If you have been bitten by a dog, the owner of that animal may be guilty of negligence resulting in injury. Consulting with a personal injury attorney may be the best way to make sense of the legal process and how to seek compensation for your emotional and physical wounds. Your attorney may be able to deal with the insurance companies and your health care providers to ensure that you have nothing to worry about except getting better.
How Much Might My Dog Bite Case Be Worth?
In the event that you are bitten by a dog, you are entitled to compensation for financial damages related to that bite. At a minimum, you will be entitled to a financial award to pay for your medical bills, lost wages and lost future earnings if you can’t return to work.
You are also entitled to compensation for long-term medical bills as a result of dog attack. For example, if you need to take anxiety medication or medication to help you sleep at night, your settlement or jury award may cover those costs. You may also be entitled to any money needed to pay for a therapist or any other assistance that you need to overcome the emotional turmoil that your accident may have caused.
If the dog that bit you also attacked your pets or children, that dog’s owner may also be responsible for their treatment as well. This may include the cost to euthanize your pet if it was likely to succumb to its injuries in addition to the cost of replacing that animal if you so desire.
Proving Negligence in a Dog Bite Case
To prove negligence, an individual must show that he or she suffered damages as a result of the dog bite. An attorney will generally point to hospital bills or the fact that an individual was forced to miss work or stop working altogether as proof of damages.
Even if an individual is not injured in an accident, he or she may be able to point to property damage in an effort to prove negligence on behalf of a dog owner. Pictures of a broken fence or damage to a front or back door may also be evidence that a loose dog wandered onto your property without a leash or its owner nearby. This may be important if the owner of the dog that bit you claims that you or one of your animals instigated the attack.
What If You Can’t Prove a Dog Bite Was the Result of Owner Negligence?
Typically, animal attacks fall under what are referred to as strict liability laws. In other words, a dog’s owner is responsible for its actions at all times. This is true even if the dog had never attacked another person or animal before. It may even be true in the event that the dog felt threatened or was taking action to defend its owner from a perceived threat.
Therefore, you generally only have to prove that you were bitten by a dog and that its owner didn’t take steps to keep the dog from causing harm. In most jurisdictions, a dog must be on a leash if it is in the yard or out for a walk. A dog owner may also be responsible for notifying authorities as soon as that person knows that the dog is missing.
If you have been hurt by a dog, the person who owns that animal deserves to be held responsible for his or her lack of oversight. Your attorney will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that you receive a favorable outcome in your case. While there is no way to guarantee what your case may be worth, your legal representative will work as hard as possible to get maximum compensation as called for by state law.