If you have been injured by an animal, our team of specialist animal accident solicitors are here to help you. If you have been injured by an animal and want to make a compensation claim, you may come up against a number of obstacles. The law is complex, and many lawyers brush off animal accidents as ‘just one of those things.’ But not us.
At Royds Withy King, we are nationally renowned for our work in animal injury claims.
Many Royds Withy King clients make successful claims for compensation and it is often the case that there is no-one to blame. It is often critical to examine the behaviour of the animal rather than their owner.
What happens when you contact us
After we have received your enquiry, one of our legal experts will:
- be in touch to determine the facts of your situation, and determine whether you have a claim
- once we have done this, our team will advise you on the strength of your case
- we’ll then explore the next steps and, if you agree, get your claim started.
If you need any further information on the process of making a personal injury claim, take a look at our guide on the process here.
When are you eligible to make an animal accident claim?
If you have been injured by an animal in the last three years, you may have a valid claim for compensation even if no-one was to blame. If you are uncertain please get in touch for some free of charge initial advice.
Liability can be difficult to determine under the Animals Act, but we have extensive experience doing so. Find out more about how this works here.
How much compensation can you receive from a claim?
Your award will depend on the type of your injury, how severe it is and your individual circumstances. We may demand compensation for:
- loss of earnings, both past and future
- expenses caused by your injury
- pain, suffering and the effects on your everyday life.
If your injury is very severe, we may also claim damages for your past and future care and treatments, as well as special equipment and alterations to your home.
Who is the claim made against?
Many people find themselves in a situation where they are making a personal injury claim against their employer. Sometimes this puts them off either out of respect or fear of consequences.
In cases such as these your employer will have insurance, which is a legal requirement, to cover them when their employees are injured by an animal. Therefore your claim will be issued against your employer, but dealt with by their insurance company.
There are a number of other points that are also helpful to consider if this is the case:
- being told, or saying “you knew the risks” is not an adequate defence against a claim
- blame will not necessarily be attributed to your employer; it is understood that animals do things you don’t expect
- employment law prohibits dismissal for claiming compensation as a result of injury
- we will keep your claim confidential – it is not inevitable that your co-workers will find out about your claim
How long will a claim take?
The time it takes to settle a claim varies greatly. It generally depends on:
- whether liability is disputed and
- the complexity of your injuries.
We are experienced in obtaining interim payments to help while you’re recuperating. We can guide you on the likely timescale for concluding your claim when we hear about your accident.
What if you already have a solicitor?
If you are unhappy with your current legal representation, we may be able to help as we regularly take over the conduct of claims from other firms of solicitors. We would be happy to discuss this over the phone or via email. Also, if your claim was settled within the last six years and you feel you have been let down by your previous legal team, we would be happy to speak to you.
How can a case be funded?
There are a number of options available for paying for your solicitor’s costs.
We are happy to consider representing you on a Conditional Fee Agreement (“no win, no fee” basis). As the name implies you have the peace of mind that if you lose your case you should not have to pay any legal costs. This is something we can discuss in much more detail when you get in touch to talk about your accident.
Typical animal accident cases
“What the team is known for:
Somerset-based practice that comes recommended for its focus on spinal cord and brain injuries. Also offers niche expertise in areas such as fatal accidents and animal cases. Demonstrates further skill in the area of asbestos-related diseases.
“I feel there is a strong culture within the firm that fosters excellence delivered in a friendly, approachable way,” reports a source.
Another interviewee states: “They are the best local firm for me to deal with as their whole focus is professional and efficient.”
Represented a claimant who suffered serious brain injury, in a Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority case worth £15.8 million.
Stuart Brazington (Band 1) leads the brain injury team and possesses notable expertise in serious spinal cord injury claims. One source highlights: “He’s a brain injury specialist; it’s a tricky area and he’s very good at it. He knows a lot about medicine as well as litigation tactics.”
Senior associate Mark Hambleton (Associate to watch) offers particular strength in severe injury cases arising from accidents involving animals, sports and motorcycles.
Louise Hart is Recognised Practitioner.”
Chambers 2018 Somerset
“What the team is known for:
Outstanding personal injury practice adept at handling an impressive breadth of claims, including industrial disease cases, cycling accidents and equine matters. Notable expertise in chronic pain and fatal accidents as well as catastrophic injuries, with a focus on brain and spinal injuries.
Interviewees praise the lawyers’ involvement in each case: “They are very supportive of clients, you get the feeling that it’s not just business to them. They work well in teams, are responsive and quick to get back to you.”
Others agree, and attest the success of this ethos: “We were never made to feel like a case, we were treated with open communication as we if we were in a partnership. The attention to detail and professionalism of the lawyers led to great results.”
The “tenacious and excellent” Ian Carrier (Band 1) focuses on catastrophic injury work, primarily spinal and brain injuries, as well as fatal accident claims. One client states: “He has strong communication skills, and excellent and far-reaching technical knowledge. We could not have asked for a better partners, it was just superb case management.”
Tracy Norris-Evans (Band 1) is highly reputable in claims of high complexity and severity including paediatric cases as well as those with complex neurological issues. One interviewee states: “She is very thorough and has an exceptionally good manner with clients. She is someone who inspires trust.”
Helen Childs (Band 2) is a specialist in industrial diseases and is especially noted for asbestos litigation. One client attests: “She is an expert in this field, which was paramount. She worked tirelessly and went to the moon and back for us. She was empathetic and genuine, nothing was too much trouble.“”
Chambers 2018 Oxford and Surrounds
“Royds Withy King’s personal injury team has ‘a wealth of experience and a very client-focussed approach’. It is ‘very strong on brain injury claims’ and provides an overall ‘excellent’ level of service. Particular areas of expertise include spinal injuries, chronic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, amputations, asbestos-related diseases, fatal accidents as well as claims arising from accidents involving animals, in particular horses. The ‘vastly experienced’ team is jointly led by Louise Hart and Stuart Brazington. The ‘tenacious’ and ‘knowledgeable’ Hart has ‘unrivalled’ experience in acting for clients who have sustained a personal injury with subsequent chronic pain’ while the ‘highly competent’ Brazington is ‘a very good strategist’. Senior associate Mark Hambleton, whose specialisms include sports-related injuries, is ‘client-focused’. The practice’s recent caseload includes representing a client who had suffered a severe hypoxic brain injury in a multi-million-pound claim before the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) First Tier Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Appeal.”
Legal 500 2017 South West
“The ‘excellent and forward-thinking firm’ Royds Withy King in Oxford, which ‘strikes the right balance through quality advice and great client care’, was created through a merger between law firm Royds and the Bath-based Withy King in September 2016. Team lead Tracy Norris-Evans specialises in brain injury and paediatric claims and also acts as a professional deputy, while the ‘experienced practitioner’ Ian Carrier is known for his spinal injuries and fatal accidents work and has ‘impressive attention to detail and case preparation skills’. Other notable individuals are Richard Brooks, who regularly handles animal-related claims and ‘knows equine matters inside out’, and industrial diseases expert Helen Childs. As a result of the merger, James Millar Craig, who gained experience in permanent health insurance cases, was added to the team. The ‘highly organised, knowledgeable and approachable’ associates Jennifer Seavor and Rachel James joined from Boyes Turner and Irwin Mitchell, respectively. Especially recommended in ‘asbestos-related claims’, Seavor represented a client who had developed mesothelioma through his occupation at a railway company from the late sixties to the early seventies; he wanted the claim to settle during his lifetime and accepted an offer of £230,000.”
Legal 500 2017 South East