Animal Attacks FAQs
Can An Animal Attack Traumatize a Person for Life?
Any time an animal, such as a dog bites a human being, there will be some degree of trauma for life, although a lot is based on the severity of the injuries from the attack, although the trauma is usually enough to make them not trust dogs. A dog’s teeth are designed to tear into flesh, so when a dog actually bites someone with its powerful jaws, that can stay with them for life, mentally and physically; besides the physical scars, which plastic surgeons can repair, although not eradicate, there are often emotional scars.
Who is Liable for the Dog that Bit Me?
For the most part, it would be the owner of the dog, and their homeowners’ insurance will usually cover that, unless the animal has been specifically excluded under the insurance policy. There can be circumstances in which a premise owner who allows a dangerous animal on its premises can be liable, but for the most part, it can be the dog owner and/or the premises owner. If you’re at a restaurant that allows pit bulls or any other type of dangerous dog into an area where other customers frequent and one attacks, it’s possible to make a claim against the restaurant owner, since they allowed this viscous animal onto their premises.
Why Do People Hesitate to Pursue Dog Bite Cases?
Usually, they may know or have a relationship with the dog owner, so they don’t pursue it, but they should know that the claim is made against the dog owner’s insurance company, so it rarely has an effect on the dog owner personally. In some cases, there may be an unjustified feeling of guilt or embarrassment involved, like when people fall and get up immediately and pretend they’re okay, even if their back is hurt.
Misconceptions About Dog Bite Cases.
One misconception many people have is that just because they were bitten; the dog owner or their insurance company is automatically liable, which is not true. You have to prove that there was some amount of negligence involved unless the type of animal that bit you was inherently vicious animal. Pit bulls are far and away the most vicious dogs out there; about 80 percent of the 100-plus dog bite cases I’ve handled in my career involved pit bulls.
There are exceptions, of course; sometimes a breed of dog that’s not normally vicious, such as a Labrador, may become sicker as it gets older, and it may become grumpy and more likely to attack. Also, any dog that has been abused and beaten can change its temperament and demeanor.
Thankfully, all of the cases I handle, including dog bite cases, are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means there’s no fee unless there’s a recovery. Since there is no upfront costs, you can find out from me if you have a case.
If I Was Accused of Provoking the Dog, Does that Mean I Don’t Have a Case?
Not at all; first of all, what exactly is provoking the dog? If you’re beating a dog and it defends itself, that may affect whether or not you have a case, but if you are patting a dog and it attacks you, an insurance company may try to claim you provoked it but it’s not likely the jury will see it that way. The fact that you’re accused of provoking the dog doesn’t mean that you’re guilty of such a thing and it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a case.
What Are the Leash Laws in the State, How Do they Apply to My Case?
If someone’s dog is not on a leash in a public area, they’re violating the law and they are perhaps negligent; that’s what we refer to as negligent per se, which means their negligence is in violation of a written law and those are often easier dog bit cases.
What Should I Do if My Friend’s Dog Bit Me?
Once again, the claim is made against your friend’s homeowners insurance, so it won’t have much effect on your friend personally. If your friend really cares about you, they’ll want you to recover for your damages against the insurance; that’s why they pay those premiums in the first place. If your friend doesn’t want you to make a claim against their insurance coverage after the dog bit you, they probably weren’t really your friend to begin with.
What Are the Worst Types of Injuries Sustained During an Animal Attack?
Usually, the worst types of injuries sustained in an animal attack are facial injuries. Sometimes, a small child will smile at the dog and the dog thinks they are showing their teeth and they attack. Pit bulls are very vicious. And they often don’t stop at the bite; they’re killers and they keep going once they’ve taste that blood, and it’s often necessary to rescue someone from a pit bull attack.
Do Dog Bite Cases Take Long?
Like any case, until we’re able to adequately evaluate the damages, we won’t attempt to settle the case, which means that won’t happen until someone’s reached what we call maximum medical improvement, which means they’re either fully recovered or as good as they can get. At that point, we can hire experts and doctors to look at the injuries and make a prognosis of what the person’s needs will be in the future, which means we can sit down and set a fair value on the case. Sometimes, reaching that point might take a few months, although sometimes it may take an year or longer.
What Steps Should Someone Take After Being Attacked by an Animal?
Seek medical care immediately; often it’s necessary to get some type of antibiotic or antiviral medications, and you need to make sure you’re up-to-date in your rabies shot, tetanus shots and things of that nature, in order to prevent further infection. Then, seek legal advice immediately.
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