Comments Come As Changes Made to CICA Scheme
Expert lawyers, who have represented many victims of violent dog attacks, have repeated calls for compulsory licensing and insurance for dog owners as the Government prepares to make changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) scheme.
The Government’s new plans mean that dog attack victims will only be able to bring a claim to help them recover from both physical and psychological injuries if the animal was used as a weapon. This means that people injured in an attack where the dog was simply not under proper control will miss out on this vital support.
The changes are part of the new CICA rules pushed through last week but lawyers warn that as the number of dog attacks increases more should be done to help victims.
David Urpeth, an expert in dangerous dog attacks at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “We act for many dog attack victims who have suffered significant physical and psychological injuries as a result of such incidents, and have seen first-hand how they can affect people of all ages.
“Sometimes, the CICA scheme is the only way that sufferers can be compensated following attacks by dangerous dogs because often dog owners don’t have any insurance to help support the victims. The CICA scheme is therefore a way that some victims can receive support for both their mental and physical injuries.
“These latest proposals should only be considered if the Government is prepared to make insurance and licensing compulsory so that the victims of all dog attacks can receive the justice and the rehabilitation they deserve.”