Dogs are arguably man’s best friend, but not all dogs are friendly. Some dogs are vicious, and in some cases, they attack unprovoked, biting people and causing them physical and emotional harm.
While not all dog bites result in serious injury or death, some do, and the incidence of dog bites has been a public health concern for centuries.
Owing to an increase in dog bite incidences, the CDC, in 1989, decided to start collecting data on dog bites and human fatalities. The goal of this data collection initiative was to study their epidemiology and find ways to reduce dog bite incidences in the country. According to their reports, approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the USA, with about 800,000 requiring medical attention. That is a high number of serious dog bite incidences.
The only good news is that today, victims of dog bites can file lawsuits to recover compensation for the financial burden that a dog bite can cause. These lawsuits also allow victims to hold irresponsible dog owners accountable for being unable to control or train their dogs.
History of dog bite cases
The first recorded case of a dog bite lawsuit was in 1869 when a woman sued her neighbor after his dog bit her while she was walking on the street. The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered the defendant to pay damages.
Since then, an increasing number of people have filed lawsuits against owners whose dogs have bitten them or others. These lawsuits usually seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages due to missed work as a result of injuries sustained from dog bites, pain and suffering caused by injuries or emotional damage stemming from fear caused by an animal attack.
Over time, legal standards around what constitutes liability in these cases have evolved significantly. Laws now typically require property owners – even if not directly responsible for a bite incident – to take reasonable steps securing their pets so they do not harm anyone else.
In some cases, courts may hold owners strictly liable when their dogs bite someone without provocation or justification. In other cases — depending on state law — plaintiffs need only prove negligence.
As these types of claims can be very costly for insurance companies and pet-owning defendants alike, many states today employ breed-specific legislation (BSL) governing how many dogs can reside at one address or which breeds are automatically deemed dangerous based simply on breed alone.
In addition to traditional litigation through court systems around the United States, some U.S cities also offer complaint forms available online where individuals could report concerns regarding suspected dangerous dogs.
Effects of Dog Bites on the Victim
Dog bites can have serious physical and emotional effects on the victim. Here are some of them:
1. Physical wounds: Depending on the severity of the bite, a victim can suffer from puncture wounds, lacerations, torn skin, fractures or even amputations.
2. Infections: Dog bites have a high risk of getting infected due to bacteria in their mouths. This can lead to infections such as rabies, tetanus or even sepsis if not treated promptly.
3. Scarring and Disfigurement: Some dog bites can leave deep scars and permanent disfigurement which may impact a person’s self-esteem and confidence.
4. Emotional Trauma: A dog attack can be traumatic for the victim leading to fear and anxiety around dogs or even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
5. Financial Consequences: Treatment for dog bites can be expensive with medical bills including hospitalization costs, medications, surgeries etc.
6. Legal Issues: If a dangerous dog causes injury to someone, owners could face legal action that could result in fines or other penalties
If you have been bitten by a dog, you should get medical attention immediately as this will reduce any potential long-term health complications resulting from an untreated wound or infection from bacteria present in their mouths — if it is not properly sterilized after the incident occurred. It’s also important to report instances like this so that proper corrective measures are implemented for better prevention and safety reasons.
Types of dog bite lawsuits
When a dog attacks or bites an individual, it can lead to physical injuries and emotional trauma. In such cases, victims have the right to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog.
However, not all dog bite lawsuits are the same. Here are some of the most common types of dog bite lawsuits:
1. Strict Liability Lawsuits:
In most states, when a person is bitten by a dog while in public or lawfully present on private property, the owner is held strictly liable for any resulting injuries. This means that regardless of whether or not the owner knew that their pet was dangerous or aggressive, they will be held responsible for compensating damages caused by their animal.
2. Negligence Lawsuits:
Negligence refers to circumstances where an individual acts with carelessness and disregard for others’ safety and welfare; this may include situations where owners leave their pets unrestrained in locations where it is not reasonably safe to do so.
By filing negligence lawsuits, victims must prove that an owner failed to exercise reasonable care in controlling their pet’s behavior by allowing it outside without proper supervision or constraints.
3. Intentional Tort Claims:
If it is shown that someone intentionally set out with purposeful harm towards another through the use of his/her pet animal, it can result in intentional tort claim litigation seeking both punitive and compensatory damage awards against the defendant.
In some situations where attacks occur because someone provoked/agitated/teased the dog(almost always children), the defense can assert failure on the part of the people who suffered injury from biting animals since provocative actions could have triggered savage/aggressive tendencies already inherent within certain breeds/types.
It is important to note that each state has its laws regarding dog bite incidents— so understanding the legislation in your state allows you to understand better what kind of lawsuit you can file. Generally, it’s recommended that engaging a personal injury lawyer specializing in dog bite law would be best as they have the knowledge and expertise of current laws.
What kind of damages could I receive?
The damages awarded in dog bite cases usually cover both economic (monetary) and non-economic (non-monetary) losses incurred from the incident.
Economic damages include things like medical bills, lost wages due to taking time off work for recovery, and future medical expenses related to rehabilitation or scar revision surgery.
Non-economic damages refer to intangible damages like psychological trauma and pain & suffering which do not come with an obvious price tag but fall under “non-monetary setbacks”.
Who bears the responsibility?
In most cases involving dog attacks or bites, the owner of the animal is generally responsible financially owing to massive tort liability that attaches whenever an animal causes harm – although this differs by state. At times multiple parties might share responsibility such as property owners leasing space – it is their responsibility to ensure their premises abide by state standards.
How do I file for compensation?
The first step after seeking medical attention should be tracking down proof of ownership. If possible, do this immediately since as time passes, it will be harder to find the owner since no one is likely to want to admit ownership of an aggressive animal lest implications arise leading toward heavy penalties and a costly litigation process.
Make sure witnesses are sought out if there were any around at accident time. Also, check police reports/ documentation and all relevant testimonies.
After satisfying above-cited requirements, notifying an attorney dealing with similar cases in your state for easier evidence collection and smoother litigation proceedings.
Role of Lawyers in Dog Bite Cases
The issue of dog bites can be quite complex and it requires the expertise of a professional to handle such cases. This is where lawyers come in. A lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases will have the necessary knowledge and skills to help you navigate through the legal process.
Here is a closer look at the role of lawyers in dog bite cases:
A lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases will represent you legally if you have been bitten by a dog or if your dog has bitten someone else. This representation includes arguing your case before a judge or jury, negotiating with insurance companies and advocating for you throughout the entire legal process.
Building Your Case
Your lawyer will work tirelessly to build your case. One way that they do this is by gathering evidence that supports your claim. This evidence can include photos of injuries sustained from the dog bite, medical reports and witness statements.
In some instances, compromises may be made in order to avoid going all the way to trial. In this scenario, an experienced lawyer will negotiate compensation for medical bills, lost income or other damages related to the injury sustained during a dog attack.
Navigating Legal Process
Navigating through legal proceedings can be quite intimidating and confusing for anyone without experience dealing with them, let alone those dealing with traumatic events like getting bitten by a dog or witnessing someone else suffer this fate. Lawyers specializing in these types of cases are skilled at navigating complex laws as well as procedures involved within them – they will help you understand what’s happening every step of the way while ensuring proper compliance remains upheld throughout litigation.
Nowadays, law firms have become much more user-friendly thanks to technology: most law firms offer online consultations so people can discuss their situation before deciding whether they want legal representation offered by an expert attorney capable enough handling complicated situations every day without compromising on client satisfaction levels.
In conclusion, dog bite cases require the expertise of a qualified lawyer. They will represent you legally in court and gather evidence, negotiate settlements and guide you through the legal process. By hiring an experienced lawyer specializing in dog bite cases, you can obtain legal representation that can help you receive compensation for damages incurred from a dog bite and ensure that your case is handled professionally and efficiently.
Why Choose Us?
Our experienced team of lawyers specializes in dog bite lawsuits and is committed to fighting for victims’ rights.
At Husain Law + Associates Accident Attorneys, P.C., we have a proven track record of success, understand the complexities of dog bite cases, and provide personalized attention. We know that dealing with a dog bite incident can be overwhelming and confusing and we are here to help ease that burden.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today for assistance in seeking justice and getting the compensation you deserve!
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