Anyone who has suffered a dog bite knows how terrifying the experience can be. Not only has this person experienced a painful injury, he or she may now have emotional damage due to the fear and anxiety that now presents itself when encountering any type of dog. If you or someone you know has been injured from a dog bite, you should know that you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries by filing a dog bite lawsuit.
A dog bite lawsuit can help victims recoup damages including those for medical bills, lost wages, lost time, and therapy or rehabilitation expenses. Victims may also be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering as well as emotional trauma. The best way to find out if you have a viable case is to contact a lawyer who specializes in the area of personal injuries.
The reason a lawyer is needed for these cases is because the laws can vary a great deal from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and they can be somewhat complicated. Dog bite lawsuits actually fall into several different legal categories. There are local, county, and state laws that combine to create the legal fabric that deal with dogs and personal injuries. Finding an attorney who is well versed in this area can make the process flow quite well, and will ensure all of the victim’s rights are fully protected throughout the entire process.
Attorneys who specialize in personal injury laws that include dog bites have vast knowledge of general liability laws, local laws, state laws, and other legal cases that may be similar in nature to yours, in order to present your case in the best possible manner. By having this unique combination of skills, including an understanding for legal recourse and the limitations of that recourse, an attorney will be able to present the victim with all of the available opportunities in order to provide the most favorable settlement.
While the medical aspect and the cost of rehabilitation of a dog bite lawsuit can be quite high, the actual damage inflicted upon a victim goes way beyond the physical harm suffered. The total cost of a dog bite is quite high, which can make a legal battle a bit more complex. Many victims experience a loss of time from work, the inability to return to work, anxiety that does not ease with time, and other forms of emotional pain and suffering. Because of these issues, the victim’s family may also be entitled to receive compensation in order to help support the victim through the recovery process.
Anyone who has suffered an injury due to a dog bite should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following the attack. Even if knew the dog before the attack, you may still have a viable case. In fact, statistics show that the majority of dog bite injuries occur from dogs that the victim knew beforehand. Due to the fact that the victim’s legal rights vary so much depending on the exact location of the attack, the process should always be started quite promptly. Certain jurisdictions place restrictions, guidelines, and require extra insurance to be carried on certain breeds, such as pit bulls or Rottweilers, so these issues need to be investigated immediately.
Most states have very precise laws governing ownership of dogs, along with specific dog bite statutes. Just about every state in the union requires the owner of a dog to be responsible for all bites that occur, regardless of the breed or previous behavior.
No matter where you reside exactly, most laws state that a victim is entitled to damages under the following situations:
The owner of the dog did not comply with leashing laws, and allowed their dog to run free, resulting in an attack;
The owner of a dog had prior knowledge as to the dog’s aggressive tendencies, or past history of attacking people.
As previously stated, victims can seek damages for injuries, even when they knew the dog prior to the attack. That being said, victims may also be able to seek damages from people who may not initially appear to have much to do with the dog. For example, a landlord may be able to be held liable if he or she rented to a person who was known to have an aggressive dog. This is due to the fact that the landlord had prior knowledge and could have, and should have, required the tenant to remove the dog from the property.
In order to pursue a lawsuit in court, most jurisdictions require an experienced personal injury attorney to investigate the claim and file the paperwork. It is necessary that a clear case be established that leads to a particular person, people, or entity being able to be held liable for the bite by the dog. Some states simply require that this liability be established just by proving the owner had a dog that is considered to be dangerous, while other states need more concrete evidence any may even require proof that the owner chose not to keep the animal restrained.
You should not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney just because your dog bite was inflicted by a breed that is not considered “vicious” or “dangerous”. A dog attack is equally devastating regardless of the type of dog that caused the harm. There have been a variety of lawsuits that have been settled for significant amount of money due to injuries that occurred from dogs that are considered to be non-aggressive. There have even been large settlements relating to bites caused by docile animals such as horses.
No matter how the attack occurred, or what type of dog caused the bite, a personal injury attorney can be a very valuable asset. He or she will work hard on your side to help you recoup the damages you are entitled to receive. There is no need to be a victim twice; speaking with a professional today will help to ensure your future.