How to Claim Compensation for Dog Bites

Bitten by a Dog

Being Bitten by a Dog

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people get bitten by a dog badly enough to require some form of hospital treatment. About three quarters of people bitten are the dog owner or carer themselves, and around half of all attacks take place while the dog is on its owner’s property. Naturally, this means that personal injury claims from dog bites are pretty common, so much so that they are a sub-specialisation in personal injury law.  If you are bitten, the chances are that your personal health insurance will take care of your immediate medical bills, but what about if you are seriously injured and have to take time off work, causing loss of income?

What Can you Claim For?

You can file a claim to be compensated for past and future medical expenses, any financial loss, if unable to work, and any material damages. A further claim for compensation can be made in case of death, with who has been killed being a big factor, especially if it is the household wage earner. Many cases are relatively small though, and can be taken to the small claims tribunal, which can deal with claims of up to $10,000. There are time limits on being able to claim compensation, so it is advisable to pursue any claim swiftly. Personal injury lawyers in Brisbane, or wherever you are in the country, can advise you on how to pursue a claim.

What Evidence Is Needed For a Claim

Many lawyers will offer you an initial free consultation to discuss your case, though it is advisable to bring as much information and documentation with you as possible. Firstly, you should provide photographs of your injuries and if possible, the dog too, along with a medical report, detailing the extent of your injuries and the medical treatment given, with details of any further treatment that may be needed and medical costs incurred. You should provide a detailed written report of the events that led up to the attack, along with any witness statements. In particular, you should detail the behaviour of both the dog, and if he or she was present, the owner. If you have suffered loss of earnings, you should provide evidence to support this.

Proving Negligence

Your claim has a better chance of a good pay-out, if you can show provable negligence. Being able to show that the dog owner has been negligent is often not a straight forward matter, and may require professional assistance in proving. You are going to also need to be able to show that you were not yourself negligent in the incident, as questions will undoubtedly arise regarding your own behaviour, and whether it was contributory to the dog’s attack. Dogs after all rarely attack people for no reason. The amount you can expect to be compensated, will often be relative to the degree of responsibility you carry. If you own a dog yourself, it is a very good idea to purchase bite insurance and to make sure your gate has a clear warning that a dog is present. You can find a large collection of warning signs and other dog related products from Dogs Corner.

If you have been bitten and injured, you should discuss your case with your local legal professional, who can help you increase your chances of a just amount of compensation.


Six Seemingly Simple Things That Can Make Your Home More Vulnerable To Theft

When it comes to keeping your home safe, you better start thinking simple. That’s because it’s the obvious signals that indicate you are vulnerable to burglars. With homes being burglarized every 15 seconds, you need to take everything into consideration. Here are six indicative factors that can put you at risk:

You Put Your Trashcan Out Days Before Pickup

If you set your trash cans out on Tuesday and your garbage runs on Friday, you may be setting yourself up to be robbed. Burglars take this as a sure sign that you will be gone. In fact, you need to be wary about what you throw outside in the trash can. Boxes from expensive items could indicate to burglars that you have money to spend and other expensive items inside.

Your Yard Has Overgrown Bushes Or Trees

Burglars love to have visual obstructions around the home. It makes their job easier, so if you have large bushes around your home or anything that obstructs the view of your porch, you might want to consider removing it. Most burglars enter your home from the first level, and some 34 percent of burglars enter your home from the front door.

Your Garage Door Is Broken

Surveys report that 80 percent of intruders checked to see if the homeowner’s vehicle was home before entering. A broken garage door is an easy way to see if anyone is home. It is also a gateway to your home. They can easily check to see if your door is unlocked or easy to break in. If your garage door is broken, anyone can also easily see your valuables and take them with little effort. Call professionals to install a new garage door if yours is broken, say the experts at DSI Door Services North Shore.

You Share What Type Of Pet You Have

If you have stickers on your car that indicate you have a cat, then you might be risk. Some burglars associate cats with open windows in order to let them come and go during the day. If you have a larger dog, they may look for dog doors they can get through for easy entrance into your home.

Someone Who Works At Your House Has a Key

If you let any service workers have access to a key to your home, you better know them intimately. If your cleaning service has keys to your home, they may come back to burglarize you, yard workers may peek through windows or steal a key to your home while getting a glass of water. Keep your home as private as you can.

You Turn Off All The Lights At Night

When dealing with intruders, you need to have as many lights as possible. Don’t cut each and every light out every night, this gives burglars more cover. A potential intruder that is suddenly illuminated could turn back and run.


Sometimes, it’s the small things that matter most when it comes to keeping your home safe. Take necessary steps to protect your home today.




The 6 Most Common Burns and How to Treat Them

image source: Jennifer on Flickr


Burns are one of the most common injuries. The American Burn Association reports that 450,000 burn injuries are treated each year. Though most of these burns aren’t life-threatening (burn injuries have a 94% survival rate), they can be painful or debilitating, especially if they aren’t treated correctly. Here are the six most common kinds of burns, and how to take care of them properly.


# 6: Chemical Burns

Chemical burns make up 3% of annual burn injuries. These burns result from exposure to household or industrial chemicals. Contact with some foods, such as chili peppers, can also produce a burning sensation.

Treatment: Minor external chemical burns can be treated at home by flushing the exposed area with water to dilute the substance. Any burns involving ingestion or eye exposure should be addressed with a medical professional.

Prevention: Always wear the appropriate protective gear (such as safety goggles and rubber gloves) when handling strong chemicals. Supervise any children handling harsh chemicals such as bleach and industrial cleaner.

If you or a loved one has received chemical burns at work or due to the negligence of someone else, you may have a personal injury case. Talk to a personal injury lawyer, like those from Edmonton firm Cummings Andrews Mackay LLP, to find out what your legal options are.


# 5: Electrical Burns

Approximately 4% of burn injuries are caused from exposure to an electrical current.

Treatment: Before attempting to move or treat an electrical burn victim, ensure that they are no longer touching the electrical source or that the electricity has been turned off. Minor electrical shock can be treated with aspirin and some rest. If the victim experienced prolonged exposure or a high voltage shock, call 911 immediately, especially if they seem confused or their heart rate is inconsistent. To prevent shock, have the victim lay down with their legs elevated.

Prevention: Exercise proper caution around sources of electricity. Address exposed wires as soon as you notice them. Do not use electronics near water.


# 4: Alternative Burns

Alternative burns include sunburns, inhalation burns, and firework-related injuries. These injuries account for about 7% of total treated burns each year.

Treatment: Minor burns, characterized by redness and some swelling, should be cooled using room temperature or cool water. Do not use cold water or ice on a new burn as the burned skin is fragile. Exposure to cold may cause frostbite or further tissue damage. Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage. Don’t use a material that will leave fibers in the wound (like cotton).

Most sunburns can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication and after-sun creams or aloe vera. However, if the sunburn produces blisters, you may need to visit a doctor. Don’t puncture any blisters before consulting with a physician.

Prevention: Apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses and a hat when you are in the sun for an extended period of time. Always follow instructions when handling fireworks and other legal explosives. Keep explosives out of the reach of children.


# 3: Thermal Burns

Contact with hot objects, such as a clothes iron or stove top element, causes 8% of burns.

Treatment: Thermal burns can usually be treated with cool water and pain medication as described above. However, if you notice signs of infection or the pain lasts more than a few hours, contact a physician. If the burn affects sensitive areas such as the genitals, inner thigh, or face, seek medical attention immediately.

Prevention: Turn off heat sources such as ovens, irons, hair straighteners and curling irons when not in use. If you aren’t sure whether or not an object is hot, hold your hand above it before touching it. Do not leave hot objects within reach of children.


# 2: Scalding

32% of all burn injuries are due to contact with hot liquid, such as boiling water, coffee, or steam.

Treatment: If the injury is the result of a spill, remove any wet clothing and run cool water over the affected skin. Keep the victim warm to avoid the risk of shock. Treat pain with aspirin or ibuprofen.

Prevention: Practice caution when handling hot liquids. Double check that lids on coffee cups and thermoses are secure. Always temperature-check liquid before giving it to an infant or child by placing a few drops on your wrist.


# 1: Contact Burns

Nearly half of all burn injuries—46%—are the result of direct contact with an open flame. These burns are most likely to cause second- or third-degree injuries.

Treatment: Second-degree burns are marked by very red or blotchy skin, blisters, severe pain, and swelling. Small, localized second-degree burns can be taken care of at home, but if the affected area is larger than a few inches in diameter or affects a sensitive area, seek medical attention.

Third-degree burns will require immediate medical attention. Major burns may produce charred skin and nerve damage. Do not attempt to remove any burned clothing as this may tear the underlying skin. Do not immerse severe burns in cold water; exposure to cold may cause hypothermia. Take measures to prevent shock while you are waiting for emergency medical services.

Prevention: Always handle open flame carefully. Do not allow rough-housing near a fire or camp stove.


Burns can be painful and frightening, but by taking the appropriate precautions and treating injuries properly, you can protect you and your family from these injuries.


After the Accident: Steps to Take on the Roadside

It can happen to anyone. You’re driving somewhere, and you’re suddenly involved in a collision. A car accident can be nerve-wracking, and traumatic, but knowing what to do afterward can help make the situation go more smoothly for you, and everyone involved. Let’s look at some critical steps to take after you’ve been involved in an auto accident.




Keep a Clear Head

After an accident occurs, it’s important to stay calm and handle the situation in an appropriate manner. Check to see if anyone is hurt. If it’s safe to do so, move your car to the roadside, away from traffic. Before you move your vehicle, be sure to take pictures, or at least sketch the accident scene. Showing the position of the vehicles, and the damage can be helpful to determine fault and liability. It’s easy to speak without thinking when you’re stressed and traumatized, but don’t take any responsibility for the accident, or admit to any fault. Only discuss the incident with a police officer or insurance claims agent, and don’t sign any paperwork agreeing to pay for damage.


Remain at the Scene

In a moment of panic, it can be tempting to just drive away, especially if the accident was minor,  however, leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. A relatively small accident could suddenly turn into an incident worthy of criminal prosecution. It’s vital to stay put until you’ve exchanged information with the other party, and the police have arrived, if needed.


Notify the Authorities

If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. It’s also appropriate to call 911 if the other party seems to have been drinking, or if significant damage was incurred by either vehicle. While it’s always better to play it safe and call the police, some drivers choose not to have the police come to the scene in the event of a minor accident. In those cases, you may still need to file an accident report with the police so that your insurance provider may process the claim.


Gather Information and Document the Details

After a collision, it’s important to record all pertinent information. You’ll need to document certain details, including the date, time, and location of the incident. You should also write down a detailed description of what occurred, including the estimated speeds of the vehicles involved. Other relevant details include the road conditions, and weather at the time of the accident. Be sure to exchange information with the other driver, such as names, phone numbers, and insurance information.


These guidelines can help you through those traumatic moments immediately following a car accident. Once these initial steps have been taken, you’ll need to call or make an appointment with your insurance provider or attorney right away to report the accident and get the claims process started. While a car accident can be a scary experience, a little common sense and a clear action plan can help you handle the situation in a calm and competent manner.


Image courtesy of Naypong /

Common Kitchen Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Playing around in the kitchen is no laughing matter. While our kitchen is so often the heart of our home and social life, it is no place to be taken lightly. Knowing the most common kitchen accidents is crucial to learning how to avoid them. Take it from me; having hurt myself in the kitchen nearly every way possible, I am truly the voice of experience in this department. I know safety like I know the back of my hand (and the scar I have on it from a complacent encounter with a hot oven serves as a pretty good reminder).

I’m Oven It

That brings me to my first point.  Don’t dance around while your oven is open, regardless of how happy you are.  As much as I love to bake things in my oven for the family, I simply forgot how dangerous things could get when I don’t pay attention.  I now have bodily evidence to prove my wisdom. We use our ovens almost every day, so it’s easy to get complacent and forget just how dangerous they can be.To prevent accidents around a hot oven, use some darn common sense.

© Pascal Broze/Onoky/Corbis

You should also know how important it is to keep all the handles to your pots and pans pointed towards the stove while you’re cooking.  My little sister once tipped a pan by the handle because she was curious; and she now has burn scars on her arm.  I personally remember dragging a food mixer off the counter by the cord as a child; and so I advise that you keep all small appliances out of reach of small kids (and clumsy adults).

Practicing safe oven cooking, regardless of your mood or skill level, will help you avoid accidents in the kitchen.  Remember, potholders and oven mitts are your friends.  I suggest getting some that extend up your arm a bit.  In addition, it probably wouldn’t hurt to purchase an oven that stays cool to the touch, just as an added measure of safety.


Dish Soap Drama

In my house, nobody is allowed to put knives or glass into the sink with the other soaking dishes.  The last time anyone did this, a finger got cut and we spent the evening hungry in the ER waiting room.  We don’t much like washing our dirty dishes in bloody water; and my guess is that you don’t either.  So to prevent this little drama, simply wash those sharp or breakable items separately after everything else is done.  I keep my utensils and glasses on the counter while I wash the other pieces; and when I’m done, I carefully wash each piece individually.

If you have a dishwasher then this is not a concern for you.  However, you do want to be safe with that as well.  Dishwashers use extremely hot water to clean dishes.  As a result, steam often comes pouring out once the door is opened.  To prevent scalding, open the door to the dishwasher with your face pointed away.  I promise you that the dishes will look the same once the smoke clears.  Wait.


Sharpen your Senses

Source: Kidspot

Speaking of knives, sharp objects, and other hidden kitchen hazards: keep your utensils in top working order.  Your ability to create delicious recipes without anyone getting hurt is partially reliant upon you having adequately sharpened knives, un-cracked glasses, and safely stored accessories or attachments. Having a cluttered cabinet can bring items down on your head once the delicate balance is disturbed; and dull knives can slip and slice a thumb wide open (trust me).

Even an old toaster or microwave can wreak havoc on the safety your kitchen.  I have burnt more pieces of toast and filled more kitchens with smoke than I care to admit; and I have singed the skin from the palm of my hand many times by impatiently picking up a dish that was cooked unevenly in a shoddy microwave.  This has all forced me to realize the importance of sharpening my senses and my kitchen equipment arsenal.  I now pass my wisdom on to you.


Spills and Chills

Source: © Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis

I should probably mention that my family is not the most graceful bunch on the planet.  We spill all kinds of things while we prepare our favorite meals.  For this reason, we have learned some pretty creative ways to avoid getting hurt by the inevitable.  A safe kitchen is one that is run like a well-oiled machine.

We have a strict policy to clean up any and all spills as soon as they happen.  We help each other out when needed and we stay on top of it pretty well this way.  Our kitchen turns into something like a playing field, with people calling out things “Heads up! Spill on the floor by the sink!” and “Got it!”  Not only do these things bring my family closer together during dinner prep and allow us to have a little fun, but it also keeps us all out of the ER.




Peter Lawson is the Managing Director of Appliance Sales Direct, a pure play retail site which sells high end European appliances direct to the consumer. Peter knows all there is to need about kitchens for design to functionality. Follow Peter on Google+, Linkedinor visit his site at