Q and A on Dog Bite Law
Who Is Legally Responsible When There is An Injury?
State leash and dog bite laws delegate responsibility to the owner to control their animal at all times. A dog that is allowed to run around without a leash may end up attacking a person that is nearby. The negligent owner is liable under these circumstances to take care of any pain, suffering, and medical expenses of the victim. If the dog is determined to be dangerous, the owner may face additional penalties that could include time in prison and significant fines.
Can I Collect Compensation?
Yes, victims are eligible to collect a settlement for pain, suffering, disfigurement, lost wages, and medical expenses once their case is evaluated by an attorney.
What If the Dog Belonged to a Neighbor or Friend?
These cases frequently involve attacks by dogs that the victim has become familiar with prior to the incident. It might be an awkward situation to have to take legal action against someone that you care about, but you will need to collect compensation for any medical treatment you require. If the neighbor/friend has insurance as a renter or homeowner then the claim should be filed against the insurance company rather than the actual dog owner.
What happens if the dog owner doesn’t have insurance?
If the dog owner does not have insurance, it is important to investigate whether they have assets or income sufficient to satisfy the damages caused by the dog bite. Also, it is important to determine whether there are other responsible parties or available insurance polices such as renter’s insurance, a relative’s policy, or a commercial insurance policy.
Are dog owners required to post security signs around their property?
Dog owners are not required by law to post security or warning signs around their property. However, it is makes good common sense to warn of danger especially powerful or aggressive dog breeds.
Should I press charges if my child has been attacked?
You should cooperate with local prosecutors if you or your child is attacked. Often, dog owners are prosecuted for allowing a dog to be at large, unregistered, or keeping a vicious dog.
What compensation am I entitled to if a dog has bitten me?
Dog bite victims entitled to compensation for their damages. In Arizona, a dog bite victim is entitled to be compensated for the nature and extent of their injury, pain, anxiety, suffering, cost of medical care, future medical care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and loss of consortium or companionship for a spouse or family member. Specifically, in dog bite cases victims are often disfigured physically by scars that require plastic surgery. Many dog bite victims are harmed by the emotional trauma of the event and fear of dogs.
What Should I do if I Have Been Attacked by an Animal?
The first thing a victim of an attack should do is always seek medical care for injuries. It is also important to get as much information as possible about the animal and its’ owner. If you are attacked by a wild animal or an animal that you cannot identify, your doctor may insist that you get protective rabies shots, a painful experience.
What Steps Must be Made to Make or Present a Claim for Injuries?
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, a claim for damages can be made against the owner of the animal and his or her home insurance company. Be aware that the insurance company will likely try to convince you that you do not need an attorney and that they will not pay in advance for treatment and will only reimburse those amounts you have paid out of pocket. Do not listen to any insurance company as to how or what you should do. It is in the insurance company’s best interest that you not hire an lawyer. We recommend that you seek out and speak with an Injury Lawyer to protect your rights.
Must I Prove That the Animal That Attack me was Vicious in Order to Recover?
The answer to this question will depend on whether the dog is considered a dangerous breed of dog or animal. If you are bitten by a dog that has never shown signs of aggression, the owner might be able to argue that he could not have prevented the attack because he had no reason to know that the dog would bite. In contrast, if the attack is by a guard dog or a dog bred for aggression or fighting (such as a pit bull) or the animal has shown aggression in the past, the owner will probably be liable for not taking the necessary steps to prevent your injuries. Again, the best way to pursue a claim arising out of an animal attack is with a lawyer who can help you determine the precise scope of your rights under a given set of facts.
Thorough Dog Bite Investigation
Dog bite liability often turns on the investigation that was done soon after the bite. It is crucial to investigate the facts surrounding the dog attack, the dog bite injury itself and the dog owner. Experienced Missouri dog bite attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts. The lawyers at our firm always:
- Obtain the police report;
- Obtain the animal control report;
- Take recorded statements from the dog owner and anyone that witnessed the animal attack; and
- Interview neighbors that lived near the dog.
This investigation needs to be done as soon as possible. The more time that goes by, the more witness’ memories fade, scenes change, and vegetation grows or is cut back.
Seeking Compensation for an Animal Attack
Dog bites can be extremely painful, especially for young children. They often require surgery or stitches, and depending on how deep the wounds are, you could experience emotional distress as a result of permanent scarring. Animal bites are also more susceptible to become infected, as they can be difficult to clean thoroughly. Our personal injury attorneys in Vermont are committed to providing you with dedicated representation and proving that the dog or animal owner was at fault.
In order to prove a dog or animal bite case, a few factors but be taken into consideration:
- Was the dog dangerous? Did it show signs of aggressiveness in the past?
- Was the person injured legally on the premises where they were bit?
- Was the dog or animal contained or was it allowed to roam free?