Dogs repeatedly bit the woman and knocked her down during the incident on a rural road
A woman who was attacked by two boxer dogs has been awarded more than €234,000 in damages. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The attack only stopped when another woman arrived at the scene in her car and sounded the car horn, making the dogs run away.
Mr Justice Anthony Barr directed the plaintiff not be identified for reasons including that she suffered a moderate form of post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of what he described as the “vicious” attack.
He said the dogs repeatedly bit the woman in the head, face, arms and legs and the woman had given evidence that she was terrified during the ordeal. The woman suffered multiple puncture wounds and lacerations to both arms and her face in the attack.
In his judgment on the sum of damages, the judge noted liability was not in issue in the case against the dog-owners and the dogs had been put down.
Outlining the circumstances, he said the woman had gone for her evening walk and noticed the dogs standing in the entrance of a driveway.
They came slightly out and she told them to “go home”, but they then came across the road, jumping up in an effort to bite her and knocking her onto the green verge of the road, where she lay face down in an attempt to save her face.
The judge said the woman was devastated in the days and months after the incident and she was horrified by her appearance following the attack.
“She had extensive lacerations and bruising to her face and body. Her young children were frightened to come close to her,” he said.
He found she was exposed to a prolonged and very frightening attack by the two dogs and had been left with a large number of permanent scars on her face and arms.
There was a marked difference in the presentation of the woman in a photograph taken at a family event in the months before the attack and how she appeared in court, he noted. He accepted evidence that she suffered a moderate form of post-traumatic stress disorder following the attack.
He also accepted evidence as to the profound change which the woman had undergone in her personality and mental state since the time of the attack.
Awarding a total of €234,557, the judge said the woman had stated she was was still very afraid of dogs and if she met them on the streets she would avert her eyes and pull her hands into her sleeves and walk away.
He added that the woman had not tried to embellish the details of the attack and had not exaggerated the injuries she suffered.
If you have been involved in a similar attack and feel you are due personal injury compensation then get in contact with Fin on 01 685 4458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. for any enquires you have.