Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 4.7 million people fall victim to dog bites and/or attacks. In the majority of such cases, it's the family dog that is doing the biting - but not always. In fact, hundreds of thousands of children and adults fall victim to dog bites from their neighbors' pets annually. If you are one of them, you may be entitled to compensation for such attacks, as well as for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses.
Liability in Dog Attacks
First, be aware that dog bite liability laws differ from state to state. Most states have laws that hold the owner liable without fault, which means that if the owner maintained the dog even after discovering that it may attack people, he can be held legally responsible for any subsequent attack. In such a case - as long as the dog was not provoked - all a victim needs to prove is that he was the recipient of a dog bite. (he can submit pictures, medical records, and witness testimony as this proof).
Other states hold dog owners liable on a case-by-case basis, meaning that the court will decide if the owner has previous knowledge of the animal's aggressive tendencies. In these states, the dog's past behavior is important and will be considered.
Also, remember to keep local leash laws in mind. If you are in an area with leash laws but are nonetheless the victim of a dog bite from an unleashed animal, your case is potentially very strong. Contact a dog attack attorney in your area to learn more
If You've Been the Victim of a Dog Bite or Attack
If you have suffered a dog bite-related personal injury, it is imperative that you take the following precautions. They will help you build a credible case:
- Receive appropriate medical attention and maintain copies of your records
- Talk to neighbors
- Talk to the dog's veterinarian
- Obtain a copy of the dog's medical history
- Investigate the scene
- Obtain obedience school records
- Obtain Animal Control records
- Obtain police reports
When to Seek a Personal Injury Attorney
Not every dog bite case requires a personal injury attorney. However, when deciding whether or not to press charges against the offending dog's owner, it is wise to consult a personal injury attorney who understands this complicated area of law. A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you receive just compensation for your physical injury, lost wages, future medical costs, and all other associated expenses should your case qualify. Contact one of the personal injury or dog attack attorneys in your area if:
- The dog's owner fails to accept responsibility for his dog's attacks
- You want to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve
- You anticipate future counseling needs, for which you deserve to be compensated
- You want to meet your state's statutes of limitations regarding dog bites and/or attacks
- You want to build a strong, effective case in response to your dog bite
Consult a Dog Bite Attorney
For more information about personal injury or dog bite law, please confer with one of the dog attack attorneys in your area.