Contacting an injury attorney is a recommended option for people who have suffered a dog bite through no fault of their own and when the dog in question belongs to someone else. Dog owners are responsible for having their canines properly trained and socialized to be used to being around different people. Failure to do so often results in dogs that bite, and this situation gives a bite victim grounds for legal action.
A personal injury attorney can successfully argue the case that dog owners should be financially responsible for medical costs for a dog bite victim. Depending on local laws, some dog bite victims may be eligible for “emotional distress” compensation settlements. This type of settlement also depends on the situation in which the dog bite occurred and the extent of the injury. Some state also have “no fault” laws, which can have an effect on the outcome of a dog bite injury claim. These jurisdictions consider dog bite injury claims on a case by case basis, so it’s also important for plaintiffs to keep copies of all evidence that the incident indeed took place.
Some of the best chances of winning a dog bite injury case come from obtaining thorough records, including copies of the dog’s medical history and obedience school records. Owners who never bothered to send their dogs to obedience school can strengthen a plaintiff’s case. Victims who never provoked an untrained dog often want to press charges against the owner, but they’re advised to consult an attorney first.
Various states also have different laws in place for dog owners whose animals have histories of biting others. One example is a Colorado law in place to protect future victims of dog bites. If a dog bites someone even once, owners in this state are required to inform the dog’s veterinarian, groomer and others that the animal may be dangerous and prone to biting others. This law is in place to help reduce the number of dog bite personal injury cases in the courts.
According to numbers available from the Centers for Disease control, about 4.5 million people incur dog bite injuries each year. Small children are especially susceptible to serious injuries from a dog attack. These kinds of cases of more serious dog bites inflicted on children tend to have higher success rates of monetary settlements being paid out in court.
In states with “no fault” laws regarding dog bites, the dog owner is held liable if the courts determine the owner kept the dog even after she or he found out the dog may bite other people. With the determination, the dog owner is held responsible for the bite victim’s medical treatment, any time off from work and sometimes emotional distress. In other states without these “no fault” laws, hiring a personal injury lawyer with experience in dog bite cases is vital. In any type of jurisdiction, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can get clients fair compensation for being the victim of a dog bite.