The money you may receive from a dog bite injury claim in Kentucky is influenced by various factors. The severity of your injuries and other damages resulting from the incident play a crucial role in determining the value of your claim under the law.
In Kentucky, strict liability law says that dog owners are responsible for covering your injuries and damages. To seek compensation, you’ll need to file a claim against their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance carrier. They will investigate and decide the final value of your claim. Our experienced Kentucky dog bite lawyers can assist you throughout this process.
Dog bites often lead to severe trauma, causing extensive medical issues and emotional and psychological damages. These elements contribute to the overall worth of a potential claim. Contact our team at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today to set up a free consultation and start the recovery process.
Common Kentucky Dog Bite Injuries
Even with common causes for dog bite incidents in Kentucky, the severity of injuries varies. Several factors, including the dog’s size, your overall health, and the bite location, influence the seriousness of a dog bite. Although not every dog bite results in the same injuries, the majority lead to:
- Puncture wounds – Deep bites that may become infected without proper cleaning and treatment.
- Lacerations – Dog bites can cause cuts, resulting in significant bleeding and scarring.
- Broken bones – Forceful dog bites, particularly in children or the elderly, can lead to bone fractures.
- Nerve damage – Bites to certain areas like hands and feet can cause long-term nerve complications.
- Infections – Dog bites can introduce harmful bacteria, leading to infections such as tetanus or rabies.
- Emotional trauma – Especially for children, dog attacks can cause long-term emotional distress, including anxiety and PTSD.
After a dog bite, seeking immediate medical attention is crucial to assess the severity of injuries and prevent infections. It’s important to report the incident to local animal control or the local police for investigation and public safety.
Once these initial steps are taken, understanding how Kentucky law applies to these incidents can be beneficial for dog bite victims.
How Much is a Kentucky Dog Bite Claim Worth?
While it’s considered a personal injury claim, a dog bite incident has a somewhat unique approach when it comes to Kentucky law. Again, Kentucky follows “strict liability” for dog bites, meaning the dog’s owner is always responsible for covering your injuries and damages.
The worth of a Kentucky dog bite claim varies, as each case is influenced by unique circumstances. That said, getting guidance from our experienced team of Kentucky dog bite lawyers is crucial for navigating the complexities and strengthening your case.
In pursuing damages for a dog bite incident in Kentucky, you have the opportunity to seek compensation for various losses, including:
- Medical expenses – Covering the costs of medical treatment, surgeries, medications, and any healthcare expenses resulting from the dog bite.
- Future medical needs – Seeking compensation for anticipated long-term or ongoing medical care needs, such as therapy sessions or follow-up treatments.
- Expenses related to medical devices – This includes expenses for necessary medical devices or aids related to the dog bite injuries.
- Lost wages – Compensating for wages lost during the recovery period if the injuries require time away from work.
- Pain and suffering – Seeking compensation for the physical pain, discomfort, and emotional distress caused by the dog bite.
- Emotional distress – Considering the psychological impact of the dog bite incident, such as anxiety, fear, or PTSD, in your claim for compensation.
- Scarring and disfigurement – Entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional effects of visible scarring or disfigurement resulting from the dog bite.
- Loss of quality of life – Seeking compensation for the impact of the dog bite on your ability to enjoy daily activities, hobbies, or aspects of life.
- Punitive damages – Potentially awarded in exceptional cases involving intentional harm or gross negligence by the dog owner, serving as punishment and deterrent.
The details and circumstances of your case will ultimately determine its value. As a result, it’s important to work with our experienced team of Kentucky dog bite lawyers. We’ll guide you through the claims process and make sure you get the financial support you rightfully deserve.
What is the Claims Process Like in a Kentucky Dog Bite Case?
While Kentucky’s law makes liability in the vast majority of dog bites clear, you still have to go through the claims process to get your compensation. It’s here that your options become pretty clear-cut: you can either file an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. Either option allows you to pursue compensation from the dog owner’s insurance company for your damages. And while your claim’s value will fluctuate, the actual process involves the following:
- File an insurance claim – Once you have identified the dog owner, contact their insurance company to report the incident. Provide a clear and detailed account of what happened and the injuries sustained. We can help you actually file a claim with the company, also.
- Insurance investigation – The insurance company will conduct an investigation into the dog bite claim. This may involve reviewing medical records, witness statements, and other relevant evidence.
- Claim evaluation – The insurance company will assess the damages, considering medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other applicable factors. They may offer a settlement based on their evaluation.
- Negotiation – If the initial settlement offer is not satisfactory, negotiations may take place between you and the insurance company. This process aims to reach a fair and reasonable settlement that adequately compensates you for the damages.
- File a lawsuit (if necessary) – If negotiations do not lead to a fair settlement, and the statute of limitations (one year from the date of the incident) has not expired, you may consider filing a lawsuit. Our team can file the suit for you, then help you navigate the legal process afterward.
Steps You Should Take
In terms of what you should do after a dog bites you, it’s very important to take the following steps:
- Get medical help immediately – If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s crucial to seek prompt medical attention. Your health is the top priority, and documenting the injuries is essential for any potential claim.
- Find the dog’s owner – If possible, obtain information about the dog’s owner, including their name and contact details. This information will be important for the claims process.
- Report the incident – Report the dog bite incident to local animal control or law enforcement. They may conduct an investigation to assess the circumstances and ensure public safety.
- Gather evidence – Collect evidence related to the dog bite, such as photos of the injuries, the location where the incident occurred, and any witness statements. This evidence can strengthen your case.
- Document your medical treatment – Keep thorough records of all medical treatments and expenses related to the dog bite. This includes hospital visits, surgeries, medications, and any ongoing medical care.
The greater the severity and permanence of your injuries, the higher the potential compensation you may recover. Typically, dog bite injuries, despite their traumatic nature, seldom stem from preexisting conditions. Consequently, the dog owner’s insurance company can’t argue that you had a preexisting condition as a way to devalue your claim. Still, they’ll try to do everything they can to pay you as little as possible. That’s why it’s so important to take these measures above–to keep your claim strong.
Effective Legal Guidance From Kentucky Dog Bite Lawyers
Suffering a dog bite is a distressing and painful ordeal, especially when it involves extensive injuries. In such challenging situations, the legal support you get could make all the difference in the outcome of your claim. Our Kentucky dog bite lawyers at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC are well-versed in handling these cases and are dedicated to securing the compensation you rightfully deserve. If you want to learn more about how we can support you, contact us today for a free consultation.