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Can I Sue After Intervening and Rescuing Someone from a Dog Bite in Kentucky?

A dog bite is an extremely scary situation, even if it’s not happening to you. However, if you see one and decide to intervene and get bitten yourself, you may be wondering if you have the same legal options in Kentucky.

In moving forward, the legal process will play a crucial role in your complete recovery after being bitten by a dog. To that end, it’s essential to have skilled and efficient lawyers fighting for you. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our Kentucky dog bite lawyers are ready to assist you throughout the legal journey, making sure your needs and losses are taken care of.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Steps to Take After a Kentucky Dog Bite

Regardless of the circumstances, When you find yourself having to intervene to prevent a dog bite, it’s unfortunate that it often results in you getting bitten. This is particularly disheartening when your intention is to assist. Nevertheless, much like any other dog bite scenario, the actions you take afterward are crucial for any potential claims you may have. Here’s a guide on what to do:

  • Get to safety – Move to a secure location if the dog remains aggressive to prevent further harm.
  • Go to a doctor or emergency room – Regardless of the bite’s severity, consult a healthcare professional promptly. Dog bites can lead to infections or complications, so it’s essential to have the wound examined.
  • Report the incident – Inform the dog’s owner or others about the incident. This ensures appropriate actions are taken and documents the occurrence.
  • Try to find the dog’s owner – If possible, obtain information about the dog’s owner. This may be necessary for reporting the incident or seeking compensation for medical expenses.
  • Get witness information – If there are witnesses, collect their contact details. They may provide valuable insights if needed later.
  • Document the incident – Take pictures of the dog bite and any injuries sustained. Make note of the time, location, and circumstances surrounding the incident.
  • Report the incident to animal control – Report the dog bite to the local animal control agency. They can investigate the situation, check the dog’s vaccination records, and ensure public safety.

Remember, these steps not only protect your health but also provide crucial information for potential legal or insurance claims following a dog bite incident. Still, it’s important to understand how Kentucky law approaches these incidents.

Kentucky Law and Dog Bite Incidents

When it comes to dog bite incidents in Kentucky, a central question revolves around liability – determining who is legally responsible for the incident. Kentucky state law follows “strict liability,” holding the dog owner accountable for any injuries or damages resulting from a dog bite, regardless of the location.

If you try to help when a dog bite is happening, you might wonder if you had the right to be on the property where it occurred. In Kentucky, property owners must make sure their place is safe for visitors. They should do things like taking steps to stop dogs from biting, such as:

  • Securing enclosures or fences for aggressive dogs.
  • Using warning signs to alert visitors.
  • Adhering to leash laws in common areas.
  • Investing in dog training and socialization.
  • Supervising dogs in the presence of visitors.

Practically speaking, as long as you are lawfully on a property, you have the same rights if you attempt to intervene and prevent a dog bite. Understanding how to protect your legal rights in such situations is crucial, and our team can assist you in navigating these complexities.

Working With Our Kentucky Dog Bite Lawyers

Although Kentucky does not mandate legal representation for dog bite claims, our team can offer invaluable support in fully exploring your legal options. Dog bites fall under the category of personal injury claims, and avenues for pursuing a claim typically include insurance claims, lawsuits, or both.

By choosing to work with us, you can benefit from the following:

  • Investigation – We’ll conduct a comprehensive investigation of the dog bite incident, including visiting the scene, gathering witness statements, reviewing security footage, and obtaining relevant documents.
  • Determining liability – We’ll also work to identify all potentially liable parties, such as the dog owner, property manager, or property owner if negligence is a factor.
  • Establishing your legal rights – We’ll cement your legal rights by showing that you were lawfully trying to prevent a dog attack on the property.
  • Gathering evidence – Our team can assist you in collecting medical records and other losses to evaluate your damages.
  • Negotiating – We manage communication and negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company to secure a fair settlement on your behalf, leveraging our experience with insurance adjusters.
  • Litigating your case – If a satisfactory settlement can’t be reached, we’ll file a lawsuit and represent you in court, fighting for your rights before a judge and jury.

Getting your rightful financial support for a dog bite in Kentucky can be challenging, even if it’s clear whose fault it is. It’s especially tricky when you’re just trying to help and end up getting bitten. Dealing with insurance companies to get paid for your losses is not easy. That’s why having our skilled team of Kentucky dog bite lawyers can really help. They know how to handle these cases well.

Who Pays For Damages in a Kentucky Dog Bite Claim?

If you’re the person who got bitten by a dog in Kentucky, you’re the one making the claim, and you’re called the plaintiff. In our state, the laws are strict – you only need to prove that the dog’s owner or the person responsible for the dog: 

  • Owned or had control of the dog that bit you.
  • Had a duty to be careful and prevent the dog from hurting you or others.
  • Failed to fulfill that duty of care.
  • The failure to meet this duty caused the dog bite and your injury.

Once you’ve shown that the dog’s owner was careless, they are responsible. However, some situations can lessen the value of your claim. Kentucky follows comparative negligence, which means if the court thinks you share some blame, that percentage can be subtracted from what you receive.

Additionally, depending on where the dog bite happened, it might involve premises liability claims. This is especially true if the bite occurred in a public park or at a private business where you tried to intervene. Premises liability claims usually have higher insurance payouts, making them more valuable.

Damages

In terms of your damages in a typical dog bite case, there’s a wide range of potential complications. This is not just because of the physical challenges but also due to the emotional and psychological impact it will have on you in the future. Even if you’re just trying to help someone else, you could end up with serious injuries and other damages. 

However, filing a lawsuit can help bring some normalcy and compensation back into your life. A successful Kentucky dog bite claim can allow you to recover various damages, including: 

  • Medical expenses, including surgeries.
  • Ongoing treatment, especially rehabilitation and physical therapy.
  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • Punitive damages in cases where the owner was intentionally negligent.

The more extensive and complicated your injuries, the more valuable your case for damages will be. While every lawsuit has uncertainties, having our team of experienced Kentucky dog bite lawyers by your side can increase the likelihood of getting the compensation you deserve.

Holding Owners Accountable for Dog Bite Injuries in Kentucky

If you’ve been bitten by a dog while trying to step in and rescue someone, having the appropriate support is crucial for your recovery. A significant aspect of this journey involves exploring your legal options, and Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC is here to assist you.

We will thoroughly examine your case, provide guidance on the best course of action, and stand by you throughout the entire process. To get started, contact us today for a free consultation.

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