Dogs are the most popular type of pet in the United States and, most of the time, they deserve their reputation as man’s best friend. Dog attack injuries are relatively rare, but if you are injured by a dog, filing a personal injury claim, with the help of a lawyer, can compensate you for your injuries, scarring, pain, lost time from work among other damages.
What Should You Do After a Dog Attack Accident?
If you suffer serious injuries that require medical attention, the first and most important thing to do is to attend to your injuries. Go straight to the emergency room, where you can receive prompt medical attention from doctors experienced in treating people with traumatic injuries, including people who have been injured by dog attacks.
After you receive treatment for your injuries, it is time to think about recovering compensation for your medical bills, any scarring, pain, suffering and inconvenience, as well as the time you may have missed from work as a result of your injuries. As any personal injury lawyer can tell you, dog owners are responsible for keeping their dogs away from situations where the dog has the opportunity to attack a person or another dog.
For example, Massachusetts and many other states have strict rules about dogs wearing leashes in most public places, and it is not legal to leave a dog unsupervised in a place where it can attack people, even if the dog does not have a history of aggressive behavior. Therefore, if you are injured by dog , it will not be difficult for a lawyer to prove that the dog owner is liable for the attack.
Can a Lawyer Always Recover Compensation for the Injured Person?
In dog attack cases, unlike other personal injury cases, a lawyer does not need to demonstrate that the plaintiff sustained injuries as a result of the dog owner’s negligence. Instead, in the majority of states, lawsuits for dog attack injuries are based on a theory of strict liability, but with some exceptions and limitations. This means, under most circumstances, that dog owners can automatically be held liable when their dog attacks someone. Still, dog attacks can happen in a wide variety of circumstances, and the court may decide that the plaintiff bears some responsibility for the attack. Consider the following scenario:
The defendant ties up his dog outside a coffee shop and goes inside to buy coffee. The plaintiff is in the coffee shop, drinking coffee and conversing with friends, while her child wanders outside and begins playing with the defendant’s dog. The dog does not like being touched by strangers, especially when its owner is not present, and it attacks the child. The fact that the plaintiff allowed the child to wander away and provoke a stranger’s dog to attack weakens the plaintiff’s case, since the plaintiff certainly had a duty to supervise her child in public. Likewise, if a dog attacks a trespasser in the dog owner’s own yard, the court may find that the dog’s owner is not strictly liable for the plaintiff’s injury, but may still find liability under a different standard.
Dog attack laws vary by state, including the legal defenses and exceptions available for dog owners. It is usually helpful to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience dealing with these cases to ensure you know which laws your state applies to dog attack cases.
When to Contact a Dog Attack Lawyer
If you have been injured by a dog that is not your own pet, you probably have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a personal injury attorney who works on dog attack injury cases today.