Every year, animals, most often dogs, bite thousands of Americans. In such a situation, a person bitten by an animal such as a dog might have a legal right to recover damages from the animal’s owner or another responsible party.
What You Need To Do If An Animal Bites You
An Insight Into Animal Attack-Dog BitesThe first thing you need to do if you are bitten by an animal is to seek medical attention immediately. If not treated immediately, it can cause serious injury such as infection, and in the worst case even death if the animal was diseased. Hence, after the medical evaluation, it is advisable to consult a personal injury lawyer with experience in animal bite cases. Only an attorney will be able to tell you that either you have a legal claim or not. If yes, then what damages you can recover under this umbrella.
Besides, personal injury attorney inquires about the detailed information concerning the circumstances surrounding your animal bite. The least, you need to provide the name and contact number of the animal’s owner. Supposedly, if you do not have this information, then it is wise to present a witness that second your statement and make your case valid.
Owner Liability Upon Dog Bite
In choosing who is responsible for a dog bite, the primary thing to decide is who is the owner of the creature? A few states enforce what is known as “severe obligation” upon animal owners whose creatures nibble or assault others. Under the hypothesis of severe obligation, an owner is lawfully punishable (“subject”) for a dog bite, paying little respect to whether the owner did anything amiss as for shielding others from assault. Under this hypothesis, regardless of whether the proprietor had no motivation to realize that their animal was perilous, if the animal bit somebody, the owner would even now be at risk. In different states, the owner of a dog can be held liable for the wounds it executes. So much so that if the animal owner realizes that the animal is dangerous and it could damage an individual, the owner will be held obligated for the animal’s unsafe activities.
Potential Defenses in Dog Bite Cases
However, there are situations in which an owner of an animal cannot be held liable for an attack by the animal. For instance, if the animal owner timely informed the people in the closed vicinity that the animal was dangerous, and furthermore took measures to keep the animal away from people. After that, a person who ignored the owner’s warnings and was injured by the animal will not successfully sue the owner for the damages concerned. In such a situation, legal terms, such a situation is known as “contributory negligence.” Therefore, when an injured person is contributorily negligent in failing to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person might exercise under similar circumstances then he is not liable to receive any compensation.
Let us say if a person climbs over a fence and bitten by a dog on the other side. Then, in such a situation, a jury might decide not to hold the dog owner liable because the owner has taken due to precautionary steps. In another instance, if the owner puts up a “Beware of Dog” sign, even then, a person ignores that sign and is bitten by the dog; then the owner will not be responsible for that person’s injury.
Other Responsible Parties
Moreover, animal owners are not the only ones that can be held responsible for animal bites. Let us show you some more common scenarios in which other responsible parties are held liable for an animal bite. Let us have a look into those parties in detail.
- Animal Keepers
Animal keepers are the person who is responsible for the care or custody of an animal. At times, they are also considered as the owner or the keeper of the animal and may be held responsible for an animal bite. For Example, it includes shelters, a pound, or an animal sitter.
- Parents of Minors
Supposedly, if a person under 18 years of age owns the animal at issue, in many states an injured person might bring a legal claim against the minor’s parents, even if the parents had no direct involvement with the animal bite.
- Property Owners
A property owner is obligated for the wounds brought about by a creature that the property owner permitted onto their property.
- Land Lords
If a landlord knew that a tenet possessed a dangerous creature, and the proprietor might likewise be subject for the animal bite.
What Damages Can You Recover?
Depending on the seriousness of injuries sustained due to animal bite, an individual may be entitled to recover the following compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Property damage
In some instances, you are entitled to punitive damages that are awarded to punish someone for his or her behavior. To justify an honor of punitive damages, the wrongdoer’s conduct must be more than negligent, such as reckless or intentional conduct. For instance, if a dog owner knew his dog is dangerous, yet allowed the dog to run free near a school, and the dog eventually attacked a child, then a jury will conclude that punitive damages were appropriate.
Therefore, if an animal has bitten you or a loved one, then you will be entitled to recover damages for any injuries that resulted from an animal attack. Moreover, determining your legal rights, it can be complicated, and it may be unclear who to bring a claim against as well as to what sort of damages you are entitled. Therefore, to ensure help, it is wise to consult a personal injury attorney so that you will receive your due compensation. Moreover, an attorney can help you in building a strong defense with propelling evidence that court will punish the dog owner, and grant you the compensation against the sustained injuries. So that you can least get cover for the financial loss.