Personal Injury Lawyer
Dog bite injuries are a common occurrence in the United States. An estimated 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. every year, with one in five requiring medical attention. These injuries can be devastating, both physically and emotionally, and can lead to high medical bills, lost wages, and permanent injury such as scarring.
If you or a loved one has been bitten or otherwise harmed by a dog, it’s important to understand the legal rights and remedies available to you. In this blog post, we’ll explore dog bite injury law and explain how a personal injury lawyer such as Welts, White & Fontaine, PC can help you.
Strict Liability & Negligence
Dog bite laws vary by state, but in general, there are two types of liability for dog owners: strict liability and negligence.
Strict liability means that the owner is responsible for the actions of their dog, regardless of whether they were “at fault.” In strict liability states, if your dog injures someone, you are liable for any damages that occur, regardless of whether you knew your dog was dangerous or whether you could have done anything to stop the dog bite.
Negligence, on the other hand, means that the owner could have prevented the dog bite if they had taken reasonable steps to prevent it but failed to do so. Generally, proving negligence in dog injury law means showing that the owner was aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. For example, if a dog owner knows their dog has aggressive tendencies but fails to keep the dog on a leash or in a fenced area, they may be found negligent if the dog bites someone.
Steps To Take After Being Bitten
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, there are a few important steps you should take:
Seek medical attention immediately: Even if the bite doesn’t seem serious, it’s important to get medical attention right away. Dog bites can easily become infected, and some dogs carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. You may need to get rabies shots or other preventative care.
Report the incident: Contact the police or your local animal control agency to report the incident. They can help identify the dog and its owner, and can also help prevent future incidents. The police also may be able to collect the owner’s homeowners insurance information, which should provide coverage for your injuries.
Gather evidence: Take photos of your injuries and the location where the attack occurred. Get contact information for any witnesses who may have seen the attack.
Contact a personal injury attorney: A personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, and can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. An attorney can also help you get the dog owner’s insurance information to start the legal claim process.
Being the victim of a dog bite can be traumatic. The attack may leave you with significant medical bills and permanent scarring. In addition, you’ll have to deal with the pain and suffering from your injuries. If you are injured in a dog bite incident, contact a local personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options.