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How can a personal injury lawyer help me with a dog bite?

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When the COVID-19 pandemic first locked down most of the United States, many people purchased pets to find comfort. What they didn’t anticipate was that, after two years of limited human contact, those dogs would have trouble socializing with other human beings. Over-protective and maladjusted dogs are more prone to bite strangers, and are the responsibility of their owners, which is why — if you’ve been bitten — you could be entitled to compensation if you hire a dog bite personal injury lawyer.

In the vast majority of dog bite cases, owner negligence is the root cause. However, the extent to which the dog owner is at fault depends greatly on the situations. A personal injury lawyer specializing in dog bite cases can help clarify any confusion, and help you get the compensation you deserve.

If you have been a victim of a dog bite, contact Conexion Legal as soon as possible, either by calling us at at 1-800-201-1220 or writing to us through WhatsApp. You can schedule a free legal consultation, and if needed, we can connect you with a dog bite personal injury lawyer in our network who can help you recover the highest possible personal injury compensation.

What damages can I claim in a dog bite case?

According to California’s civil code, the owner of any dog is “liable for damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public space or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog, or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” 

This is the case in most states, where a strict liability statute holds a dog owner responsible for the majority of dog bite injuries, even if the animal had no history of aggressive behavior, or even if the owner was in no way negligent in maintaining the animal.

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There are usually only two exceptions:

  • If the victim provoked the dog; or
  • If the bite occurred on the owner’s private property and the owner had posted a visible sign requesting caution around the animal.

Each state, though, has its own statutes determining what damages a victim can claim. In New Jersey’s civil code, for instance, the dog owner is liable for paying all of the victim’s medical expenses related to the dog bite, but is not responsible for other damages, such as lost income or pain and suffering. 

Depending on the state, if a victim of a dog bite can prove that the owner was negligent, or knew that the animal had a tendency toward aggressive behavior, then they may be able to recover full damages. To prove negligence, one must prove that the owner knew the animal had unmistakably vicious tendencies (for example, if the dog has a history of vicious behavior or unprovoked attacks, not just a single isolated bite on its record), and failed to properly restrain, confine or muzzle the dog.

Once you and your attorney prove negligence, you can receive compensation for:

  • Current and future medical expenses, including treatment and medication
  • Loss of income: Depending on the severity of the event, the victim may need time off of work to recover. Compensation for the injury can include payment for days that the victim was unable to work. If the victim loses their job as a result of the injury, the compensation could be much higher.
  • Pain and suffering: The lasting physical, mental and emotional stress that result from injury, such as depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress, scars or disfigurement, anxiety and temporary or permanent physical or mental limitations.

A personal injury attorney specializing in dog bites will know the specific laws in your state. 

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite, contact the Conexión Legal team as soon as possible by calling 1800 201 1220, or write us through WhatsApp, to receive the best free advice. We can connect you with an expert dog bite personal injury lawyer who is well-versed in your local personal injury laws.

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