Your Top Questions About Dog Bites Answered
The victim of a dog bite should understand their legal options to ensure that they have a fair chance of getting compensation when it’s due. There are a few general questions that we encounter frequently in these circumstances that could help you understand the situation more clearly.
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 Should I Do If the Owner of the Dog Wants to Discuss My Injuries?
As with most personal injury cases, it is advisable to limit discussions regarding medical treatments and injuries unless speaking with your attorney. Never offer more details than your contact information with the owner, and never provide them with your signature or a written statement.
What If the Bite Occurred While I Was Hired to Work at the Home of the Owner?
Anytime you are invited into a home that is inhabited by a dog, the home owner should provide a warning and keep the animal confined. If the dog is allowed to run free and ends up attacking you, it might be possible to file a personal injury claim as well as collect workers’ compensation.
What Happens If I’m Unsure of the Identity of the Owner?
Animal control should be the first contact that you make if you are bitten by a dog without a clear owner. You must provide a detailed description of the aggressive dog so that they have the best chance of locating the animal along with its owner. In such instances, it is a smart idea to get a rabies shot as a precaution.
Are There Any Exceptions in Dog Bite Liability?
The owner of the dog may be in a position to avoid personal liability if any of these circumstances apply:
- A felony was being committed by the victim
- The dog was being provoked
- The victim was trespassing
- The bite occurred as the animal was assisting law enforcement or the military.
- The dog bit a veterinarian administering treatment
It’s always necessary to have the details of the incident evaluated by an experienced attorney to determine if you can collect compensation. Take a moment to fill out our contact form so that we can consult with you regarding your dog bite injury case.