Dog Bite Compensation: Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney?

Personal Injury Cases Dog Bite Compensation personal injury lawsuit

World Executives Digest | Dog Bite Compensation: Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney? | An animal attack comes without a warning, especially if it is unprovoked and can cause not only personal injuries but also has an emotional effect on the person who is attacked. The attack can be on you or a loved one and apart from physical injuries it can also lead to diseases if not treated timely. 

The most common injuries that can happen after a dog or animal attack are:

  • Scrapping or bruising to the face or other parts of the body, especially the upper and lower extremities. 
  • Small or deep cuts to face, upper and lower extremities
  • Bites to the leg, feet, hands, neck, and forearms can lead to diseases like rabies
  • Bites could lead to severe cuts to arteries or veins. 

Are dog bites or animal attacks common?

As per statistics presented by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC more than 4.5 million people have suffered dog bites and of them, 4 people needed emergency care. A huge percentage of the victims are children and dog attacks happen daily causing common injuries on the feet, legs, arms, hands, head, or neck. Many of the injured had to undergo medical treatment for a long time. Moreover, these bites are painful and some attacks leave a permanent scar on the person physically and mentally too. So dog bites are not uncommon and so are personal injury claims related to the attack. 

What to do after a dog bite?

If you or a loved one is bitten by a dog or attacked by an animal then these are some of the steps that should be taken: 

  • The foremost thing to do is to seek medical assistance for any injuries that have happened during the attack. The doctor may treat with vaccinations and anti-rabies injection.
  • Document the treatment that is taken and the medications provided for further use.
  • Report the animal attack to the police and keep a copy of the report. 
  • Try to find the owner of the animal
  • If possible find witnesses and take pictures of the spot where the animal attacked you
  • If you had to miss work due to injuries and have insurance for an accident then file a claim immediately. 
  • Note down the pain and suffering you have had due to the attack and also how it has impacted your life. 

If you have been attacked by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation from the owner even if the owner was unaware that the dog was dangerous. It can be a personal injury claim or a small claim, you will receive damages that may not be limited to medical bills but also include punitive damages, pain and suffering, lost income, and emotional distress. Depending on the state you live in the laws can vary on dog bites, and an injury lawyer can be consulted.

Laws governing animal attack

One-bite law

Many states in the United States have a one-bite law where certain dogs are allowed ‘one-free bite’ before there is legal action against the owner. But if the owner is aware that the dog can potentially bite someone because of its behavior or the way it has been raised then the free-bite law is not applicable. For such cases, the first time the dog bites the victim has the right to sue. If there is nothing to suspect the owner, then the dog and the owner are safe for the first time and not the subsequent times. 

Strict liability laws

Unlike the one-bite law, there are many states which follow strict liability even if the owner believes that the dog is not dangerous. There are no free bites to any dogs and owners face legal action if their dog bites someone. This law is more favorable to the victim and has to only prove that the attack was unprovoked and the victim was not trespassing. 

Other laws

There are states which have their variations of the above two laws. For example, some states have a strict liability law only if the dog is let out of its enclosure and if it is a second offense then the dog can be shot at and the owner will have to pay double compensation. 

How is hiring a personal injury attorney beneficial?

If you sustained an injury at an amusement park, Justin Kimball from Preszler Law says it will need to be determined whether the ride operator or the owner of the park was at fault.

When it comes to personal injury due to a dog bite the owner is held responsible for it and if he/she is the homeowner then compensation will be paid from their insurance after a personal injury claim, says experts at https://www.agrusslawfirm.com/personal-injury/premises-liability/dog-bite/. Since there are many complications involved a personal injury lawyer will help. 

Some of the benefits of having a personal injury attorney:

They know what to do and say: A good lawyer will objectively evaluate the case and will help you decide whether a claim can be made or not. Once that decision is made, they will make a strategy based on the strengths and weaknesses and move forward. If you are a victim of an animal attack and had wage loss you will be keen to settle quickly with the insurance adjusters but having a personal injury lawyer will ensure that you get the just compensation. 

They know the law: Personal injury cases involve a lot of paperwork and strict deadlines for its filing. The attorney will take care of these for you, gather evidence and all the related documents, and depose the needed people as and when required. Since they know the laws they can help you get the maximum settlement. 

They know the various types of compensation: The personal injury attorney has the expertise to find the various compensation that your claim is eligible for. A personal injury lawsuit can recover:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement or disability

Calculating the claim value and the compensation you may receive is a complicated process and only a qualified and experienced attorney can help you get what you are entitled for. 

Animal attacks including dog bite is a serious concern and should be treated as one. The dog owner should be held accountable and a personal injury attorney can help you win the claims.