Dog Bite Lawyer | Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit | Animal Attack FAQs

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What Are My Legal Options After a Dog Bite Incident? Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Dogs are some of the most common pets in the world, but especially in the United States. Here, dogs are thought of as “man’s best friend” and more than 44% of US households owned dogs in 2022. However, another unfortunate fact is that dogs — like any animal — have the potential to be dangerous.

In the United States alone, around 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs a year. Often dog bites are a result of a dog being scared or feeling threatened. This makes children particularly vulnerable, since they may not know to be wary of unfamiliar dogs, and any of the behavioral warning signs of a frightened and aggressive dog.

Dog bites aren’t just a simple scratch, either. They can seriously impact your health. According to the CDC, about one in five dog bites requires serious medical attention. A large portion of these same dog bites — about 100,000 — require pediatric emergency care as children make up a significant portion of dog bite victims. All of this medical care can often be costly, and it does not even account for the emotional damage you may experience from the event.

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If you or a loved one is bitten or harmed in any way by another person’s dog, the owner can be held liable for any resulting damages. However, the nature of the attack and the damages incurred may impact your liability and personal injury compensation. To receive the best outcome for a dog bit lawsuit, you must understand the nuances around the law itself.

Contact a dog bite lawyer from TorHoerman Law or use our chatbot below to receive a free instant online case evaluation and find out if you qualify for compensation through legal action today.

Table of Contents

What To Do After a Dog Bite

The first thing to do after a dog bite accident is to get to safety. Be sure you and any loved ones — particularly children — are out of harm’s way. Once in safety, you can begin to assess the damages and decide how to proceed. This step will be important if you wish to proceed with legal action.

If the bite has broken the skin, especially if it appears deep, seek medical attention. Even a small wound that appears inconsequential could still become infected and require antibiotics to heal properly.

You also may need to seek out psychological care after the fact, as well. A dog attack can be a traumatic experience that causes emotional and mental damage as well as physical. Victims of traumatic attacks, such as dog bites, may exhibit short-term changes in attitude, as well as a development of long-term conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In terms of a legal case, it is important to act quickly because your state’s statute of limitations limits the time you have to file a dog bite lawsuit. Be sure to document injuries with photographs, and keep medical bills and other records of doctor visits.

How Do You Sue for a Dog Bite Injury?

If you or a loved one experiences physical, mental, or financial damages from a dog bit, you should consider a dog bite lawsuit. Luckily, dog bite cases are relatively straightforward compared to other personal injury lawsuits.

After you have gathered evidence and established your damages, you will need to hire a dog bite lawyer to help you file a dog bite lawsuit claim. While there is a small chance that the owner is protected by insurance, most insurers do not cover dog bite incidents.

If they are covered, your lawyer will work to negotiate a settlement with their insurance provider. If the owner is not covered, your lawyer will need to file a claim, resulting in a dog bite lawsuit. From that point, the owner can negotiate a settlement or go to trial.

Who Is Liable For A Dog Bite Injury?

Establishing liability for a dog bite injury can be tricky since the rules differ by state. Different states have statutes that can affect several variables that determine who is liable if anyone at all. Some factors that may vary from state to state include:

  • Contributory Negligence: States with contributory negligence laws may not hold the dog owner liable if, for example, the victim was trespassing at the time of the incident.
  • Strict Liability States: States with strict liability laws ensure a dog owner is responsible for any damage a dog causes, assuming the damage can be proven.
  • One-Bite States: States with one-bite laws are more likely to hold owners liable if the court or judge has a reason to believe, based on past behavior, that the dog posed a potential threat.

Some states may have unique laws regarding animal bites as well. For example, the Illinois “Animal Control Act,” establishes set guidelines for liability and animal negligence.

What Damages Can Be Awarded in a Dog Bite Case?

Dog bites can cause numerous issues, and are responsible for different types of damage. Beyond the cost of medical bills, a dog bite injury can result in missing work during recovery, emotional trauma, and PTSD.

Potential damages that a dog owner may be liable for include:

  • Medical Bills;
  • Expected Future Medical Costs;
  • Lost Wages;
  • Permanent Scarring;
  • Rehabilitation;
  • Permanent Disability.

Any result of a dog bite that causes damage, monetary burden, or other undue hardship could represent potential grounds for a lawsuit. A lawyer can help to determine the damages you are eligible to sue for. In many dog bite lawsuits, the victim chooses to file for both compensatory damages and punitive damages.

How Do I Choose A Dog Bite Lawyer?

To receive any kind of compensation for dog bite damages, you must find a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in this area and is dedicated to your case. While a dog bite lawsuit may be less costly than most other personal injury cases, you should still try to find a dog bite lawyer who offers a contingency fee arrangement.

A lawyer that works on contingency can help assure you that they are committed to winning a case since their payment is contingent on the result of the trial.

Criminal Liability for Dog Bites

If you sue someone for a dog bite, the case will be handled by a civil lawsuit. The case gets resolved in civil court, and the verdict has the potential to result in damages owed rather than a criminal conviction.

However, some dog bite incidents could ultimately result in criminal charges. Ultimately, this depends on state law, but generally, criminal charges will be brought against owners of dogs that are known to be dangerous or have caused severe or fatal injuries.

In these cases, the state will bring the charges and handle the case, though you may still be required to appear in court and provide testimony and evidence of the attack.

TorHoerman Law: Your Dog Bite Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured or bitten by a dangerous dog, know that you are not alone. A Dog Bite Lawyer from our team can help assess your case, determine liability, and hold responsible parties liable for the harm they’ve caused.

Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer from TorHoerman Law today for a free consultation. You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit instantly.

The Dog Bite Lawyers at TorHoerman Law understand the trauma associated with animal attacks and we will do our best to ensure that you are rightfully compensated for what you’ve been through.

Reach out to a Dog Bite Lawyer at THL for more information and help with your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens after a dog bite accident?

    After being attacked by a dog, you should immediately find safety away from the animal.

    Once you are in a safe space, you should contact an experienced dog bite lawyer and discuss the specifics of your case.

    Be sure to talk to a legal professional as soon as possible to make sure the statute of limitations on your claim does not expire.

  • Should you sue after a dog bite accident?

    More than 4 million dog bites occur each year in the United States, according to the CDC.

    While those resulting in no injuries or damage may not be worthy of a lawsuit, dog bites that result in bodily harm or emotional trauma can results in a viable lawsuit.

    If you are bitten or harmed in any way by another person’s dog, that person can be held liable for any resulting damages – depending on how the incident occurred.

  • How much is a dog bite lawsuit worth?

    The amount of compensation that you can receive from a dog bite lawsuit depends on certain variables.

    You can gain compensation for several different types of damages like physical pain, emotional suffering, loss of quality of life, lost wages, and more.

    Usually, more significant injuries result in a higher amount of compensation.

  • What dog breeds are considered dangerous?

    Several dog breeds make up the list of breeds most commonly involved in dog bite and attack incidents, but none feature as prominently as pit bull terriers and breeds within the “bully” family.

    Pit bull breeds account for 60% of reported dog bites in the country and 69% of deaths.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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Here, at TorHoerman Law, we’re committed to helping victims get the justice they deserve.

Since 2009, we have successfully collected over $4 Billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured individuals.

Would you like our help?