Should you sue the owner when a dog bites your child?
A dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, Iowa from Des Moines Injury Law is well aware of the dangers associated with a serious dog attack. Not only might the victim endure physical injuries, they may also suffer emotionally due to the traumatic nature of a dog attack. Furthermore, the injuries they sustain may last for the rest of their life.
- Des Moines IA Dog Bite Infographic
- Dog Bite Injury Compensation
- Medical Complications Associated With Dog Bites
- Types of Recoverable Damages
- Recover Your Damages With the Help of a Dog Bite Lawyer
- 3 Things You Need To Do After a Dog Attack
- Dog Bite Liability
- How To Avoid Dog Attacks
- Seek Legal Advice
Children are Particularly Sensitive
If you, a loved one, or child suffered a dog bite, please know you are not alone. In fact, approximately 1 in every 700 visits to the emergency room are due to dog bite injuries. The majority of dog bite victims are young males between the ages of 5 and 9 years old. Children at this age are particularly vulnerable to being emotionally traumatized. If your child sustained a serious dog bite injury, our team can help you get compensated for your child’s injuries. We can help you get justice from the dog’s owner if negligence was involved.
Suing an Owner Whose Dog Attacked
Here at Des Moines Injury Law we can offer assistance regarding a dog attack. Call us to speak with one of our attorneys to find out more. We can review your case at no charge to you. If your child was attacked by a dog, a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines IA can fight to recover the costs associated with that attack. Though the dog’s owner or their insurance company may have offered you compensation, it may not be a fair amount when considering the seriousness of the injury.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite
When it comes to dog bites, some people may not be sure of what they should do legally after the incident occurs. Should you talk with an insurance company? Should you hire a dog bite lawyer? What does it take to file a lawsuit? While some people might be hesitant to file a lawsuit after a dog bite because they are concerned that it is dramatic, it can actually ensure that not only do you get compensated for the injuries that you have sustained, but that other people don’t get hurt in the future.
When you are questioning whether to file a lawsuit because a dog bit you, you should speak with an Indiana dog bite lawyer in Des Moines to go over the facts of your case and see what the statute of limitations are in your state. For more information, please reach out to our team today.
Determining the Deadline
It is incredibly important that you follow your state’s guidelines and rules regarding the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Typically, the statute of limitations for a dog bite lawsuit in your state will be the same as other personal injury cases. For the most part, the deadlines can be a year after the incident occurred or even up to six years. To figure out the statute of limitations in your state, you should contact our team as soon as possible so you are not at risk in the deadline lapsing.
Missing the Deadline
When you miss the deadline, it is likely that the dog owner will ask the court to simply dismiss the case. Unfortunately, there are rarely ever exceptions that happen that make it acceptable to miss this deadline, so a judge will likely grant the other party’s request for dismissal. When this is the case, there are not many legal options left. To be on the safe side, make sure you know the deadlines as early as possible after the incident occurred, and if you choose to pursue a lawsuit, contact a lawyer from Des Moines Injury Law, LLP to get your suit started.
Liability for Dog Bite Attack
When a dog bites you, the owner of the dog is typically the person responsible for the dog’s actions. Depending on the state, there may be certain rules like the “one-bite rule.” This is when the owner is only liable for injuries caused by their dog (or other animal) if they should have known that their animal would bite someone or is particularly vicious. Additionally, you may not have a solid case if you did anything to intentionally provoke a person’s dog or if you were mistreating or tormenting the dog in some way. When you talk with a dog bite lawyer in IA, we can help you decide how strong of a case you have and what evidence you need.
Dog Bite Cases Des Moines, IA Infographic
Dog Bite Injury Compensation
Victims of dog bites, even those who are children, have the right to compensation for their accident damages. (In the case of minor children, their parents or adult guardians will receive and manage any compensation the children receive.) Our team can work with you to determine the extent of your child’s injuries. His or her injuries may include mental and emotional injuries, as well as physical ones. They are considered damages and may be eligible for compensation in addition to these other costs you might face as a result of the dog bite:
- Surgery. A dog bite lawyer in Des Moines may be able to justify costs for anticipated surgeries, in addition to what your child has already undergone for treatment of the dog bite.
- Future, current, and previous medical treatments, surgeries, medications, physical and emotional therapy. If your child is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the dog bite attack, this can be considered an injury as well and may be eligible for compensation. However, an appropriate licensed medical professional will have to confirm that your child is, in fact, suffering PTSD.
- Replacement or repair of physical property damaged or destroyed during the dog attack. This can include clothing, strollers, etc.
- Time off from work for which you lost compensation because you had to take your injured child to doctors’ appointments and other accident-related tasks.
- Disfigurement, scarring, or disability caused by a dog bite. We can explain in more detail about standard values for each type of injury, depending on their severity. For instance, permanent scarring will be worth more than temporary cuts. Any type of permanent injury will be worth more than if the injury is temporary.
Just Compensation For Victims of Dog Attacks
Most people have pets, and of people who have pets, most have at least one dog. Dogs are great family pets when their owners are attentive to their needs. However, some owners allow their dogs to roam freely, or don’t secure them properly to keep them within the bounds of their property. When a dog is allowed to leave the premises of the owner’s yard, they create a risk to anyone who may be passing by or enjoying time in their own yard.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, it is not your fault and you are not liable for the expenses associated with the treatment you receive for the attack. You need an experienced dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, IA. At Des Moines Injury Law LLP, we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Medical Complications Associated With Dog Bites
When small children are attacked by a dog, the area of their injury is usually around the neck and head because they’re closest to the animal’s jaws. Some dogs have a stronger prey drive than others, and some breeds have jaws that lock onto a victim and cause severe damage as a result. A Des Moines, Indiana dog bite lawyer is familiar with a wide range of injuries from dogs. These are some of the most common complications that can result in the wake of a dog bite attack:
- Fatality due to exsanguination (bleeding to death) from avulsions (forcible tearing away of flesh), deep puncture wounds, and lacerations.
- Infection, often caused by aerobic pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus or Pasteurella multocida. Soft tissue infections such as osteomyelitis or septic arthritis are also common.
Disease, such as zoonotic diseases which are transferred from the dog to the human.
- Rabies, but this is very unusual and is more commonly associated with bites from wild animals.
Dog Bites Can Be Fatal
There are thousands of dog bites each year. Some cause extremely severe injuries, even death. If you have been bitten by a dog and suffered an injury, you are not alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of dog bite victims need medical attention. At Des Moines Injury Law, LLP., we know how unfair it is to be bitten and injured by a dog through no fault of your own. You deserve justice for your injuries, and we want to help you get it.
If you are in Iowa and have been hurt by a dog, a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, IA can evaluate your case to help you determine whether you might be eligible to collect compensation for the injuries and suffering you have endured.
Types of Recoverable Damages
Dog bites can be anywhere from mild to fatal in severity, and the damages range accordingly. After a careful review of your case, we can assess the nature and recognized the value of your damages. Damages that are commonly associated with dog bites include:
- Medical treatment, including future medical care
- Surgery, including plastic surgery and cosmetic reconstruction
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost wages for time that must be taken off from work during recovery
Recover Your Damages With the Help of a Dog Bite Lawyer
With an experienced dog bite lawyer by your family’s side, you have a higher likelihood of recovering the maximum amount of damages that you’ve suffered. At Des Moines Injury Law we can determine which of your damages is compensable and develop the documentation and evidence necessary to prove the liability of the dog’s owner. Our dog bite lawyer can also file a claim on your behalf, and represent you in all communications with the other party, their attorney, or their insurance company. If they do not offer a fair settlement for your damages, we will be prepared to file a lawsuit against them.
What Is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?
If you were recently injured by someone else’s actions, there is probably one major question that is one your mind: What is your case worth? This is a very common question, although this is not a very helpful mindset to have. As always, you can get more information about your case by speaking with dog bite lawyer in Des Moines IA who specializes in personal injury lawsuits. This guide, however, will go over the basics.
The Value of Your Case
Some people see filing a lawsuit as a way to profit. This is absolutely not the goal of a lawsuit. Rather, the point is to be returned to the financial situation you were in prior to the injury. The only way you can receive more money than the amount you lost is if you suffered in non-financial ways.
It is possible to be compensated for non-financial losses, sometimes in huge amounts. However, this is only possible if you suffered some extreme losses. So, the answer to the question, “How much is your case worth?” is the exact sum of all the damages you suffered. A Des Moines IA dog bite lawyer can determine what your losses are based on the details of your case.
Damages are the method used to quantify how much the defendant owes the plaintiff in compensation. As a Des Moines IA dog bite lawyer can explain, there are three types of damages which the judge may assign to the defendant:
- Special Compensatory Damages – This type of damages refer to all financial losses. Essentially, you will receive the same amount of money as you lost. Special compensatory damages in personal injury lawsuits commonly include medical bills, the purchase of medicine and medical equipment, lost wages, or damage to property.
- General Compensatory Damages – This type of damages refer to all non-financial losses. Because these types of suffering do not have an objective monetary value, the judge will be the one to decide what they are worth in compensation. General compensatory damages in personal injury lawsuits commonly include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of ability, loss of mobility, loss of enjoyment of life, or disfigurement.
- Punitive Damages – This type of damage is different from the other two in that it is not a form of compensation. Rather, it is an amount that the defendant must pay the plaintiff as a form of punishment. This type of damage is only assigned when the judges decides the other types of damage are not enough punishment for wrongdoings.
You should not expect or hope to receive a large sum of money from your lawsuit, unless you suffered equally large losses. A Des Moines IA dog bite lawyer will be able to give you a more specific idea of how much your case is worth.
Justice for Yourself and Others
If you, a family member, or child was seriously injured from a dog bite, we may be able to help you collect maximum compensation from the dog’s owner. You may be eligible to recover the accident costs from those responsible. Contact Des Moines Injury Law to request a free consultation with a respected dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, IA.
Recovering From a Dog Attack
Many times, there is no reason why a dog chooses to attack its victim. In just a matter of seconds, a dog can do extensive damage to the face or other areas of the body. A victim may require several reconstructive surgeries in addition to fighting infections and healing from the emotional trauma of the experience. Recovering from a dog bite can be a devastating and long road to walk.
The law is clear. The liability for the attack falls on the dog’s owner. If you’re struggling to pay medical bills, a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, IA can aid you in recovering the compensation you are owed.
3 Things You Need To Do After a Dog Attack
If you love dogs, it can be both surprising and upsetting when one attacks. Sometimes dogs are kept in unstable conditions that make them more prone to aggression, while other dogs struggle with anxiety and may bite out of nowhere. The lawyers at Des Moines Injury Law LLP know how jarring it can be to deal with the aftermath of a dog bite, which is why it’s so important to have a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines IA. Aside from seeking treatment and making sure you’re safe, here are three things you should do after you are attacked and bitten by a dog.
1. Find the Owner
After a dog bites, it’s important to find the owner if they are not easily identifiable. The owner will have the best chance of containing the dog so it cannot cause further damage to itself or others. You will also need to ask about vaccination records or any other issues you will need to tell the medical professionals about. Don’t forget to get contact information before leaving the scene if at all possible. You may not want to discuss the details of the incident in case something you say can be brought up later in court.
2. Report the Incident
After a dog has bitten someone, it is important to report the incident to your local animal control. The dog may have a record of aggression or disease. You will also need this documentation to build your case with a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines IA.
3. Gather Evidence
Once you know you’re safe, gather as much evidence from the scene as possible. Take photos of the surrounding area, your bite wound, and anything else you think is important. If there are witnesses, see if you can get contact information. Many homes now have security cameras, so you may want to ask around to see if anyone caught the incident on video. This can help prove not just that the attack happened but also whether or not the owner was being particularly negligent. Save the clothes you wore in case they can be used as evidence.
A dog bite lawyer in Des Moines IA has seen numerous cases of dog attacks. Attacks can occur for many different reasons, but the victim’s suffering can be severe. If you’ve been dealing with the aftermath of a dog attack, lawyers at Des Moines Injury Law LLP can help you build a case and seek compensation.
Dog Bite Liability
Laws governing liability in dog bite cases vary from state to state, and they often depend, in part, on the circumstances surrounding the attack. In most states, “strict liability” laws apply: The animal’s owner is held totally liable for all damages, regardless of whether they were aware of the dog’s propensity for violence.
In other states, an owner may be liable to a lesser degree if the animal had shown no previous inclination toward attack or if the dog acted playfully (did not intend to cause an injury). The law can also be complex regarding the victim’s role in the attack (for example, if the victim was on the owner’s property illegally or if the victim provoked the dog). Given the multifaceted and “case-by-case” nature of dog bite law, it is crucial to hire a talented attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
Iowa is a strict liability state, which means the full responsibility is on the dog owner to control their dog and prevent the animal from attacking and injuring others. Whether the dog had a history of aggression or violence is irrelevant. As long as you weren’t committing a crime that directly contributed to the dog attack (such as trespassing), you should be able to recover compensation for your resulting injuries from the dog owner or their homeowner’s insurance policy.
The exception to this is in the case of rabies. Dog attacks involving rabies are brought under the standard of negligence, rather than strict liability. If you were bitten by a rabid dog, Des Moines Injury Law, LLP can help you demonstrate that the owner was negligent in their handling of the dog. This usually requires you to prove that the owner was aware or should have been aware that their dog had rabies and failed to properly control it. If a dog owner has shown reasonable care to prevent the dog from biting, the owner cannot be held liable, even if the dog still attacks and causes injury. If you were bitten by a rabid dog, it is even more important that you hire a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, IA., since this type of claim is more difficult.
Owner, Possessor, Keeper, Dog Sitter – All Liable
Liability for damages caused by a Pit bull, Doberman, Rottweiler, German Shepherd or other dogs is not limited to only the legal owner of the animal. Iowa law also states that a “keeper” or “possessor” of a domestic animal such as a dog may be held liable when the injuries resulting were the result of known vicious tendencies or propensities. Thus, while the legal owner would be strictly liable, an individual keeping the dog on their property could also be held liable for damages if it can be proven that they knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous or potentially dangerous based upon prior experiences.
How To Avoid Dog Attacks
Sometimes, dog attacks are unavoidable. However, there are some things you can do to decrease your odds of being attacked.
- If you see a dog that has gotten loose from its owner’s yard, never approach it or attempt to pet it.
- Avoid making eye contact with a dog, as this can trigger its predatorial instincts.
- Never approach a dog tethered to a chain. You may be perceived as a threat to its territory.
- Carry a personal alarm. The loud noise may frighten the dog away.
- Stay calm. Screaming may excite the dog even more.
- Carry ammonia spray to defend yourself.
While you have a right to enjoy your time outdoors free of the worry of being attacked, being prepared may lessen the severity of your attack and may even prevent attack. If you are attacked, Des Moines Injury Law LLP can help.
Seek Legal Advice
Dogs are known as man’s best friends, but sometimes they can turn on their owners. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s important to seek legal help. A dog bite lawyer Des Moines IA can help you file a claim against the dog’s owner and get the compensation you deserve.
What is a dog bite lawyer?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering if you have a case against the owner. The answer to that question depends on a number of factors, including state law and the specifics of the incident. But in most cases, you will need the help of a dog bite lawyer to pursue any legal action.
A dog bite lawyer is a legal professional who helps people who have been injured by dogs. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. A dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, IA will be able to advise you of your legal options and help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact a local law firm today to learn more about how they can help you after a dog bite incident.
What do dog bite lawyers do?
Dog bite lawyers specialize in helping victims recover compensation for their injuries. They can also help hold the dog owner responsible for their actions. If you are a dog owner, it is important to know what to do if your dog bites someone. A dog bite lawyer can help you understand your rights and options if your dog bites someone. Many factors can affect whether or not you are liable for a dog bite, so it is important to speak with a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, IA from the Law Office of Des Moines Injury Law, LLP who understands these laws.
Who Is Most Likely To Need A Dog Bite Lawyer?
You’re most likely to need a dog bite lawyer if your pet has bitten someone and the person has decided to sue you for damages resulting from the bite. There are some exceptions, but generally you should hire a personal injury attorney instead of a criminal defense attorney if your dog bites someone.
In most cases, the owner of the dog is liable for the damages caused by their pet. This rule applies even if the animal has never bitten anyone before. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule.
For example, a dog bite lawyer can help you build a case against someone other than the owner of a dog if they were negligent in caring for or securing their animal. You may also have a case against a landlord who was aware of an aggressive dog on their property and failed to remove it.
If your lawyer decides that you should file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog (the defendant), they will help you prepare the complaint and file it in court. If necessary, they can also help you obtain medical records and other evidence necessary to prove your case. Contact a dog bite lawyer in Des Moines, IA from the Law Office of Des Moines Injury Law, LLP to get your case started.
“After being in a car accident several years ago (no fault of our own), my wife and I had long ago wrote off getting any kind of fair settlement. 6 years later and a surprise call from Chris Johnston, he took over our case and got things handled very fairly. I highly recommend Chris.”