Dog Bite Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A DOG BITE LAWYER FOR FREE
Animals don’t interact the same way that humans do, and often their emotions manifest themselves through aggression. Other times dogs are naturally more aggressive than others, or they may be provoked into aggression by external factors.
When an accident occurs, the last thing a recovering victim needs is to shoulder the weight of the legal process all on his or her own. Hiring an experienced dog bite attorney may be one of the best choices you can make when seeking compensation in a legal claim. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group are excited to speak with you and see how we may be able to help.
Can I File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit after a dog bite accident. Every state has laws that govern dog bites. Generally, dog owners are held liable under a negligence standard, but the law varies from state to state. Regardless of which state you live in, the law usually provides a way for victims to seek financial compensation for the financial and emotional injuries resulting from the accident.
Types of Lawsuits Zinda Law Group Handles
It is important to keep in mind that there is no certainty that any one dog breed is more inherently dangerous than another. Smithsonian has researched the subject and reports that training and overall upbringing actually a stronger predictor of whether or not a dog will be more aggressive. Regardless, the fact is that some dogs are just more aggressive than others. This aggression may make them more prone to bite another person to protect themselves, their territory, or their owner. In this case, an owner may be liable for not taking the proper precautions to safeguard other people from their dog who they know or should know is potentially more dangerous.
Read More: Dog Aggression
Dog bites can occur from non-aggressive dogs that unintentionally attack humans. Sometimes dogs can become excited and may jump on or bite a person even though it is not their intention to hurt you. Other times, the injured party may provoke a non-aggressive dog. In the instance of provocation, where you provoked an animal before it bit you, your ability to recover compensation may be affected.
Read More: Dog Bite Statistics
If you have a dog, then you are no stranger to how expensive they can be when you start racking up vet bills. If your dog was injured as the result of another dog’s aggression, you may be entitled to compensation in some instances to pay the costs associated with your dog’s injuries.
What to Do After Being Bitten by a Dog?
Seek Medical Attention
Going to seek medical assistance after a dog bite is the first and most important step to take after the accident. Even minor injuries require medical attention. Often, the shock of the situation keeps people from feeling the pain of their injuries or realizing how bad their injuries may truly be. It can be easy to brush off a dog bite as something trivial. However, seeking treatment from a medical professional is not only good for your health, but may also play an important role by creating evidence of your claim.
Document the Incident
Do the best you can to document the scene of the incident. Take pictures of where the dog bit you and anything else that may be relevant. If there was a “beware of dog” sign, document it. If there was a cage and chain on the property for the dog, document it. Document anything that could be helpful or harmful to your claim. It is most important that you document your injuries as soon as possible. Wounds can heal quickly or may change within mere hours of the bite. You will want evidence that accurately shows what happened to you at the time of the accident itself.
File a Report
You should file a dog bite report with your local animal control as soon as possible after the accident. This creates an official record of the bite and may serve as useful evidence in a future dog bite lawsuit.
Speak with an Attorney
Personal injury claims can be complex, and the process can be burdensome for recovering victims. Having an attorney can help make this process easier and ensure your interests are being looked after. Contact our attorneys at Zinda Law Group today to see if we may be able to help you with your case.
How to Determine Liability
Proving liability in a dog bite claim may vary state-to-state, but dog bite liability can often be established by either showing the dog owner knew or should have known their dog was dangerous. Some states may also hold a dog owner responsible regardless of what they knew. This is known as strict liability.
Traditional negligence means a plaintiff must prove that the dog’s owner owed the injured party a duty of care, and breached this duty. A plaintiff must show that this breach of duty led to their injuries. The duty can arise from failure to properly secure a dog or take proper precautions to keep a dog away from others if they are known to be dangerous. Some states abide by the “one-bite” rule as a shortcut. This means that if the owner knew their dog had a history of biting, then they knew or should have known their animal was a threat and may be liable for a subsequent dog bite accident.
Some states use strict liability to determine fault. Strict liability means that a defendant is liable if a certain condition is met, regardless of what the defendant did or didn’t do. For example, if strict liability applies, a defendant may be automatically liable if their dog bit another person while their dog wasn’t wearing a leash when it was otherwise under an obligation to be on one. Moreover, strict liability could apply if your dog bit someone while you were trespassing on the property of another, even if the injured party provoked the dog. The simple act of you being where you should not have been may render you liable.
Steps to Filing a Dog Bite Claim
Speak with an Attorney
Before speaking with the liable party or their insurance company, speak to a personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite claims. Having an experienced attorney looking out for your best interests can make a huge difference when seeking compensation for your claim.
Read More: Filing a Dog Bite Claim
To receive compensation, you must establish that your injuries were the result of the dog owner’s negligence or that strict liability applies. This requires an investigation into the dog attack. As your legal team, we may handle the investigation on your behalf so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
Every claim involves some level of negotiation. How much is dependent on your claim. An experienced attorney will take the time to carefully weigh any offers being presented from the responsible party against you in a claim. If at times what you are being offered is unfair, inadequate, or inappropriate, then your attorney may negotiate on your behalf to make sure that your best interests and needs are being met throughout the legal process.
Common Questions When Filing a Dog Bite Claim
What Compensation Can I Seek?
In a dog bite claim, you may be entitled to seek both economic and non-economic relief. Economic relief compensates recovering victims for quantifiable damages, such as medical bills. Non-economic relief compensates victims for the future suffering from the accident. Usually, this is referred to as pain and suffering.
What is the Statute of Limitations on a Dog Bite Claim?
The statute of limitations on your dog bite claim will be dependent on which state you live in. An experienced attorney in your state may be able to tell you which time limit applies in your state for your claim.
Who is Liable?
The responsible party will be the person who was negligent or the party who is to be held strictly liable for your injuries. This may be a dog owner, dog sitter, or property owner, depending on the circumstances. You may also be found to have contributed to the accident, such as if you provoked the dog or trespassed on someone else’s property and were subsequently bitten.
GET HELP FROM EXPERIENCED DOG BITE LAWYERS
At Zinda Law Group, our dog bite attorneys have helped countless accident victims get their lives back on track after suffering an injury. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more.
Our firm also believes that a dog bite victim should never have to worry about being able to afford a lawyer. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you will pay nothing unless we win your case.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.