Should Dog Owners Be Required to Obtain Third Party Insurance?
We work with a lot of public liability claims. Unlike motor vehicle claims, which are state-regulated, liability claims take legal precedent, local, state and national law into consideration. Usually, what happens in one part of the country or even the world is spread fast, especially in the era of instant global communication.
We are going to cite a recent opinion piece from Adelaide, because when it comes to public liability claims, what happens in Adelaide is relevant to Perth. The opinion piece: a recent article from Adelaide lawyer Mal Byrne in Adelaide Now arguing that dog owners should be forced to obtain third party insurance.
Mr Byrne is a personal injury lawyer whose reasoning is very solid. In the piece, he explains that it is illegal to drive a car without insurance because negligence behind the wheel can cause injuries to a third party. Insurance enables a person to take responsibility for their negligence and pay the injured party.
Mr Byrne points out that dogs are capable of causing injury and death and that claims have risen sharply in the last few years. He calls for every dog owner being forced to purchase third party insurance so that those who are severely injured or killed by dogs and their families have legal recourse resulting in financial compensation for their losses.
What It Means to You
In WA, we are currently governed by the Dog Act of 1976. In addition, a WA law passed in 2012 provides for fines up to $20,000 and up to two years in jail for those with aggressive breeds of dogs who are found responsible for their dogs attacking someone.
However, public liability is another situation altogether. We think that dog owners, especially owners of aggressive breeds, should take out third party insurance.
If you have been attacked by a dog, regardless of breed, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Call 1300 738 303.