Many people keep dogs as pets, and these dogs are often friendly and hospitable. Yet sometimes, the family pet can become aggressive, biting guests and causing injury. When this happens, medical bills are sure to pile up.
If you were bit by another person’s dog, whether in their home or public, you deserve to have your damages compensated. To start filing a claim against the dog owner, contact an Olive Branch personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC.
Dog Bites Are More Common than You Think
It should be no surprise that most families own at least one dog. These dogs vary in training, but most dogs do not cause significant harm to others. That is why it can be surprising to encounter a dog that injures you. Yet, dog bites are quite common.
According to the CDC, there are around 4.5 million dog bite incidents yearly. Only a fraction of these result in victims seeking medical attention, but not seeking care does not mean the dog bites were insignificant. Many of these dog bites affect children who were simply engaging in everyday activities around dogs that they know.
If you or your loved one got bitten by a dog recently and incurred medical bills or emotional trauma, you deserve compensation. To find out who is liable, work with a dog bite lawyer in Olive Branch to determine what the appropriate course of action is.
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Dog Bite Laws
In most states, the owners of domestic animals are liable for the actions of their pets as long as those actions occurred in a public place or while the victim was lawfully on their private property. Under strict liability rules, dog owners are responsible, regardless of any other conditions. However, an exception occurs in states like Tennessee, where there are laws like the “One Bite Rule.”
This rule implies that dog bites on the owner’s residential or commercial property were warranted unless the dog owner was aware that the dog was dangerous.
Can You Sue if the Dog Was Confined?
Sometimes a dog owner will attempt to defend themselves from your legal claim by stating that the dog was confined when it bit you. This can be an effective defense, but leveraging it requires proving that the dog was effectively confined when the accident happened. An Olive Branch dog bite attorney can get the facts to provide evidence showing that the dog was not reasonably contained at the time of the incident.
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Understand Your Options After a Dog Bite Accident
Following a dog bite, you do have options available to recover compensation. For example, many dog bite accidents occur in homes that are covered by homeowners insurance. Homeowners’ insurance typically covers liability for accidents that cause injury.
Renters’ insurance may cover this liability as well. If you are aware of such a policy being in place, you can file a third-party claim to get direct compensation for any losses you or your loved one incurred.
A personal injury claim is another way to recover compensation from a dog owner. This will still involve the homeowners’ insurance policy, but you are not confined to the policy’s limits. If your total costs exceed what is available through the liability portion of the dog owner’s policy, a claim would allow you to seek the full amount of damages directly from them.
When filing a dog bite personal injury claim, there is always a chance of the case going to trial. If it does, you will want to have an Olive Branch dog bite lawyer on your side.
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How Can a Dog Bite Attorney in Olive Branch Help?
A lawyer can help dog bite victims understand whether it is actually worthwhile to file a claim. If you were simply nipped by a dog and suffered minor injuries, the time and effort involved in recovering compensation may not be worth it. While you may have been hurt, the chances of recovering a significant amount of money are slim in minor cases.
If your injuries were more severe, then your lawyer will help you assess the situation to give you a better understanding of what level of compensation is available. Through their assistance, you can find out if the dog owner was liable and if you have a potentially strong case. It is not always the dog owner’s fault when someone gets bit, so having a lawyer evaluate your claim before you file is important.
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Dog Bite Claim Statute of Limitations
Many states have a statute of limitations in place for dog bite accidents. These accidents fall into the category of personal injury, so usually, there will be a 2 or 3-year time limit to file a claim. Contact an Olive Branch dog bite lawyer and ask them the specifics to find out what the statute of limitations is in your state.
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Compensation for Dog Bite Injury Claims
Being bit by a dog can have physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Many people who are bit are left with trauma that leaves them scared to even be near other dogs. This trauma can last a lifetime, so it should not be underestimated when you file your claim.
You can recover compensation for economic and non-economic losses through a dog bite injury claim.
These are losses that involve spending money or losing money due to an accident. Common examples include lost wages, hospital bills, and lost business opportunities.
These are the intangible losses you incurred due to the dog bite. The trauma you suffered or the emotional distress you experienced following the accident are prime examples of non-economic damages you can recover compensation for.
Hold the Negligent Dog Owner Responsible
It is a dog owner’s duty to ensure that others are not harmed by their pets. If you were bitten by a dog due to the negligence of its owner, you deserve to be compensated fairly for your losses. To learn how you can get the compensation you are due, contact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC.