Dog Bite Lawyer Des Moines IA
Many people enjoy the company of dogs. In fact, the ASPCA estimates that 70 – 80 million dogs are owned in the United States. Most dogs are faithful and friendly but there are those that will attack either provoked or unprovoked. If you find yourself having been bitten by a dog, contact a dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA relies on to learn your rights.
Legal issues following a dog bite in Iowa:
Iowa has what is known as “strict liability” in regards to dog bite cases which simply means the dog owner is strictly liable if their dog: bites / attacks or attempts to bite a person. The law also applies in a few other unique situations.
While this sounds relatively straightforward, there are circumstances in which the law would indicate the “owner” might not be who you believe it to be thus it is important to have an experienced dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA residents can always call upon on your side to help establish ownership as well as your damages.
Strict liability is not absolute as it does not apply if the victim is engaged in an unlawful act, directly contributing to the injury or if the dog has rabies at the time of the attack. However, the rabies defense is not absolute either so contact us today for any dog bite questions you have.
For more detail on liability, please call or email us now or see Iowa Code 351.28
What to do if you are bitten by a dog in Iowa:
If you or a loved one are attacked by a dog, after getting medical attention and notifying the police, it is imperative to gather as much information as possible. Some of the information you should obtain includes:
- The name and address of the dog owner
- The name of any witnesses to the bite
- The breed and name of the dog
- The color of the dog and any markings it may have
- The approximate size of the dog
- The names and addresses of anyone who was watching or walking the dog who might not have been the owner.
At a minimum, you should make every effort to contact the police. Not only will they be able to run an effective investigation but they can determine whether or not the dog poses a risk to society and take steps accordingly.To learn more about any facet of a dog bite in Iowa, email or call a dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA can trust for a free consultation at 515-496-HURT.
Our lawyers have successfully represented hundreds of people who have been bitten by dogs. Many of these have settled out of court but, when necessary, successfully tried in front of a jury.
Breeds that bite the most:
Just as any breed can be loving and a make for wonderful pets, any breed of dog can and will bite under the proper circumstances. The following breeds, according to a study in Forbes, have been found to bite most frequently:
- Pit Bulls
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepard
- Great Danes
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Siberian Huskies
Some insurance companies may deny coverage if a homeowner owns one of these particular breeds. Prior to purchasing one of these dogs, it is a good idea to check with your insurer to verify whether or not they will insure your home.
Avoiding dog bites:
Although we know that dogs can bite, there are things you can do to help minimize your risk of being a victim. According the Humane Society of America, first and foremost, respect the dog’s space. Just as most people don’t appreciate others “getting in their space”, dogs don’t like it either. Also, don’t pet a dog without being sure he sees you and is allowed to sniff you before you attempt to pet him. Failing to do so may startle the animal who then may bite in response. Always assume that a dog who is unfamiliar with you will see you as a threat.
Paying attention to a dog’s body language can also help minimize the risk of being bit. If you observe a dog exhibiting any of the following behaviors, you should put distance between you and the animal:
- Tense body
- Stiff tail
- Pulled back head and/or ears
- Furrowed brow
- Eyes rolled with the whites visible
- Backing away
When putting distance between yourself and a dog, do not turn and run as the animal’s instinct will be to chase you.
If a dog you believe might bite approaches you, you should:
- Fight the temptation to run
- Remain completely still with your hands down
- Avoid making eye contact
- Once the dog loses interest, back away until safe
- If the dog does attack, put anything you can between yourself and the dog. For example, you backpack, purse, or jacket.
If you fall to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain still.
Common injuries from dog bites:
Injuries from dog bites can go beyond a simple scar. Our lawyers have represented victims of dog attacks who have suffered muscle damage, tendon and ligament tear, eye damage, loss of teeth (facial attack), and more.
The injuries sustained in a dog attack can go beyond the physical as many victim suffers from emotional distress as well. In such circumstances, the victim has the right to be compensated for that emotional injury as well as the physical injury . Many people are surprised to learn that the claim for emotional distress extends not only to the victim but to certain close family members under certain conditions – these claims are known as bystander claim for emotional distress.
Questions to Ask a Dog Bite Lawyer
If you have been injured by a dog, you may want to schedule a consultation with a dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA residents trust. During your initial meeting, be sure to ask the lawyer several questions about his experience and skills. This may help you decide if he is the right person to represent you or not. Here are some of the questions you may consider asking your lawyer:
- How much of your practice is devoted to dog bite cases?
Dog bites claims can be quite complex, so it may be important to hire a lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases. If you hire a lawyer who mainly deals with car accident or slip and fall accident claims, for example, he might not be aware of the dog bite statutes or key court decisions that affect dog bite lawsuits.
- What is your success rate with dog bite lawsuits?
To improve your chance of winning your claim, it is beneficial to hire a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines IA who has a good track record of getting favorable settlements for clients. Ask the lawyer you speak with how many dog bite lawsuits he has won in the past.
- What is the best way to reach you?
It’s likely the you will have questions to ask a dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA locals respect down the road. Ask the lawyer you talk to if it is best to reach him by phone or email. Also, find out how long it typically takes for him to respond to messages.
- Do you believe I have a strong case?
Don’t be afraid to ask a dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA residents count on if he thinks your case has a chance of winning or not. He may look at all of the evidence in your case and determine the strength of your case.
- What questions will I get asked at the deposition?
During your deposition, you will get asked several questions about your dog bite case. Ask your Des Moines dog bite lawyer what kind of questions you should expect so that you can properly prepare yourself.
- Will you be the only lawyer working on my case?
In some law firms, several lawyers work on every case. Find out if other lawyers will be assisting with your case. If there will be, ask about their experience and knowledge of dog bite cases.
- What is your contingency fee?
The majority of dog bite lawyers work on a contingency fee, meaning they receive a percentage of their clients’ settlement. Ask a dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA locals depend on what his contingency fee is.
- What sets you apart from other dog bite attorneys?
There are many dog bite attorneys out there. Some are better than others. During your consultation, ask a dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA residents rely on what makes him unique from other dog bite lawyers.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer Des Moines IA Trusts:
Contact one of our experienced Des Moines dog bite lawyers today. We will protect your rights and maximize your compensation. Call Des Moines Injury Law today at 515-493-HURT or EMAIL for a free consultation.