Anyone who owns a dog in Louisiana has a responsibility to keep their pet under control at all times so it cannot bite and injure another person or animal. Any dog owner who fails to fulfill this duty of care may hold civil liability for the injuries and losses that their dog causes another person to suffer through a bite.
If someone else’s dog bit you and caused you serious physical injuries, you should speak with a Lafayette dog bite lawyer sooner rather than later about the possibility of a civil claim. You have much less time than you might think to begin a lawsuit over this sort of injury, and there are numerous unique restrictions on dog bite claims set by state law. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Tomeny | Best are here to provide the help you need in pursuing the payments you deserve.
When Are Dog Owners in Lafayette Liable for Bite Injuries?
Notably, Louisiana differs from many other states in that it does not hold dog owners “strictly liable” for damages when their dog bites, attacks, or otherwise injures another person. Instead, a person injured by someone else’s dog must prove that the dog’s owner was legally negligent when pursuing payments for bite-related losses.
Typically, this means proving that the dog’s owner had actual or constructive knowledge of their dog’s propensity to act aggressively and then failed to act upon that knowledge and take reasonable steps to prevent their dog from attacking and injuring another person. In this context, “constructive knowledge” means that the dog owner should have known their dog could injure someone else, even if they have never seen that dog bite or injure another person before.
Additionally, the injured person must show that all the losses they are seeking compensation for stemmed directly from the dog bite they are building their case around, and that they were not taunting, attacking, or otherwise provoking the dog when it bit them. A local dog attack attorney can play a key role in building a strong, evidence-based claim with these legal requirements in mind.
Recovering Fairly Inside Filing Deadlines
A comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand based on a dog bite injury can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic—as well as both past and future—consequences of that injury, including:
- Medical expenses for bite-related care, including physical therapy and cosmetic surgeries in some cases
- Lost working ability and/or income
- Personal property loss and/or damage
- Physical discomfort and pain
- Lost enjoyment/quality of life
- Emotional anguish and psychological trauma
Under Louisiana Civil Code §3492, dog bite victims typically have one year at most after an injury to begin filing suit. Otherwise, as a dog bite lawyer in Lafayette could explain, the “statute of limitations” for personal injury claims in Louisiana will expire. Once the statute of limitations is up, claimants are left with few opportunities to seek any compensation for their injuries, so it is crucial to act quickly after an animal attack.
Get in Touch with a Lafayette Dog Bite Attorney Today
While many dogs make for good pets, not every dog is “good” in every situation. If someone else’s dog bit and injured you recently, you know this all too well. Knowing what your legal rights are in terms of seeking civil restitution could be vital to protecting your long-term best interests.
A Lafayette dog bite lawyer could explain your options and help explore potential next steps during a free consultation. Call today to schedule yours.