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Is Pursuing Legal Action After a Dog Bite Worth It?

Is Pursuing Legal Action After a Dog Bite Worth It?

by | Oct 21, 2021 | Dog Bites, Personal Injury

Did you know that over 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the US every year? In most cases, the bites do not cause significant injuries. However, an estimated 800,000 bites require medical care and this means serious medical bills, not to mention all the pain and suffering. The question is should you pursue legal action after a dog bite?

We’ll have a look at the pros and cons of hiring a lawyer and seeking compensation from the dog owner.

What does the law say about dog bites?

The chances of you making a successful legal claim after a dog bite rely heavily on the legislation in your state.

Many American states have introduced strict liability laws concerning dog bites. This means that dog owners can be held accountable for all damages and injuries caused by their pet, whether or not they had knowledge that the animal might be dangerous. However, the strict liability clause does not apply if the victim was trespassing on private property or if they did something to provoke the dog.

On the other hand, in those states using the ‘one bite’ rule, pursuing legal action might be more difficult. The ‘one bite’ rule basically allows a dog one free bite. If it’s the dog’s first offense, the owner may claim they had no way of knowing their dog might be aggressive and therefore they are not guilty of negligence.

dog bites and pursuing legal action

What to do if you were bitten by a dog?

If it’s the first time this happens to you, you probably don’t know much about the laws that apply in your state. In this case, you should seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer.

At Eric Blank Injury Attorneys, we offer you an initial free consultation so it doesn’t cost you anything to talk to an attorney.

At the same time, talking to a lawyer can help you understand if you do have a case. A savvy lawyer knows the laws as well as the legal precedents and can tell you if you have any chance.

As a rule, minor bites that only warrant a quick trip to the ER are not serious enough to justify suing the dog owner. In personal injury cases, damages are calculated relative to your medical bills. If you only needed to have your wound cleaned and dressed, that’s not a significant medical expense and you cannot claim much in damages. In these cases, it’s often not worth your time or that of your lawyer, but you can still consult with a professional to make sure. 

However, if you’ve sustained serious injuries that caused significant pain and made you skip work things are pretty serious and you’re entitled to fair compensation.

Another factor that plays into this is where the incident occurred. If you were in a public place, like a park, and someone brought a dangerous dog there, they are guilty of negligence and they should pay for it.

If a dog bit your child, it is often advisable to pursue a claim against the dog owner. Due to their size and general frailty, small children are more likely to sustain significant injuries. A child that gets bitten on the face risks being disfigured for the rest of its life. Also, a child will sustain an emotional trauma after a violent incident like a dog attack. If that is the case, your lawyer will probably advise you to pursue legal action.

Pursuing a case for this does not necessarily mean you will have to go to court. In fact, most dog bite claims are settled out of court. To ensure this happens, you will need an experienced lawyer to negotiate with the dog owner and their insurance if you are to get fair compensation. Get in touch with our team and Get BETTER with BLANK. 

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