heard the dog, then saw him in doorway, he rang the office manager who told him to WAIT while he contacted us or my family members on the site to sort something,
He ignored this and entered the van.
He needed stiches to all wounds, but the deep laseration got infected so needed further treatment,
In october we recieved a leter from a solicitors telling us that we are liable for his injuries! The list had around 20 areas of liability, all of which you can answer with "we didnt know anyone was needing access, we wasnt aware that any gas test was needed as we were told it was ok to go down, we didnt give consent or permision for him to enter our property, and we wasnt there"
How the hell is this possible?
Ive been in touch with my insurance, sent statements etc off and the insurance have said that they are going to court with it and defending against the claim,
Surely he hasnt got a chance?
We are losing a little sleep worrying over this whole thing,
Any help or comments etc would help,
Thanks guys in advance


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Forgot to add,
He told his solicitors that he endered the caravan the dog showed no signs of aggression then jumped up and bit him out of no where.

When it happened the site manager informed the poilce straight away, the police took no action at all as it was his own neglect that gave him the injuries he got, the gasman didnt contact the police at all
has the dog ever bitten before?
well the important thing is you are insured and lawyered up

I think your defences will be OK
esp if the court believes that you said wait and had secured the caravan
to add, my dogs are lovely with people but if a stranger grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, I reckon he'd have a go too.
It won't get to court I'm sure. Make a very clear simple statemet much as you have written here, emphasising how you were 15 minutes away and despite no pre-arrangements, had agreed to head straight back. Instead he trespassed onto your decking and gained unauthorised access to your property and frightened your dog. You can threaten him that you will counter sue for upsetting your dog and for causing you and your wife such distress all these weeks.

I feel fairly confident that it will be dropped on tour insurers go back with this and a refusal to co-operate. How awful for you both, I hope it is resolved soon.
^^^ dropped once your insurers....
and big kissie for doggie - it must have been awful for him...

[ yes it was daddy - gasman didn't taste nice at all ] ( squeak )
Had the sale of the caravan gone through at the time? I ask because you say that you asked the site owner's permission to stay at the van at that time.

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