Most dog owners consider their dogs to be more than just friends. They are members of the family. However, dogs occasionally attack humans and other animals, and most of the time, this happens because of the dog owner’s negligence. A dog bite may cause minor to life-threatening injuries, and in exceptionally unfortunate instances, those injuries could be fatal. And that can easily lead to a dog bite lawsuit.
The owners of such dogs must be held responsible for the harm their canines inflict. You can visit this website to get help from a dog bite lawyer with managing insurance claims or filing a lawsuit. But first, you should know some of the key things that play a crucial role in a dog bite lawsuit.
What Situations Make a Dog Owner Responsible for Accidents?
State dog-bite laws and concepts of general culpability like “negligence” are generally combined in dog bite injury cases.
In some states, dog-bite laws are only applicable if you were actually bitten by a dog, whereas in other states, the law covers all injuries brought on by dogs, including those that result from a dog knocking someone over or chasing a cyclist and causing an accident.
Nevertheless, irrespective of what any particular dog bite statute states, the owner is generally accountable for the wounded person’s harm if the dog owner’s negligence or “lack of care” contributed to the attack or other harm.
While you do not need to show that the dog’s keeper or owner was careless, you must show that the dog attack was the reason for your injuries. The following is significant proof of a dog bite injury:
- Pictures of your wounds
- Witnesses’ accounts
- Information on the attack’s date, place, and time
- Health records
Additionally, you must keep track of any costs associated with dog bite injuries. This could include receipts for goods and services you paid for out of your pocket, bills from healthcare providers, etc. You should also keep track of your healing, including any lingering symptoms, functional loss, stress levels, psychological problems, and athers.
Your compensation claim is supported by the records you present. A dog bite injury attorney can examine all the evidence you’ve gathered and take further action to prove your entitlement to compensation.
When Can You File a Lawsuit for a Dog Bite?
If you’re considering suing someone for a dog bite or other damage brought on by somebody’s dog, you must be aware of your state’s statute of limitations and how it relates to your particular case.
- The statute of limitations places a deadline on how long you have after suffering harm to bring a claim in civil court.
- A lawsuit regarding dog bite injuries will typically be subject to the same statute of limitations that governs “personal injury” or “carelessness” actions.
- The “timer” for the statute of limitations begins on the day the bite or other injury occurs, but in some (quite uncommon) circumstances, the clock may be paused.
How Much Should Your Injuries Be Worth?
The size of the compensation ultimately depends on how bad your injuries are. You may claim damages in your lawsuit for each of the following:
- Payment of medical expenses
- Lost revenue/income
- Additional expenses
- Pain and suffering.
Possible Defenses Against a Dog Bite Lawsuit
The legal defenses differ from state to state since liability is defined differently in each. However, the following are among the most common excuses given by dog owners for not covering your claims:
If you weren’t legally allowed to be at the place where the dog bite occurred, you might not be able to get any compensation for your injuries.
There’s a significant likelihood that you won’t have a strong enough case on your hands if it’s determined that you were harassing the dog, that you intentionally trapped it and pursued it violently, or that you agitated the dog in any other manner.
The dog owner might claim that you were partially responsible for the attack. This would be the case, for instance, if you approached the dog after being advised to keep away from it.
A crucial component of winning a dog bite lawsuit is hiring a competent attorney. A dog bite injury attorney can gather information on your part and establish the dog’s owner or keeper’s liability. Additionally, your attorney can negotiate a settlement with the insurance provider. People who work with a lawyer receive bigger settlements than they would on their own.