Even the sweetest pets can cause property damage or personal injury. You may need to engage a dog bite attorney if your dog bites someone or if you or your pet was wounded by someone else’s dog. Dog bite laws differ from state to state. A local dog bite lawyer can tell you whether you have a legal claim, the level of your liability, what types of defenses you may have, and the legal and financial implications of your dog bite case.
If you are bitten by someone’s dog, you have numerous options. You might begin by filing an insurance claim with the dog owner’s insurance company. Most homeowners insurance policies cover a dog bite that occurs on the insured’s property, and many policies additionally cover a bite that occurs off the property if the dog is owned or kept on the property.
A dog bite lawyer can assist you in dealing with the insurance company and negotiating a reasonable compensation using their knowledge and experience.
You can also bring a lawsuit for damages against the dog’s owner or caretaker. Other sorts of dog-related injuries, not merely dog bites, are covered under some state statutes. Dog bite lawyers are crucial in these cases because they are familiar with the applicable laws in your state, how to calculate damages, and how to present evidence successfully.
The laws of your state and the strength of your case will determine whether you can hold someone accountable for your dog bite injuries. In some areas, the conventional common law “one-bite” rule applies, which holds the owner liable only if they knew or had cause to know their dog was dangerous, such as if the dog has previously bitten someone.
Approximately half of the states have laws imposing strict liability on dog owners, requiring the wounded person to establish that their damage was caused by a dog bite while they were in a legal place to be, regardless of the owner’s precautions.
According to several dog bite and carelessness statutes, the owner owes it to others to safeguard them from harm caused by their dog. Guests, workers on their property, and individuals in public places are all included. Local leash rules and statutes that impose liability for persons who possess particularly dangerous animals or specific types of dogs must also be followed.
In some areas, anyone other than the dog’s owner may be held responsible for injuries. In rare cases, parents of a dog-owning minor, animal caretakers (such as dog sitters or a kennel), property owners, and landlords may be held liable.
The various defenses that someone might use against you in a dog bite case can vary depending on your state’s laws, but here are some frequent points that an opposing dog bite attorney might make:
Trespassing: While trespassers have some legal rights, your state’s dog bite regulations may require you to prove that you were bitten while in a lawfully permitted area. A person will not be able to seek damages for a dog bite that happens while trespassing under those laws.
Provocation: Another typical argument is that the injured person provoked the dog before the bite, for example, by teasing or cornering the dog and threatening the dog with an angry gesture.
Assumption of Risk or Comparative Negligence: The dog’s owner may argue that you are at least somewhat liable for your injuries. For example, if the owner offered proper warnings about their dog and you ignored those warnings, your ability to seek damages may be limited or eliminated.
An experienced dog bite lawyer will be aware of the arguments that an opposing dog bite lawyer may make against you and how to best counter them.
Whether you’re pursuing or defending a dog bite case, the implications can be devastating. A successful case might result in compensation that cover medical expenditures, lost income, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages, depending on the jurisdiction. It can be difficult to figure out which laws, damages, and defenses apply to your circumstance. Contact an experienced dog bite attorney in your region today if you’re dealing with a lawsuit regarding injuries caused by a dog.