Getting bitten by a dog can be a traumatic and painful experience, but sometimes dog bites are grounds for an injury lawsuit. Depending on the extent of any possible injuries and the circumstances of the bite, there are a lot of factors that go into determining whether an incident makes for a successful lawsuit. A good injury claim can be determined by answering the following questions:
How serious were your injuries? The severity of your injuries may determine whether it is worth filing a lawsuit for your injuries. If you have not been severely injured you might be able to settle out of court. In addition to physical injuries, if your injuries are severe you may also be able to recover for lost wages and emotional distress caused by the accident.
Do you know who owns the dog? Any legal claim must be brought against the dog's owner. If you were bitten by a stray dog or a dog whose owner cannot be found then your chances of filing a lawsuit decrease exponentially. However, if you have insurance that covers personal injuries resulting from dog bites you might still be able to file for compensation.
Where did the incident occur? The laws for dog bite injury suits vary by state, but if you can file under strict liability you may only have to prove that you were bitten by a dog owned by another person without provoking it. However, if you are acting under moderate liability it may be possible to say that the dog had cause to bite, such as if you were trespassing on private property.
Does the dog have vicious propensities? In states that don't have strict liability dog bite laws, you may have to prove that the animal has "vicious propensities" and that the owner knew or should have known that the animal was predisposed to bite.
Were you bitten while at work? If you were bitten by a dog while performing your job duties, in addition to a lawsuit against the owner you could also file for workers' compensation.
If you need help filing a dog bite lawsuit or are wondering whether or not your case could be considered grounds for recover, call our office today so we can get you the just compensation you deserve.