Authorities estimate that 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Of those victims, 20% needed medical attention to address injuries sustained in the dog attack. If you have been bitten by a dog, it may be possible for you to receive financial compensation.
Here are some of the legal components that factor into the success of a dog bite legal case.
The owner's knowledge of his or her dog's aggressive tendencies.
Some dog bites come as a surprise to owners because their animal has not shown aggressive behavior in the past. In these instances it may be difficult for you to prove the owner was negligent in protecting you from their pet because the owner had no reason to suspect that protective measures were required to keep the general public safe.
The breed of dog you were bitten by plays a factor in determining the success of your case. Based on dog bite statistics, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds are the breeds most likely to bite.
Owning one of these breeds requires precautionary measures be taken to prevent a bite, so your judge may find in your favor if you have been bitten by a breed that is prone to going on the attack.
The dog bite statute in the state where you live.
Each state has the right to make its own laws when it comes to governing dog bites. There are two types of dog bite laws on the books in the United States today: the one-bite statute and the strict liability statute.
States with one-bite statutes essentially provide pet owners with one free bite. If a dog has bitten once, the owner knows of the aggression and is required to take measures to prevent a second bite from occurring.
Strict liability states only let a pet owner off the hook for his dog's attack if the victim was not legally allowed to be where the attack took place, or if the victim provoked the animal into attacking. Knowing which type of statute governs your state will help you better determine if your own dog bite case has a chance of being successful.
Dog bites are a unique type of personal injury. Because a dog doesn't have the ability to govern its actions, owners must take responsibility for the behavior of their pet. If you have been bitten it's important to understand that the judge presiding over your personal injury case will take into account the owner's knowledge of aggressive behavior and the statutes that govern dog bites in your state when deciding if you are entitled to financial compensation.
For more information, contact a professional like those at Lerner, Piermont & Riverol, P.A.
After I got into an accident a few years ago, I realized that I needed to hire an attorney, and fast. I didn't know how to proceed through the course of the investigation by my insurance company, so I searched the area for a personal injury lawyer who could help. I was really impressed with how intelligent my lawyer was and how hard he worked to make things right with my case. After a few months, my lawsuit was settled, and I really felt like I couldn't have done it without him. This blog is all about understanding personal injury law and the benefits of working with a lawyer.