According to the CDC, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Almost 800,000 of them require medical care. Children aged 5-9 were the group with the most incidents. Being bitten by a vicious dog can be painful and very traumatizing, with long-term effects.
Dog Bites and Owner Liability
Typically, when a dog bites or hurts someone, their owner is legally responsible. The person injured or the parents of a child that was bitten can sue the dog owner for damages to cover medical expenses and pain and suffering.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If the person that was hurt engaged in any of the following, they may not have a valid legal claim:
- They provoked the dog by abusing it or teasing it. Children often pull dogs’ tails.
- They cannot prove the bite or injury.
- They were trespassing at the time they were attacked.
- They were unreasonably careless and caused the injury.
If the dog owner knows that their dog poses a danger, they could be held liable. For example, if the dog has bitten someone before, then they are liable for keeping a dangerous dog. Some state laws make the owner responsible even if they didn’t know the dog would bite. If dog owners are careless and don’t control their animals properly, they can also be held liable for any damage the dog does.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
After an attack, swap insurance information with the dog owner and get medical attention. Keep all medical records and bills; you may need them to file an insurance claim or in the event of a lawsuit.
If a dog bit you or someone you care for, you could pursue an insurance claim to cover your medical expenses. However, the payout may be limited.
Another option is to sue the dog owner for additional damages to cover your medical expenses and account for the pain and suffering of the trauma of being attacked.
A skilled dog bite attorney can help you with your case. They will be well-versed in the local dog bite laws and offer you guidance and assistance in proceeding with your case. They can also help with an insurance claim after the attack. Insurance companies will always seek to pay out the minimum for any claim. A personal injury lawyer can help you get the maximum payout you deserve.
Where to Turn for Help
A dog bite case can be challenging to prove, but your personal injury attorney will know the best way to handle your case.
Contact Neufeld Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss your dog bite case and get the compensation you deserve.