There are approximately 800, 000 dog bite victims every year. Dog bites cost more than $1 billion every year.
If you are a dog bite victim, the first step you should take is visit the hospital and get treated. Untreated dog bite injuries could lead to serious infections. Statistics show that 12 people out of the 800, 000 dog bite victims die from dog bite infections. It costs a lot of money to get treated for dog bites so if you have been bitten by a dog, you may want to file a lawsuit against the dog owner.
You may be entitled to have your lost wages, medical bills and other damages awarded to you for the dog bite injury.
The Law And Dog Bites
Dog bite victims have the right to sue if they feel the dog owner did very little to prevent the attack or somehow contributed to the attack. The type of lawsuit you will file is known as a personal injury lawsuit.
Dog bite laws differ from one state to another so it is important for you to understand the laws in your state. In Rhode Island, your dog bite lawyer will differentiate between whether the dog bit you within the owner’s “enclosure”. If you were injured outside the enclosure, the owner of the dog will be held responsible for your injuries.
If the attack happened within an enclosure, your dog bite lawyer will try to prove that the dog owner was negligent and knew about the dog’s dangerous behavior. This is commonly referred to as the “one bite rule”.
One bite laws forgive the owner and the dog if it’s the dog’s first attack. This means that if you file a lawsuit, you won’t be compensated but if you are not the first person that the dog has attacked, you can hold the dog owner responsible.
You may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit even if your case does not match the criteria for one-bite laws. You can sue the dog owner for negligence.
Dog Bite Victims Attorney
After getting medical attention, you should find a dog bite lawyer who has enough experience working with dog bite victims. Your lawyer will want to see copies of your medical bills and medical documentation of your injuries.
When bit by a dog, get the dog owner’s name, address, their insurance policy and any other important information especially if your injury is very serious.
Lawsuit Versus Settlement
You should talk to a dog bite lawyer so that they can evaluate your case and tell you if you should settle or go to trial. Every case is unique and some of the situations may not apply to yours.
One advantage of accepting a dog bite settlement offer is that you will arrive at a speedy resolution to your case. Some dog bite victims prefer not to go through the long tiring process usually associated with trials. Many settlement offers are enough to cover your medical bills and result in lower attorney fees. Your agreement can remain private.
The only disadvantage that you will face is that you may get smaller compensation than what you are entitled to. In addition, it may not be as satisfying emotionally as it would be if you went to court.
Going to trial on the other hand is advantageous to you because you will receive a bigger reward. The only disadvantage is that there is no guarantee that the amount you will get will be greater than what you would get if you had just settled. Lawsuits are never private and they can be publicly accessed.
Dog bite victims are always advised to avoid giving a recorded statement when the dog bite owner’s insurance company asks them to. It is important that you do not accept this offer because what you say can be used against you.
Hiring A Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites are scary experiences and a dog bite lawyer can help you get through the situation. Our Rhode Island and Massachusetts dog bite lawyers are always on standby if you need any help with your dog bite case. Our dog bite lawyers will study your situation and ensure that you get the justice that you deserve.
Call us at (800)200-7752 to speak to one of our expert dog bite lawyers or fill out our contact form.