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Lexington Dog Bites at Relatives’ Houses

Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC represents dog bite victims in Lexington. A dog bite can happen anywhere, even in your relatives’ houses. This doesn’t change the potential problems that come from a dog bite, but it does raise some questions about what you can do legally. Our Lexington dog bite lawyers can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Should You Hire a Lawyer For a Dog Bite at Your Relative’s House?

No matter where it happens, a dog bite means injuries and damage. What makes this situation difficult is that it can happen anywhere you interact with a dog, even at the most familiar of places like your relative’s house. You probably even know the dog. But the reality is that any dog, no matter how familiar or well-trained, can fall victim to its instinct and bite you in certain situations.

When this happens, you might be wondering about your legal options. It all comes down to your situation. Minor dog bites may not require legal action, while severe ones can lead to serious injuries. If you’re facing these types of injuries, it’s wise to contact our team. We’ll investigate and walk you through you and your family’s legal options. You probably don’t want to take action against a relative, but your health needs to be taken care of. With our experience, we can help find a solution that works for your family.

Does Your Relative Have to Pay For Your Damages in a Dog Bite?

In Kentucky, dog bite cases are unique because the law holds owners strictly liable. This means the owner must pay for your injuries and damages, no matter what happened. This means a couple things:

  • You can sue the dog’s owner for your injuries.
  • You don’t have to prove the owner did anything wrong, just that they own or control the dog.

More to the point, this applies even if the dog is owned by a relative. Basically, you have the exact same rights to file an injury claim for damages, like:

  • Medical bills – Dog bites often need serious medical care, like hospital visits, surgeries, medications, and ongoing treatments. These damages cover these costs.

  • Lost wages – If a dog bite stops you from working, you can get financial support to make up for the income you’ve lost.

  • Pain and suffering – Dog bites can hurt not just physically, but emotionally too. Pain and suffering damages, as well as emotional distress damages are meant to cover these losses.

  • Property damage – Sometimes, dogs can ruin things like clothes or belongings during an attack. You can get repair or replacement costs for this damage.

  • Scars or disfigurement – Dog bites might leave permanent marks, which can affect how you feel about yourself. You can get financial support for these losses.

Obviously, when the dog bite happens at your relative’s house, it makes the situation much more fraught and complicated. Legally speaking though, it’s the same as any other dog bite. So, it’s important to know what to do when the bite happens.

What Should You Do If You’re Bitten at a Relative’s House?

Even if the dog bite happens at your relative’s house in Lexington, it doesn’t change how you need to respond. The only thing that makes this particular situation different is that you probably don’t need to search for information on the dog or its owner. That said, here’s what you need to do when the bite happens at your relative’s house:

  • Get medical care – The first priority is your health. Even if the bite seems minor, it’s crucial to clean the wound thoroughly to prevent infection. Get medical attention right away to figure out the severity of the injury and receive appropriate treatment.
  • Identify the dog’s owner – Determine who owns or is responsible for the dog that bit you. This might be your relative or someone else who’s there. Knowing the owner is obviously vital for legal purposes.

  • Document the incident – Take photos of the injury, the location where the bite occurred, and any visible signs of negligence, such as an unrestrained or aggressive dog. This will provide evidence if you need to file a claim.
  • Report the bite – If the bite is serious, or if you think the dog is dangerous, you might need to call the Lexington Police Department or Lexington Animal Control so they can respond and clear the scene. They can also provide you with any information about the dog.
  • Tell your relative – Let your relative know about the incident and discuss the situation calmly. While it can be uncomfortable, this needs to be done to address any concerns about the dog’s behavior and preventing future incidents.
  • Follow up on medical care – Continue to follow any medical advice and treatment plans by your doctors. This means going to follow-up appointments, taking prescribed medications, and keeping watch of your wound for signs of infection or complications.

By acting quickly and responsibly, you can focus on your health and deal with any legal or money issues from the dog bite at your relative’s place. If the bite causes serious injuries or costs, talking to our team can help you know your rights and how to get support. We’ll guide you on what to do next based on what happened.

Benefits and Drawbacks to Filing a Dog Bite Claim Against a Relative

A dog bite at a relative’s house in Lexington is an incredibly difficult and uncomfortable situation. You have to balance your injuries and those losses with potentially taking money away from your family. At the same time, the more hurt you are, the more help you need. So, it’s helpful to look at the benefits and drawbacks of filing a claim in this situation.

Benefits

  • Financial support – Filing a claim can help you recover financial support for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the dog bite.

  • Insurance coverage – If your relative has homeowner’s insurance, it may cover the costs of your injuries, reducing the financial burden on your relative.

  • Legal process – Filing a claim establishes a legal record of the incident and makes sure that your rights are protected. It can also encourage responsible pet ownership and hopefully prevent future incidents.

Drawbacks

  • Family strain – Probably the biggest drawback is that filing a claim against a relative may strain your relationship with your relative and cause tension or conflict, especially if they feel personally responsible or defensive about their pet’s behavior.

  • Financial impact – The claims process can be costly and time-consuming, and there’s no guarantee of a favorable outcome. Moreover, if your relative doesn’t have insurance or sufficient assets, recovering financial support may be difficult.

  • Privacy concerns – Filing a claim could involve disclosing personal or sensitive information about the incident and your relationship with your relative, which could be uncomfortable or embarrassing.

Considering these factors, it’s essential to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether to pursue a dog bite claim against your relative. However, our team can help you explore alternative options for resolving the matter, such as mediation or negotiation, to preserve your family’s relationships while still going after the necessary support for your injuries.

Experienced Lexington Dog Bite Lawyers

You never want to find yourself in a situation where you get bitten by a dog in Lexington, but this is especially true if it happens at a relative’s house. Not only do you have to deal with physical and financial strain from your injuries, but it can put strain on your family and your relationships.

At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC our experienced Lexington dog bite lawyers will be there to help. We’ll explain your rights and options, and help you come up with a way to make the situation work for everyone in your family. To learn more about our process, contact us today for a free consultation.

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