How a Skilled Lawyer Can Make a Difference
Dog bite incidents are unfortunately quite common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year, with one in five of those bites resulting in injuries severe enough to require medical attention. Children between the ages of 5–9 years old are most likely to be bitten by a dog, accounting for more than half of all reported dog bite-related injuries. In addition, nearly 1,000 fatalities occur each year due to dog attacks – mostly involving children and elderly adults.
Unlawful confinement of a dog is the leading factor behind fatal attacks and unsupervised interactions between unfamiliar animals can also result in serious injury or death. It’s important to remember that any breed of dog may act aggressively or unpredictably, so it’s crucial for pet owners to take necessary precautions when interacting with their pet or other animals.
Importance of Understanding Dog Bite Laws and seeking legal help
It is important to understand the laws regarding dog bites and seek legal help if you or a loved one has been injured in such an incident. Dog bite laws vary from state-to-state, so it is essential to be aware of your local jurisdiction’s regulations in order to protect yourself and those around you. Additionally, seeking legal advice can ensure that any medical costs stemming from the injury are covered and that compensation for pain and suffering is received. A skilled lawyer knowledgeable about these types of cases can offer invaluable assistance throughout the process, helping victims understand their rights and make informed decisions about how best to proceed with their claim.
Types of Dog Bite Laws
Strict Liability Laws
Strict liability laws hold a pet owner or keeper liable for any injury or damage caused by their animal. This means that even if the pet owner or keeper was not aware of the animal’s tendencies to behave aggressively, they can still be held responsible for any injury or damage caused by the dog providing that at the time the bite took place, the injured person was not committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog. This makes strict liability laws one of the most effective ways to protect victims from careless and irresponsible owners whose animals may cause harm without warning.
Negligence-based laws are another type of dog bite law that hold pet owners responsible for any injury or damage caused by their animal. This type of law requires that the pet owner was negligent in some way and did not take reasonable steps to prevent an incident from occurring.
For example, if a pet owner fails to restrain their animal, allowing it to roam freely in public areas, they can be held liable for any harm inflicted upon someone as a result. Additionally, if an individual is aware of their animal’s aggressive tendencies but does nothing to control or confine it, they can also be held accountable under this type of law. Therefore, negligence-based laws provide victims with legal recourse should they become injured due to carelessness on the part of a pet owner.
Breed-specific legislation is a type of dog bite law which targets certain breeds and holds owners responsible for any harm inflicted by their animal. These laws target specific breeds – such as Pitbulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans – which are known to be more prone to aggressive behavior. This type of law requires that pet owners exercise greater care when handling these animals due to the higher risk associated with them. It typically involves requirements such as mandatory muzzles in public places, increased insurance coverage, spaying/neutering, and special identification tags or microchips. Furthermore, this type of law also dictates what types of restraints or enclosures should be used to keep these animals under control. Breed-specific legislation is an effective way to protect victims from irresponsible owners who do not take proper precautions when dealing with aggressive breeds.
Establishing Liability in Dog Bite Cases
Proving ownership of the dog
In a dog bite case, establishing ownership of the animal is key in order to determine liability. The burden lies on the plaintiff to prove that a particular dog was owned or kept by the defendant. This proof can come in many forms, such as witness testimonies, photographs, veterinary records, or even surgical implants with microchips that link back to the pet owner. Ownership or Keeper of the dog may also be established through circumstantial evidence, such as if an individual is regularly seen walking or caring for a certain animal. In any case, proving ownership or keeper of the dog is essential in order to hold an individual liable for any injuries or damages caused by their pet.
Determining if the dog had a history of aggression
This involves gathering evidence that the pet owner was aware of any potential risks posed by their animal prior to the incident occurring. Evidence such as veterinary records, past incident reports, or witness testimonies can provide insight into an animal’s history of aggression and could ultimately prove that the pet owner had knowledge of any potential danger it posed. Additionally, circumstantial evidence such as photographs and videos showing an animal displaying aggressive behaviors could also be used to prove that a pet owner should have been aware of any threats posed by their animal. By taking into account any historical information regarding an animal’s aggressive tendencies, victims may be able to prove negligence on the part of a pet owner in order to receive compensation for their injuries.
Assessing the victim’s actions during the incident
- Evaluate whether the victim provoked or threatened the dog in any way before the incident occurred.
- Determine if the victim was aware of the animal’s potential for aggression, and if they acted accordingly in order to avoid harm.
- Assess whether or not a reasonable amount of precaution was taken by the victim to avoid being bitten.
- Consider if there were any third parties present that contributed to the incident in anyway, such as by agitating or teasing the dog.
- Investigate if any restraining devices, fences, or other safety measures were in place that should have been able to prevent or minimize the injury inflicted upon the victim.
Potential Compensation for Dog Bite Victims
- Medical expenses can include costs associated with the treatment of physical injuries resulting from the bite, such as emergency care, doctor visits, surgery, rehabilitation, and medication.
- Victims may be able to receive compensation for lost wages due to time taken off of work to recover from the dog bite incident, or if they are unable to perform their job duties as a result of their injuries. This can include missed wages, overtime pay, and other benefits that were lost due to the injury. Additionally, victims may be compensated for any future losses in income or earning capacity that result from the incident.
- Victims of dog bites may be eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering, which is a form of non-economic damages that covers both physical and emotional pain caused by the incident. This can include reimbursement for physical pain associated with the bite, as well as mental anguish, distress, fear, and anxiety caused by the traumatic experience.
- Victims of dog bite incidents may be eligible for compensation for property damage resulting from the incident. This can include reimbursement for repair or replacement of damaged items, such as clothing, furniture, electronics, and other items that were destroyed by the animal during the incident.
- Victims of dog bite incidents may be eligible to receive compensation for emotional distress caused by the incident. This can include reimbursement for mental anguish, distress, fear, and anxiety caused by the traumatic experience. Additionally, victims may be able to receive compensation for any losses in quality of life that may have been incurred due to the incident.
The Role of a Skilled Dog Bite Lawyer
If you have been the victim of a dog bite incident, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer who can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. A skilled lawyer will be able to evaluate all aspects of your case and determine liability on the part of the dog owner.
Roles of a Lawyer:
- Navigating complex laws and regulations
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Negotiating with insurance companies.
- Representing you in court, if necessary
- Maximizing your compensation.
Hiring The Ganim Injury Lawyers
At Ganim Injury Lawyers, our team of experienced attorneys have been helping victims of dog bite incidents for over 30 years. We understand the legal complexities and nuances involved in pursuing a dog bite claim, and we are committed to providing top-notch legal representation to those who have suffered from an animal attack. Our lawyers will assess all relevant evidence related to your case, including any historical reports or witness testimonies that could help prove negligence on behalf of the pet owner. We also take into account the victim’s actions during the incident as well as possible compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, emotional distress and other losses incurred due to the incident. With decades of experience in this area of law under our belt, you can trust us to handle your case with care and diligence so you can get justice you deserve.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.