You must be able to prove a case
After a dog bite incident, medical bills can rack up pretty quickly for the dog owner depending on the severity of the bites. But whether the dog bites were severe or not, the law allows for accident victims to recover damages against the parties that harmed them. Basically what that means is that if someone hurts you, they have to pay whatever it takes to put you back into the level of happiness that you were in before they hurt you. This, of course, is not the case for every injury case. An injured victim must be able to prove a case for negligence.
Medical bills are always the first part of a dog bite damage equation. Typically, the higher the medical bills are, the higher the total amount of damages will be. That is certainly not always the case, but it is illustrative of the general rule. Before a dog bit you, you did not have painful lacerations on your arms and legs. Before a dog bit you, you were able to run and jump and go about your normal day as opposed to being forced to visiting your doctor several times and constantly treating and bandaging your lacerations and abrasions to make sure that they are healing properly and that they are not infected so you can avoid permanent impairments.
General damages are different from special damages in that they have no precise value. We are forced to do our best to simply assign a fair value to them. Physical pain and suffering entitle one to general damages. Emotional distress such as fear and anxiety of running in the park would also entitle a victim to recover general damages. These damages are extremely difficult to value. An experienced dog bite lawyer can give you extremely valuable insight as to what your general damages should be. Attempting to negotiate your claim on your own will almost always result in you being under-compensated.
What You Need to Know About Dog Bite Law
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog every year in the United States. About 900,000 of those bites require medical attention. In most states, the simple fact that you own or keep a dog that bit somebody is sufficient to hold you liable for any damages that were caused by the bite. In other states, the victim must prove that the dog’s owner or keeper knew or should have known that the dog was either vicious, or the owner was otherwise negligent like being in violation of a state statute or local ordinance.
Most states have a written strict liability dog bite law. A victim need not show negligence or intent. The fact that the victim was bitten by a dog owned or kept by the defendant is a sufficient basis for prevailing in a claim or lawsuit, so long as the victim didn’t provoke the dog and wasn’t trespassing. The simple rationale behind dog bite strict liability is that if you own or keep a dog on premises that you own or occupy, you should be liable for any damages that it causes.
The one free bite rule
In states that don’t have a written dog bite law, the general rule is that every dog gets one free bite. Under this rule, the dog’s owner or keeper might be held liable for a bite if he or she knew that their dog had bitten somebody in the past or had behaved in the past like it was going to bite somebody. The rule can also apply to situations like when a large and friendly dog jumps up to greet somebody, knocks him or her down and causes injuries. If a state has no written dog bite law, an owner or keeper of a dog can still be held strictly liable if a local strict liability ordinance exists.
Unless a state has a statute limiting what a dog bite victim might receive for his or her injuries, certain generally compensable damages might consist of:
– Past medical bills and medical bills reasonably expected to be incurred in the future
– Any past lost earnings and earnings reasonably expected to be lost in the future like plastic surgery
– Any permanent disfigurement
– Any permanent disability
– Pain and suffering
– Loss of a normal life
– Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death
Nearly all home and business owners have insurance that will cover a dog attack or accident. Renters might even have coverage. Never give a written or recorded statement of what happened to the opposing insurance company. The law doesn’t require you to do so, and that opposing insurer only wants to try to use that statement against you in the future to attack your credibility.
You’ll serve yourself well by speaking with a knowledgeable and experienced dog bite attorney right away after an incident or attack. Free consultations and case evaluations are available.
Dog Bite Treatment For Humans
While comrades of the canine variety are often referred to as man’s best friend, they have been occasionally known to bite the hand that feeds them. Whether it be a puppy who’s merely teething and still hasn’t figured this whole biting thing out yet, an older dog who is overly playful or angered and nips hard, or an unknown dog that could have rabies or any number of unknown diseases, it is important to know just what to do if you have been bitten and how to take care of the wound. While most cases shouldn’t require a visit to the hospital, you should always take special care with an open wound from a dog bite.
When bit by a dog, more often than not, we wind up with a superficial scrape instead of a deeper gash or puncture wound. For the most part, we ignore these, writing them off as part and parcel of playing with dogs and knowing they will heal rather quickly. While this is true, it is still important to take the proper precautions and clean out the wound, first with running water, then with either hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol to clear out any infections. Finish up the process by spreading a topical antibiotic over the cut and covering it up with a bandage.
Serious Dog Bites And How To Handle Them
If you have the unfortunate displeasure of receiving a more sizable puncture wound from a dog’s teeth, you may need to be even more cautious. If the wound is gushing profusely or is in the head/neck region, or if you are bit by a strange dog that may or may not have a disease, call 911 immediately to make sure that you receive the proper care. However, barring those circumstances, you should be fine with self care. First, do not be afraid to let the wound bleed for about five minutes or so before moving on to the next step; allowing it to bleed will clean out most debris from the gash. After the five minutes, see if you can stop the bleeding through the application of direct pressure. If it stops, clean the cut by running it under water with some mild soap for a couple of minutes. Do not use hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol for a puncture wound, as this can impede the healing process. Finally, you can bandage the puncture if you like, but this is not required for healing to take place.
If you are bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be within your rights to receive compensation for the damages incurred. Contact your local mesa injury lawyer quickly after being bitten so that they can act as your negotiator with the dog owner’s insurance company or in any necessary litigation. The sooner you call your attorney, the sooner an investigation can begin to establish liability for the bite and determine whether insurance coverage will apply in this case or not.
Although we hate to see anyone get injured by a dog, it’s a reality that happens far too often. It can be traumatizing for the victim as well as upsetting for the owner of the dog. This article breaks down the laws Arizona has regarding dog bites and the rights victims and owners have in dog bite cases.
Arizona’s dog bite laws
Arizona has specific laws regarding dog bite cases. In order to hold a dog owner liable, the injured party must show that the injury was caused by a dog bite and that the bite was suffered while the injured person was either in a public place or lawfully in a private place. This also only applies to injuries caused by dog bites, not other injuries that may have been caused by a dog.
Arizona’s liability law is a strict liability law, meaning that the law applies even if the owner didn’t know the dog was going to bite and even if the dog has never bitten anyone before.
Defenses to an Arizona dog bite injury claim
There are two defenses a dog owner can raise in Arizona in a dog bite injury claim: provocation and trespassing. A dog owner is not liable if the dog was provoked. The injured person has to have done something a reasonable person would consider revoking. If the injured person was trespassing onto private property when they were bitten the dog owner will not be liable either. This is also an example of homeowner liability for trespassing injuries.
Deadline for Arizona dog bite lawsuits
There is a statute of limitations for dog bite lawsuits in Arizona. These cases must be filed within two years of the bite or the court will most likely throw out the case. Be aware of this deadline and make sure to file your case before it expires.