If you or someone you care for is suffering from a dog bite injury, you have just cause for taking legal action.
Dog attacks in all forms create serious emotional and physical damage for victims. Most often, these traumatic events occur because of dog owner negligence.
You shouldn’t have to suffer at the expense of a dog owner’s laziness. There are more than 4 million dog bite victims in the U.S. each year, with around 800,000 victims needing medical attention following the attacks.
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Children make up half of this group, of which 386,000 need immediate medical attention. In 2019, postal workers around the country made up more than 5,000 of the attacks alone.
If a dog has bitten you or someone you love, read on to learn why it is necessary to hire a dog bite lawyer and get the justice you deserve.
Is A Dog Bite Lawyer Necessary?
- Some people are put off by the idea of seeking justice for their dog bite injuries.
- Many dog attacks are carried out by dogs living in the neighborhood or by dogs owned by close associates.
- Taking a passive stance on the issue is not uncommon, as it is based on the logic that causing problems between neighbors and other close acquaintances is unacceptable.
- As drama-free as this approach may be, it does not validate the severity of your suffering. The most appropriate response to a dog bite is to seek help from a competent dog bite lawyer.
- People in your neighborhood may also be willing to act as witnesses if they saw the attack.
- They may also have more information on other instances where the dog has attacked or displayed aggression towards others.
What Makes A Good Dog Bite Lawyer?
1. Experience With These Cases
Don’t make the mistake of hiring a lawyer who is inexperienced with dog bite cases. Dog bite cases can be complex, as laws related to these instances are not consistent across locations.
Plus, determining responsibility and coverage are two disputes that are not easily resolved.
2. Offers A Contingency Fee
A good dog bite lawyer will be willing to work with you on a contingency fee. This means that you do not need to pay anything upfront and that attorney’s fees are only applied if your case is won.
The contingency fee rules can vary from one dog bite lawyer to the next, but this is the general concept that most lawyers will abide by.
3. Can Defend Common Arguments
There are prohibitions of breed-specific laws that influence different states’ health and safety codes.
A good dog bite lawyer will know how to get around any statements that reduce the significance of injury based on arguments of dog-breed dislike.
Laws Applicable To Your Case
Different states in the U.S. have applied various laws regarding dog bites.
Currently, 32 U.S. states require rigid liability statutes over dog bites.
In major cities, the dog bite penalties are strict, especially in cases of dog owner neglect.
The “One-Bite Rule” Law
- The “One-Bite Rule,” which is the original dog bite law as specified under the Common Law, remains in effect in Texas and 17 other states.
- This law requires evidence of prior attacks and vicious or aggressive behavior.
- The One Free Bite Rule states that if a property owner is aware of a dangerous animal living on their property, it is their duty to protect nearby persons and warn them of potential danger.
- The second part of the law demands that as soon as the dog attacks someone, the owner must be held responsible.
Your dog bite lawyer will know how to get in touch with animal control to investigate prior attacks.
Other Laws Applicable To Dog Bite Cases
Even if this law is not applicable in your state, there are likely other laws that can be used to support your case.
1. Dangerous Dog Laws
- You may be able to may use one of the “dangerous dog laws,” which are a series of codes that allow the government more control in handling dangerous animals.
- Animal control is usually more involved in registering and handling aggressive dogs for states with stringent demands regarding these matters.
2. Dog Leash Laws
Your dog bite lawyer will also know if leash laws can be applied to your case. Leash laws impose total responsibility on the dog owner if the animal was off-leash during the attack.
The right dog bite lawyer will know how to use local municipal codes to defend your case adequately.
3. Rare Cases: Lillian’s Law
Lillian’s Law is also applicable when the injury results in severe injury or death.
- This law pertains to dog owner negligence whereby a dog that is usually tame acts aggressively and causes harm.
- The dog owner must have been aware of the fact that there was a risk of danger, i.e., (the owner knew that the dog had just given birth and was acting aggressively).
- This law coincides with the Restatement of Torts 518, which says that a dog owner is responsible for a dog’s harm to another person if they were negligent at preventing this harm.
If a dog has bitten you or someone you care for, it is imperative that you enlist the help of a dog bite lawyer who knows how to apply local laws in favor of your case.
Injuries From Dog Attacks
- The injuries from dog attacks can be severe and often include permanent scarring.
- Broken bones, extremities amputations, eye injuries, and lacerations are just a few of the severe damages that can occur from dog attacks.
- These physical injuries, along with experiencing the injury itself, both cause emotional scarring.
If you have been bitten by a vicious dog, contact animal control to report the incident.
Get Justice For Your Injuries
Experiencing a dog bite or dog attack is no small matter. The emotional and physical scars of this trauma can significantly interfere with one’s quality of life.
Get the justice you deserve and contact an experienced dog bite lawyer today.