Although dogs may be called man’s best friend, they are still animals and behave as such. Unfortunately, even the most gentle-seeming dog could quickly become aggressive and launch an attack that leaves a victim with serious injuries. Children are particularly at risk of dog bites.
When a dog attack injures you or your child, you may be stuck with medical expenses, lost wages due to time missed from work, and pain and suffering. You may deserve to be compensated for these damages if someone else’s dog attacked. An experienced Baton Rouge dog bite lawyer can pursue a claim for financial compensation on your behalf.
What You Need to Do After a Dog Bite
If you have been the victim of a dog bite, there are steps to take to protect your legal rights and health.
Contact the Dog’s Owner
If you can locate the owner, notify them that you have been the victim of an attack. Confirm whether the dog is up to date on vaccinations. Also, ask the owner for their homeowners’ insurance information. You should be able to make a claim for compensation against the owner directly or indirectly through their homeowners’ insurance carrier
Try to photograph where the bite or attack took place, the dog that attacked you, and your injuries.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you only feel like you suffered a few minor scrapes, seek prompt medical attention. A minor cut from a dog’s mouth can quickly turn into a serious infection, so it let a medical professional examine your wounds.
Speak to an Experienced Animal Attack Lawyer
In Louisiana, you have a maximum of one year to assert a legal claim in court for a dog bite injury. A Baton Rouge dog bite attorney can timely and diligently pursue the compensation that you need and deserve in compliance with all legal deadlines and procedures.
Why You Need Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers After a Dog Bite
Following a dog bite or attack, you need an experienced attorney who has the experience, client-focus, and track record of success that you can trust.
Attorney Frank Tomeny, founder of Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers, along with his team, gives each client the dedicated attention that their case deserves.
As a former insurance defense attorney, Tomeny understands the objectives and strategies that insurance companies employ. He knows how to use this knowledge to pursue the compensation you are entitled to.
The Baton Rouge dog bite attorneys at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers are ready to develop a winning strategy that forcefully pursues your goals and needs in a dog bite injury case.
Louisiana and Baton Rouge Laws on Dog Bite Liability
Under Louisiana dog bite laws, an animal owner can be held liable for negligence for failing to exercise reasonable care when the owner knew or should have known that an animal was prone to preventable misbehavior that caused injuries.
When it comes to dogs in particular, however, an owner is considered strictly liable for injuries if the dog attack could have been prevented, as long as the victim never provoked the dog.
Baton Rouge has enacted regulations governing dog ownership. When these regulations are not followed, it can lead to legal liability, especially when the violations lead to a dog bite or other dog attack. The regulations include the following:
- Dogs must be licensed with animal control.
- Dogs must wear a collar or license tag, except that hunting, stock, and show dogs are exempt from wearing collars and tags only when working or shown.
- Dogs must be confined at all times in the owner’s home, within a fenced yard, or on a leash no longer than six feet.
- If a dog bites another person, the owner must report the bite to animal control, the police department, or the sheriff’s office within 24 hours. Law enforcement will impound the dog and monitor it for rabies at a shelter, a veterinarian clinic, or at home for 10 days.
Who Pays Dog Bite Injury Claims?
If you or a loved one are attacked by a dog owned by a neighbor, family member, or friend, you may understandably be reluctant to bring a claim for compensation. You may be concerned that demanding money damages from someone you know will jeopardize the personal relationship.
However, regardless of whether a friend or stranger is the canine’s owner, most dog bite injury claims are paid by the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance. These policies typically cover dog bite liability. The owner seldom has to dig into their own pocket. In fact, the dog’s owner has paid premiums for insurance to cover events just like this.
Serious Injuries From Dog Attacks
Dog bites and dog attacks can cause severe injuries, especially if the dog is a member of a larger, more powerful breed, or if the dog persists in its attack, or if the victim is a child.
Some of the injuries that can be inflicted by dogs include:
- Soft tissue injuries, including tearing of tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Rupturing of major blood vessels
- Nerve damage
- Infections – because dogs’ mouths are full of viruses and bacteria, especially when they are not properly vaccinated, they can infect an attack victim when bites penetrate the skin, leading to general infections or diseases like rabies
Why Children Are Often Victims of Dog Bites
Children are more likely to be victims of dog bites than other age demographics. A primary reason is their smaller stature. An aggressive dog may be unwilling to attack a human adult due to the size difference, but the dog may have the size advantage on a small child.
Their smaller stature also allows dogs to reach and bite vital areas, including the face and neck. Children are also less physically able to defend themselves if the dog continues to press an attack, leading to more severe injuries.
Children tend to be more frequent victims of dog attacks because they are more likely to intentionally or unintentionally provoke a dog into an attack. A kid may approach a dog from behind and start petting it, startling the dog, or tease the dog by pulling its tail, its fur, an ear, or a paw.
Are Certain Dog Breeds More Prone to Attack?
According to the American animal hospital association (AAHA) Reporting on a study conducted by Ohio State University, the dog breeds most likely to attack were, in descending order:
- Mixed breed
- German shepherd
The AAHA notes that, in a plurality of all attacks, however, the dog’s breed was not reported or confirmed. Researchers found that dogs with short, wide heads and weighing between 66 and 100 pounds were most likely to bite.
The researchers also found that any large dog breed was more likely to inflict higher average damage whenever it did bite. The researchers added that a dog’s tendency to bite can be influenced by breed behavior, lineage, the owner’s care, and the behavior of the victim. While some breeds may be more likely to attack and more likely to inflict serious harm if they do, it’s important to remember that any kind of dog can bite and injure a person.
Let a Baton Rouge Dog Bite Attorney Review Your Claim Now
As the victim of a dog bite, you may deserve to be compensated for your losses.
Contact Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to talk to our Baton Rouge dog bite injury lawyers. Call us or contact us online. There are no legal fees unless and until we recover compensation for you.