According to data provided by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), nearly 70 million households in the country have a dog as a pet, with many of them residing at apartment complexes throughout Kentucky.
In some cases, this situation could lead to a potential risk of a dog bite. Although dog bites can occur anywhere, they are more likely to happen when a dog feels threatened or is protecting its owners and territory. Unfortunately, an apartment fits this description. So, if a dog ever bites you while you’re at an apartment complex in Kentucky, it’s crucial to know what to do next.
Experienced Kentucky Dog Bite Lawyers
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we understand that getting hurt from a dog bite is challenging. No matter where the bite takes place, we’ll be there to guide you through the steps to get help from the dog’s owner or the apartment complex.
We’ll talk about what you can do within the law and provide a clear roadmap for how things will happen. Coping with dog bites can be challenging for you and your family, but our experienced Kentucky dog bite lawyers can help make it a bit easier. Contact us today for a free conversation about your situation.
What Injuries Are Common in Dog Bites at Kentucky Apartment Complexes?
There are a variety of reasons that a dog bite can happen at a Kentucky apartment complex, and they’re especially common among children and elderly residents. However, the most consequential outcome of a dog bite is the injuries that can result. While every dog bite is different and depends on the type of dog, some of the more common injuries include:
- Wounds – Dogs’ sharp teeth can break the skin, causing deep wounds that might result in infection.
- Infections – Dog bites can introduce germs into the wound, potentially leading to infections like cellulitis, sepsis, or tetanus.
- Scarring – Even small dog bites can create permanent scars, especially if they’re on visible parts of the body like the face.
- Emotional impact – Dog bites can be really traumatic, especially for children, causing fear, worry, and emotional distress.
- Nerve problems – Sometimes, dog bites can damage nerves, causing numbness, weakness, and other nerve-related issues.
- Broken Bones – A strong dog bite might break bones, often in the hands, arms, or legs.
While rare, serious dog bites can cause loss of limbs or even death. No matter where the bite happens, it’s vitally important to get medical help right away. Also, tell management about the incident so they can take action. Once you get medical attention, it’s important to understand how Kentucky law handles dog bites so you can pursue your options.
How Does Kentucky Law Handle Dog Bites?
In Kentucky, the law is clear in terms of liability for when a dog bites you at an apartment complex–or anywhere else. Under KRS 258.235(4), the dog’s owner is “strictly liable” for any injuries or damages the dog causes. This means that when you’re bitten by a dog at an apartment complex in Kentucky, the owner is:
- Responsible for covering any damages or harm the dog caused, even if they didn’t know the dog could be dangerous.
But, making the owner responsible is just one part of what needs to happen. To get help and support for a dog bite that happened at an apartment complex, you need to show:
- You were legally allowed to be where the dog bit you.
- The dog actually bit you while you were there.
- You got hurt because of the dog bite.
To make sure you’re okay and that your legal rights are protected after a dog bite, Kentucky law lets you pursue financial support for your harm. However, the process can be confusing, especially when it’s on private property like an apartment complex. Thankfully, our skilled dog bite lawyers are here to help you every step of the way and make sure your rights are taken care of.
What Do You Need To Do After Being Bitten By a Dog at a Kentucky Apartment Complex?
The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of your situation, but even when responsibility is determined, it’s crucial to take the right steps after a dog bite in Kentucky. Your ability to receive the available benefits under the law depends on the strength of your claim, typically submitted to an insurance company. So, ensure you protect your rights and well-being by following these steps after a dog bite:
- Get medical help right away – Dog bites can cause serious injuries and infections if not treated promptly. Even if the bite seems minor, seek medical attention to avoid complications.
- Identify the dog and owner – If possible, get the dog owner’s name and contact details, along with any witnesses. This information can help establish responsibility and recover compensation.
- Report the incident – Notify the local animal control or apartment management about the dog bite. They can assist in locating the dog and checking its history.
- Document the event – Take pictures of your injuries and where the bite occurred. Write a detailed description of the incident, including date, time, location, and dog owner details.
By following these steps, you can safeguard your health and legal rights after a dog bite in Kentucky. Remember, Kentucky’s strict liability law holds dog owners responsible, and you have the right to make a claim for your damages. Although the process can be complex, our experienced dog bite lawyers can guide you and protect your rights.
Filing a Claim After a Kentucky Dog Bite at an Apartment Complex
Once you decide to pursue a dog bite claim in Kentucky, understanding the process is important. Legally, a dog bite claim is similar to other injury claims in Kentucky. The major difference is the strict liability law, which makes it easier to determine the responsible party – the dog owner. Here’s how the claims process for a Kentucky dog bite works:
- Filing a claim with the owner’s insurance company – You’ll likely submit your claim to the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Provide detailed info about the incident, injuries, and damages.
- Negotiating a settlement – The insurance company might offer a settlement. Our team can help assess it and negotiate for a fair settlement covering all damages.
- Filing a lawsuit – If a settlement isn’t reached, filing a lawsuit against the dog owner may be necessary to obtain support for your injuries. Our team will represent you in court.
It’s worth noting that just because the dog owner is primarily responsible for covering your injuries, the apartment complex may share some of the liability. You can file an additional claim if the apartment complex was negligent in allowing the dog bite to happen on its property.
Typically, the following damages can be claimed in a Kentucky dog bite case:
- Medical expenses and ongoing care, like therapy or rehab
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Property damage related to the incident
- Punitive damages if the owner was particularly negligent.
Damages depend on the extent of your injuries. Keep in mind, like other injury claims in Kentucky, dog bite cases have a statute of limitations – a deadline to file a claim. In Kentucky, you have one year from the incident date to file. Missing this deadline might lead to losing out on damages.
Contact Kaufman & Stigger Today For a Free Consultation
A dog bite incident is often distressing due to the injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain involved. If you or a loved one experienced this at your Kentucky apartment complex, Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC and our team can help you.
Don’t wait–contact us for a free consultation and begin seeking the justice you deserve.