Injuries from dog bites & animal attacks are frequent in South Africa, as ferocious dogs are often kept for security reasons. If a dog or other domesticated animal has injured you, you may have a claim against the animal owner where specific requirements are met. It is crucial to identify the animal owner and establish the circumstances of the attack or incident. You will only have a claim if the animal acted contrary to the nature of that animal.
According to South African Law, claimants do not have to prove that the owner was negligent or that the animal was under its owner’s control. The owner is liable solely based on the fact of ownership. The legal term on this basis is referred to as “action de pauperie and the actio legis aquiliae“. The actio de pauperie applies where there is harm caused by no fault of the animal’s owner. Strict liability is thus imposed on the owner of the animal. If the victim did something unreasonable to entice the animal in attacking them, the claimants’ damages claim would be proportionately reduced according to the degree of their contributory negligence or such a claim may fail in its entirety.