What Can The Victim Of A Dog Bite Recover In Damages

Dog bite lawsuits are at an all-time high in America, and in many cases it is not the animal's fault. Unfortunately, in this day and age, you can still find puppy mills filled with dogs bred specifically for fighting. Animal neglect is also rampant, and there are millions of homeless animals roaming the streets of America. This is not only a scary situation for the animals who are trying to protect themselves, but there are also numerous safety concerns for the individuals who may find themselves in the path of an abused, rabid or angry animal that attacks.

Currently, there are nearly five million animal attacks yearly in the United States, ranging in severity from minor bites or scratches, to vicious encounters that result in injury or death. While death occurs in fewer than 100 of the reported dog bites or attacks that occur across America annually, dog bites that require medical treatment or hospitalization are quite common.

To avoid an animal attack, it is important to use common sense. Avoid dogs that are growling, baring their teeth, snapping, or foaming at the mouth; that appear vicious or uncared for; or that have heavy chains around their neck. If you see a dog which frightens you or which is acting aggressively, cross the street or take a different route if at all possible. Never approach a strange dog without the owner's permission.
If you have done everything you can to avoid being bitten by a dog, and you become the victim of a dog bite or attack nevertheless, seek medical help immediately. You may also want to hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bites and other animal attacks, particularly if you have sustained significant injuries that result in medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.

A personal injury attorney or lawyer will be well-versed in your state and local dog bite laws, and they will have the ability to argue your dog bite case on your behalf, in order to recover the maximum amount of damages you are entitled to under your states law.

In certain states, dog owners are only able to be held accountable for a dog attack if their dog has previously shown vicious tendencies, which have to be proven. This can be proven if the dog has bitten or attacked a person before. If proven, the victim is able to recover medical bills and damages for pain, mental anxiety, and permanent scarring, as well as punitive damages.

In other states, however, a dog owner is responsible for all bites, even if the dog never bit anyone before. In every state, however, a victim can recover compensation from a person whose negligence caused the attack, a person who violated a leash law or a dog bite law prohibiting dogs from "running at large," or a person who kept a dog with the knowledge that the dog had a history of injuring people.

Some states furthermore distinguish between potentially dangerous, dangerous or vicious dogs. Certain regulations may pertain to the confinement and care of these dogs, and whether or not a dog falls under one of these categories may also bear upon the potential of a lawsuit.

If the victim of a dog attack had been trespassing or committing a criminal offense at the time of the attack, then there can be no suit. Also, there can be no recovery if the dog was being teased or tormented by the victim at the time of the attack.

There are also certain provisions regarding dog attacks in which the victim is another dog or domestic animal. In these instances, the types of compensation one can recover in damages may equal the amount of the veterinary bills, although some courts have ruled that the victimized dog's owner can only recover no more than the dog's market value.
To find an experienced personal injury attorney or lawyer visit the American Bar Association.


Legal•Info State Dog And Animal Bite Information

Legal•Info State Resources

Find legal information and lawyers that specialize in Dog And Animal Bite by state: