Every state and locality has its own laws and/or case law that would govern how liability is imposed for dog bites. Our network of attorneys can help. Contact Us.
In most states, a dog owner is liable for dog bites by owning the dog. The owner cannot avoid liability by attempting to show that he or she obeyed all laws, acted reasonably, and did not know the dog was capable of biting. The owner's state of mind and freedom from negligence are irrelevant because liability is based on ownership of the dog.
If the conditions for liability are met, the victim can get money for all of the following things:
- Medical treatment such as first aid, emergency room, hospital, and ambulance
- Future medical treatment for scar reduction
- Psychological counseling to overcome the emotional trauma of the attack, fear of dogs
- Loss of earnings from work or the victim's business
- Torn clothing and broken glasses
Steps to protect your rights:
A dog bite victim needs to do the following things to protect his or her rights:
The facts of your claim have to be proved; the extent of your injuries have to be established. As obvious as these things might be to you, they will have to be proved to an insurance adjuster a few weeks or months after the attack. Make sure you get as much of the following information about the dog and owner as possible and make sure a doctor treating you notes all the facts concerning your injuries.
Make sure you do the following as soon after the attack as possible.
Identify the dog:
- Get the name and address and telephone number of the owner of the dog. If you can, obtain the dog license information.
- Get the name, address and telephone number of any potential witness.
- You may have to return to the accident scene, and knock on the doors of nearby homes and businesses.
- You also should revisit the scene of the accident several times at the same time at which the accident took place, because people may have a habit of going there as part of their daily routine.
- Take photos of all of your wounds, bruises and bloody clothing.
- If possible, obtain insurance information from the dog owner.
Be careful not waive your rights:
There are several ways you can lose your rights. Here are some rules to follow :
Do not sign anything! Sign nothing presented by any insurance company, the owner of the dog, the landlord or other owner of the property where the attack took place. Do not write or make a report for, any insurance company, dog owner, or landlord or other property owner.
Contact an Attorney There are laws called "statutes of limitations" that say you lose all of your rights unless you file a court case within a certain amount of time after an incident. Therefore, call a lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will help get evidence and monitor your medical treatment. Your attorney will deal with the insurance company to make sure you get the full compensation you deserve.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States seeks medical attention for a dog bite. There are approximately 800,000 bites per year in the United States that require medical treatment. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us to get legal help.