If a dog has seriously bitten you or a loved one, a dog attack lawyer can help you get maximum compensation for your injuries. Get in touch with several animal bite accident attorneys to discuss your case during a free consultation. Dog bite lawyers are personal injury lawyers who are experienced with cases against negligent dog owners or any pet owners whose animals caused serious harm to someone.
While many dogs are loving members of the family, dogs can be unpredictable and bite for any reason or no reason at all. It doesn’t matter if the dog has been with the family for a long time or if the dog has never exhibited any aggressive behavior. Dogs can bite if they are scared, excited, playing, or sick or if they are around food, a valued toy, or protecting puppies. Dogs can also be breeds that are known to exhibit aggressive behavior. If a dog owner does not properly train their dog, leash them, or keep the public safe from their dog and their dog bites someone, they are responsible for the harm caused.
Dog Bite Statistics in the US
Dog bites are not uncommon.
- Dog bites affect 4.5 million people each year in the US.
- 800,000 of those result in injury that requires medical attention.
- The breed associated with causing the most human deaths is pitbull at 65% of all dog-related deaths or 284 deaths between 2005 – 2020.
- Rottweilers account for 11% of all dog-related deaths.
- 1 in 73 people is bitten by a dog every year.
- Children are most at risk of being attacked by a dog, often a familiar dog during everyday activities.
At Personal Injury Lawyer Network, we will put you in touch with a local dog bite accident attorney that will fight for your case to seek financial compensation for the maximum damages you may be entitled to. Get compensation to pay your medical bills, to cover your lost wages if you couldn’t work, and to cover your pain and suffering from your accident.
Irresponsible dog owners of dogs who have attacked and hurt people must be held accountable for the danger they created in the public and for the damage they have done to a victim’s life.
If you or your loved one was injured by a dog or other animal, get connected to an animal bite accident lawyer today.
Who is Liable in a Dog Bite Attack?
Laws differ by states and jurisdiction. In some states, a strict liability law dictates that the pet owner is liable for injuries and property damage regardless of whether they acted negligently or if the dog had a history of violent behavior. The location of the dog attack can be in a public place, while lawfully on private property, or even at the pet owner’s property.
Other states use a one-bite law where proof of negligence is required to determine liability. Within one-bite states, a pet owner will only be proven negligent if their dog has a history of violence and the owner was negligent in preventing subsequent bites.
Dog Bite Injury Lawyers are Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury law covers most accidents that involve serious injuries sustained by a person at the negligence of another. Common types of personal injury lawsuits occur with car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, workplace accidents, and slip and fall accidents.
When you have been involved in an accident where you are not at fault, or partially at fault, find a personal injury lawyer that has experience in your type of accident. Laws are complex and vary by state and by accident type. Having a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney or personal injury law firm that has a track record of winning dog bite accident cases in your area is important to give you the best chance at recovering your maximum compensation.
Why It’s Important to Speak to a Dog Bite Accident Attorney Soon After Your Accident
Although a dog bite accident victim is eligible for compensation for their losses both economic losses and non-economic such as pain and suffering, there are several barriers that make it difficult for the average person to be able to fight for a dog bite injury claim equivalent to the value of their case.
Those barriers include:
The plaintiff doesn’t know the value of their claim. Many plaintiffs seriously underestimate the value of their claims. Estimating the value of a claim is dependent on many factors – the attorneys’ ability to prove liability for both economic and non-economic losses. Without an attorney, plaintiffs are vulnerable to accepting a low settlement offer from an insurance company and having no basis for negotiating higher.
The plaintiff does not know their legal rights.
A dog bite accident attorney helps plaintiffs protect their rights and understand their rights.
Insurance companies of defendants are excellent at reducing their liability.
They are incentivized to minimize claim payouts for their business. They will often offer a low initial settlement offer to encourage the victim into signing early without pursuing further investigation by a personal injury lawyer.
If you sign an initial settlement agreement, you waive all rights
to further pursue financial compensation even if it was later determined that the value was too low. This is why it’s extremely important to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Often is the case that the initial settlement offer is far too low. You do not want to sign away your right to fair compensation.
The plaintiff doesn’t know what NOT to say
to an insurance company that can be used against them and hurt their case.
Laws are unique, complex, complicated,
and specific to different types of accidents. Plaintiffs benefit from a lawyer to protect their rights and navigate the law.
- The plaintiff will unlikely be able to investigate and gather evidence to the degree a legal team with resources can for their clients.
A dog bite accident lawyer will seek to recover losses where applicable from the following areas:
Economic Losses: These losses are generally directly related to costs the victim has to pay as a result of the accident.
- Medical treatments and medical expenses: All medical treatment as a result of the accident can be factored in including emergency medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, cost of surgeries, and any future medical treatment needed as a result of the accident.
- Lost wages: Lost wages occur from the inability to work and lost future wages can occur if the damages cause you to not be able to work in the future.
Non-Economic Losses: These losses are more challenging to calculate but an experienced personal injury lawyer can help evaluate the total eligible losses for your case.
- Loss of normalcy in life and the ability to enjoy life.
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Loss of a family member
- Permanent Disability
Who Pays in a Dog Bite Claim?
In the case of a dog bite incident, generally, a homeowner’s insurance policy is available to cover the damages a dog causes.
When Should I Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have been a victim of a serious dog attack, get connected to local dog bite accident lawyers as soon as possible. It’s important to speak to an experienced dog bite accident lawyer because they will help you fight for compensation and help you understand what needs to happen to build a strong case such as advising you on what you should and shouldn’t say to insurance companies.
If you had an animal attack incident and haven’t filed an accident claim yet, there is a statute of limitations on the amount of time you have to file a dog bite lawsuit. For most states, this is 2 years. For several states, this is 1 year. Don’t wait to take action. A year passes by very quickly when you are dealing with medical issues and life changes. It also becomes progressively harder to build a strong case in your favor as evidence at the scene may begin to disappear and witnesses become hard to get a hold of after a few months.
Right after an accident, victims of dog bites are often in a fearful, confused, or worried state of mind. There are doctors’ appointments to deal with, painful injuries, work to manage, and more. Dealing with all of these things can be frustrating. This is when a victim may be most vulnerable to a home owner’s insurance company’s adjuster’s call. They may be empathetic but it’s important to remember that insurance companies are not on your side. They are seeking ways to minimize liability. It is best to talk to a dog bite injury attorney immediately.
Make sure you know what your rights are. Get a free case evaluation from a local Dog bite accidents attorney that is experienced in these kinds of accidents and in the laws in your state and region. If you retain a Dog bite accidents lawyer, they can field all communication from the defendant’s insurance company so you are protected.
You Can Afford a Dog Bite Attorney
Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency. That means that they only get paid on the contingency of winning your case for you. Lawyers paid on contingency will finance their client’s cases until they win. This means that their incentives are aligned with their clients to win. They are not paid by the hour.
If they don’t win, you don’t pay. A contingency fee basis allows accident victims a low-risk solution to getting professional legal support in filing a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, an attorney may not cover court fees in the case that the lawsuit goes to court but you will pay no fees to your attorney unless you win. You can ask them what their fee structure is when you talk to them during a free consultation of your case!
Statistically, people who hire an attorney to represent them are rewarded 3.5x that of people who try to represent themselves. (Source: Research Insurance Council)
A dog bite accident attorney’s fee may range from 33% – 40%. You’ll want to be sure to ask during your free consultation what each attorney’s fee structure is when payment is due and any costs that run outside of payment. Compare multiple attorneys within our network.
You don’t pay unless you win. Get connected with our short form and ask dog bite accidents lawyers in your area about whether they work on contingency fee structures.
Experienced Dog Bite Attorneys Help By:
- Being Experts in The Law: Laws are complex and vary based on the accident type, regulations, locale, and state. The average person isn’t familiar with the specifics of the law and what they entail or how to build a legal strategy.
- Gathering Evidence: Evidence is crucial in establishing liability. A lawyer needs to prove that the driver who hit you was negligent. They also need to fight for the amount of compensation which includes both economic and non-economic damages.
- Determining Liability: Liability in a personal injury case must be proven.
- Communicating on your behalf with insurance companies.
- Preparing a Solid Legal Claim and Strategy for Your Case.
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Representing you if your lawsuit goes to trial. About 96% of lawsuits settle outside of court.
- Working on contingency so you don’t pay unless you win!
- Maximizing your compensation payout based on a full assessment of economic and non-economic losses you sustained as a result of the attack.
- Helping fight for you during this difficult time. A skilled attorney will take care of everything legally to create a strong case for you. You can feel comfortable that you have a legal team working on your case that is going to win or you don’t pay.
What to Look for in a Dog Bite Injury Attorney
These are some questions you can ask in addition to speaking about your accident during your free consultation to help you make informed decisions about your legal options.
- Compare dog bite attorneys. Use our short form by clicking on the “Get a free consultation” button on our menu or call our number to connect with dog bite accident attorneys in your location. It’s best to compare your options to find one that you are comfortable using.
- Understand the fee structure. Confirm if they are paid on contingency. Among the questions you have for them, you can ask for details such as when payment occurs and what percentage it is. Are there any other costs you should expect if you work with them?
- Ask about their track record of wins and experience in dog bite or animal attack accident cases in your state and area. An attorney’s experience with animal attack accidents, state laws, and your specific area is incredibly valuable to increase your odds of winning your case and maximizing your compensation claim. For example, attorneys well-practiced in specific cities know how the general population may respond in a courtroom. Their specific experience of case wins in your city with your type of accident helps them create a case that can win in a courtroom or achieve a settlement in your favor. That’s why we match you to local attorneys in our network who can speak to you about your accident in a free consultation.
Get a free consultation with dog bite accident attorneys from our network. Be sure to take notes and compare so you can make the decision that you feel most comfortable with.
What Should I Do if I Was Attacked by a Dog?
If you are ever involved in a dog bite accident, some tips from personal injury lawyers will include the following steps to take:
- Immediately secure yourself or have the animal secured.
- Don’t try to handle the dog. You may get attacked again.
- Go to a safe place where the dog can’t attack you.
- If the owner is there, ask the owner to secure their dog.
- Call 911 to report the accident and get help.
- Report the accident as soon as you can.
- Make sure you call from a safe place away from danger.
- This creates an official record of the incident which you will need when filing a car accident claim.
- Collect information about your accident.
- After medical treatment from emergency technicians has been given at the scene, exchange contact information with others in the accident. Get the names and phone numbers of witnesses.
- Take pictures and videos of the scene and get a police report.
- Use your cell phone to take photos and videos of the entire accident scene.
- Photos will have better resolution and videos can show more information about the accident scene.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Make sure you receive medical care even if no injuries are visible.
- In many cases, injuries sustained in a traumatic event such as a sudden impact car accident may not be obvious to a victim until later. Be sure to get checked out by a doctor after an accident so you can understand if there were other injuries as a result of the accident. You will need records of your medical treatment.
- Some defendant’s attorneys will push back that your injuries were not the result of the accident if you wait too long to seek medical attention after an accident.
- Listen to your doctor’s orders. Not following doctors’ orders could be used against you to hurt your case.
- Do not give a recorded statement.
- Personal injury lawyers advise never to give a recorded statement to police officers or insurance companies until you have spoken to a personal injury attorney. What you say can be used against you to deny or diminish your accident claim or if you go to trial.
- Only answer what is asked of you and do not make any assumptions about what occurred.
- Report the attack to your local animal control.
- Keep a record of your medical expenses, lost time from work, injuries and other effects of the accident.
- If you were seriously injured and not at fault, it’s important to speak to a dog bite accidents attorney as soon as possible.
- Many people who try to go it alone without an attorney will not be able to recoup the maximum compensation that an experienced attorney can recover for them.
Get connected to several dog bite accident attorneys in your area and get a free case evaluation today.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
When people are seriously injured by dog bites, they tend to sustain injury to their faces, neck, hands, and arms. Types of injuries as a result of dog attacks include:
- Broken or punctured skin, lacerations
- Broken or fractured bones
- Eye injuries
- Head injuries
- Face injuries
- Neck injuries
- Scarring including permanent scars
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Emotional trauma, or psychological trauma
- Wrongful death
Dog Bite Case Settlements
Dog bite victim accident settlement sizes are predicated on the severity of a victim’s injuries. The more catastrophic the injury such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, disfigurement, permanent disability, and wrongful death, the higher the damages sought.
The majority of personal injury claims cases settle outside of court instead of going to trial. Here are examples of several settlement cases. These cases are public statements made by law firms in different states. They are not representative of compensation for similar accidents. Every accident is unique and it’s impossible to base your accident claim amount on any of the case settlements you see. A variety of factors affect the outcome of any case. That’s you should speak to skilled and experienced dog bite victim accident attorneys or law firms that can fight for your maximum compensation for your losses and provide you with an estimate for your case during a free case evaluation.
- $43,500 settlement for a dog bite victim in Massachusetts. The victim was visiting a friend when her friend’s dog who has never bitten anyone or displayed signs of aggression suddenly and unexpectedly began growling and then jumped and bit her in the face. The victim suffered lacerations to her cheek that required sutures at the emergency room. Seven months later, a plastic surgeon measured an 11-millimeter permanent scar that was left on her cheek from the wound. In Massachusetts, dog bites are generally referred to as strict liability cases meaning the owner of the dog is liable regardless of whether they displayed negligence. The insurance company initially denied offering a settlement but the victim’s retained personal injury attorneys were able to negotiate and win a $43,500 settlement. – Mahaney Pappas
- $400,000 dog bite settlement for a victim who visited her then-boyfriend’s condo to meet his new dog in New Jersey. The dog was a 135lb Rottweiler-Mastiff mix. Unfortunately, the victim was attacked and bitten in the face and neck which resulted in scarring to her eye, cheek, neck, and lip. She had to undergo plastic surgery. She had scarring on her face and neck, suffered from emotional distress, fear, and nightmares, and underwent psychotherapy. New Jersey dog bite laws impose strict liability on the owner of the dog. Her accident injury attorney was able to gather expert witnesses and get a settlement for fair compensation for her injuries. – Howard P Lesnik
- $40,000 settlement for dog bite victim in Maryland who suffered permanent injuries to her hand and finger due to negligent dog owner’s failure to safely secure a dangerous dog. Her personal injury attorney secured $40,000 in a settlement. – Bob Katz
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a dog or animal, it will help you to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in dog bite accident cases as soon as possible. Personal injury lawyers often work on contingency so there are no attorneys fees unless they win for you. Speak to a dog bite personal injury lawyer in our network today.