According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, with one out of five bites becoming infected. While dog bite attacks can occur anywhere, the majority happen in the home or in the dog owner’s yard. Below is an overview of the laws regarding dog bites and who is liable for injuries when an accident occurs. If you have been injured by a dog bite, it may be helpful to contact a personal injury attorney for advice.
Many dog bites occur while people are visiting the homes of friends and family. This may cause the injured party to be concerned about seeking compensation for their injuries because they do not want to cause loved ones financial hardship. However, in most dog bite cases the dog’s owner does not have to pay for the victim’s damages because they may be covered by one or more of their existing insurance policies:
- Renter’s Insurance
- Homeowner’s Insurance
- Commercial Liability Insurance
- Property Insurance Purchased By A Landlord
- Car Insurance
- Pet Insurance
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries can range from mild to disfiguring. Studies have shown that most dog bite victims are children ages 5 to 9. Among adults, men are bitten more often than women. Some of the most common injuries associated with dog bites in children and adults are:
- Scarring of the face
- Nerve damage
- Puncture wounds
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Emotional distress
What If The Dog Owner Does Not Have Insurance?
When someone is bitten by a dog, the dog owner’s insurance typically pays for the victim’s medical bills and lost wages. But what if the dog’s owner does not have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to cover the expenses associated with the attack? In these instances, a personal injury attorney may be able to recover money for the victim’s injuries by filing a lawsuit against the owner and seek their personal assets.
How Can A Lawyer Help Dog Bite Victims?
Dog bite victims who suffer a serious injury will most likely have serious medical expenses and lose time from work. They may also be unsure of how to move forward with their case to obtain a settlement for their injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help by:
- Gathering evidence to prove liability
- Consulting with medical experts to build a strong case
- Negotiating with insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Calculating lost wages and medical bills to establish a damage figure
- Filing court documents to pursue a lawsuit if necessary
- Representing you in court to protect your rights
If you or someone you care about has been the victim of a dog bite, contact a personal injury attorney at once. During a consultation, your attorney will go over the facts surrounding your case and let you know the best way to move ahead to obtain a settlement for your injuries. While being bitten by a dog is a traumatic event, having an experienced personal injury lawyer you trusts on your side can greatly reduce the stress and anxiety associated with your case.