If you are injured by a dog, you may have a claim against the owner for personal injury compensation under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (SA) and the Civil Liability Act 1936 (SA).

In South Australia, the owner of a dog is imposed with strict liability, which means that they are legally responsible for any injuries caused by their dog, regardless of the specific circumstances.  It is not necessary to establish negligence or knowledge of a dog’s history or tendency to be vicious, dangerous or mischievous.

Some dog owners are covered under their Home and Contents insurance for incidents involving their dog.  If the dog owner is not covered by insurance, they will have to pay any compensation out of their own pocket.

When making a claim for personal injury compensation, it is necessary to identify the owner or keeper of the dog at the time of the incident. Following an attack, you should try and get the contact details of the owner or keeper of the dog. If you are unable to do so, you should try and take down as many details as possible, such as:

  1. The date, time and location of the incident;
  2. The details of the dog and breed;
  3. The contact details of any witnesses; or
  4. Any personal details that identify the owner or keeper (i.e. their name, car model and number plate).

If you were unable to get the details of the dog owner, or they fled from the scene, you should attend your local police station to report the injury, or contact the South Australian Police Assistance Line on 131 444.  Once a report is made, the South Australian Police will investigate the incident, and they may be able to identify the owner or keeper of the dog.

Get in Touch with Us

At Turner Freeman, we can assess your case and provide personalised advice regarding your legal entitlements.  Our lawyers are located across South Australia, including at our offices in Adelaide, Aberfoyle Park and Whyalla.  We also travel to see clients at hospitals and their homes.

If you or someone you know is injured by a dog, there may be an entitlement to compensation. If you would like to obtain advice about your entitlements and/or wish to investigate a potential claim for compensation, please contact our personal injury team on 08 8213 1000. It is important to seek advice as soon as possible after an accident or injury because there are strict time limits that apply.