Several factors influence dog bite settlements and verdicts in Kentucky. The general rule is that pursuant to section 258.235(4), of the Kentucky Revised Statutes, Kentucky is a strict liability dog bite state. The statute states as follows: “Any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock or other property, shall be responsible for that damage.” The word “shall in the preceding sentence actually means “might” though. Regardless of the fact that section 258.235 has been characterized as a strict liability statute, both affirmative and complete defenses are available.
Kentucky’s strict liability statute isn’t so strict because the state recognizes the affirmative defense of comparative liability in dog bite cases. For example, if you approach a tethered dog that is snarling and showing aggression and poke it with a stick, and it gets loose and you’re attacked, you can be determined to have contributed to that attack. Any percentage of liability attributable to you will be deducted from your gross award. If it’s determined that you were completely at fault for the attack, you get nothing. Under Kentucky law, dog owners and keepers enjoy a complete defense against trespassers, even if they’re children. Other complete defenses might exist depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.
Economic and Non-economic Damages:
Economic damages aren’t difficult to calculate in these cases. Add up the medical bills, any lost earnings and any damage to personal property, and you arrive at a number. It’s the non-economic damages that are difficult to calculate. These consist of the following:
- Any permanent disfigurement.
- Any permanent disability.
- Lost earnings and earnings to be lost in the future.
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Diminished enjoyment of life.
Other Non-Economic Damages:
Some other non-economic damages factors include the nature and extent of the injuries, whether the victim is male or female, his or her age, the location of the bite, whether there is muscle or nerve damage, whether there are visible signs of scarring and how strong the evidence is.
Contact a Louisville Dog Bite Lawyer
As Louisville dog bite lawyers, there is no formula that tells us the value of a client’s dog bite case. Like every person is different, every dog attack case is different too. If you or a family member were injured in a Kentucky dog attack, contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’re going to listen to you closely and answer your questions too. After that, we’ll advise you on what we think we might be able to do for you. Always keep the fact in mind that in Kentucky, you only have one year from the date of a dog attack to file your lawsuit.