What to Know Before Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit
When you’re bitten by a dog, it’s important to take action. Per statistics, nearly 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in America, and approximately 1 out of 5 of those bites become infected.
Not only are dog bites painful, but they can also lead to other medical conditions. But how do you know when it’s worth it to file a dog bite lawsuit? Well, the answer isn’t as simple as you might think. Therefore, it’s best to get expert advice when you’re in this type of situation.
In this article, we’ll discuss the procedures for suing for a dog bite and explain whether it’s worth it for you to go through with your claim. Read on to learn more.
Understand Your Rights
Before filing a dog bite lawsuit, it’s important to understand the law. Your rights as a victim of a dog attack depend on the state that you live in. Each state has different rules and in most of them, suing for a dog bite is legal if you were harmed by the owner’s animal.
However, there are a few exceptions to the rule. For instance, if you hurt or provoked the dog or were trespassing on private property when you were bitten, you might not win your dog bite lawsuit.
Not only that, if the owner had “beware of dog” warning signs up or you knew the pet had violent tendencies, your claim might not be substantial.
Also, some states abide by a one-bite or negligence-based rule. According to that rule, the focus is on whether the dog owner knew their pet was prone to bite others, and if they took the necessary steps to prevent it.
Should You File a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Now that you know your rights, it’s important to ask yourself if suing for a dog bite is worth it. Obviously, a dog bite is uncomfortable and no one wants to be the victim of an attack. But if you were nipped by the dog and there’s only a small puncture wound, then you might want to reconsider filing a dog attack lawsuit. This is especially true if the cost of your treatment was inexpensive.
Sometimes you’ll lose time and money filing a claim on a small injury. Plus, if the owner is willing to help out in any way, then that’s an incentive to hold off on a suit.
On the contrary, if you suffered significant wounds and injuries due to the dog attack, then you should absolutely reach out to a team of dog bite lawyers to help you. In this scenario, you’ll likely have a significant amount of medical bills, as well as lost wages due to missing work.
Furthermore, a dog bite can lead to serious medical complications, and without treatment, certain infections from dog bites become fatal. Common infections resulting from dog bites include sepsis, rabies, tetanus, and capnocytophaga.
Do You Have a Lawsuit Case That’ll Win?
There are many factors that contribute to a successful dog bite lawsuit. A dog owner can be held financially liable for their dog’s behavior if it leads to property damage or injuries. But again, the extent of the liability is based on the state that you live in.
In some states, there is strict liability on the part of the owner. That means they are held at-fault anytime their dog bites someone. On the other hand, other states ask in-depth questions to determine if the owner is liable.
With that said, understanding the laws in your area regarding dog bites will help you determine if it’s necessary to file a dog bite lawsuit.
Dog bite cases are tricky, and it’s a good idea to speak to the owner to try and settle the matter between the two of you. For instance, let’s say their dog bit you and you went to an urgent care facility to get a treatment that cost $300.
In this situation, it’s a good idea to try and work with the owner to see if they are willing to pay for the medical expense. Otherwise, you could spend more money on a dog attack lawsuit, then you would paying the money out of pocket.
But if your injuries are substantial and you can prove that the owner is liable, then an attorney can usually reach an out-of-court settlement with the owner without the case going to trial.
Injury Statute of Limitations
Another important aspect of filing a dog bite lawsuit is your state’s statute of limitations. Injury limitations are a set timeframe that an injured individual can wait to pursue a lawsuit within their state’s civil court system. If you are considering filing a lawsuit due to a dog attack, it’s vital to understand the deadline.
Even if you have a strong case against the owner, sometimes it could go to court. Therefore, it’s best to hire an experienced attorney to help you with your dog attack lawsuit so that things flow accordingly.
Are You Suing for a Dog Bite? Get Legal Counsel
If you’re thinking about filing a dog bite lawsuit, don’t handle it alone. By getting the help of an experienced attorney, it’ll ensure that your case goes in the right direction.
Not to mention, a lawyer from your state will have in-depth knowledge regarding rules and regulations for dog bites. When your health is at risk, you never want to take any chances. Be smart and get legal counsel.
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