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Free Consultation: 800-937-8443

Louisville Child Dog Bite Lawyer

Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC proudly represents dog bite victims in Louisville. Experiencing a dog bite can be traumatic and result in significant injuries, even if you’re not involved. This is especially true when your child is the one who gets bitten. To understand your options better, contact our team of experienced Louisville dog bite lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

Facing any situation where your child gets injured is scary enough on its own, but a dog bite is especially difficult. Children, as you might be aware, are among the most likely dog bite victims in Louisville and anywhere else because of their physical stature and the fact that they simply may not understand how to approach the dog. Regardless, when your child is bitten by a dog, you may be wondering if you need a lawyer. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to take legal action. If you’re thinking about it, you can talk to our team for free. Your child has the same rights as any other injury victim in Louisville, and while it’s not mandatory that you have legal representation, our team can help you by:
  • Finding out what happened
  • Figuring out what choices your child has and what steps to take
  • Collecting and presenting evidence
  • Talking to insurance companies and the other side’s lawyers
Our main goal is to get financial support to help your child with their injuries. If you let us handle your case, you can focus on your child getting better while we handle the legal side of things.

Kentucky Law and Your Child’s Options

Per Kentucky law, dog owners are “strictly liable” for any injuries and damages their dog causes. This rule applies to children as well, and as a parent or guardian, you can pursue a claim on their behalf. In terms of your legal options, it’s really the same as any other dog bite or injury claim in that you can:
  • File an insurance claim
  • File a personal injury lawsuit
However, when a child is involved, there are unique circumstances. A dog bite can lead to significant and lasting damages that impact their growth and development. The claims process attempts to take this into account when calculating any child’s damages. In a child dog bite claim, these may include:
  • Medical bills and expenses – These are meant to cover your child’s medical expenses, both now and in the future. Dog bites can leave your child facing hospital visits, surgeries, therapy and other treatment that they’ll need.
  • Lost earnings – Even though a child might not earn money themselves, their parents or guardians could lose income if they have to take time off work to look after the child. This can also cover your child’s loss of earning potential if they’re permanently injured.
  • Pain and suffering – These cover any physical pain and mental anguish you and your child go through because of the dog bite. These incidents are traumatic, leaving everyone with both physical and emotional trauma. You can also ask for separate damages for any emotional distress.
  • Permanent injuries/disfigurement – These damages are for permanent injuries, scarring, disfigurement, and other complications.
  • Loss of quality of life – When a dog bite stops a child from doing things they enjoy, like playing with friends, these damages are designed to cover such losses.
  • Wrongful death expenses – If a child dies from their dog bite injuries, these damages cover things like funeral and burial expenses. This is not only about financial support but also about the family’s emotional challenges, which is part of what needs to be remedied.
Importantly, there’s usually a one-year time limit for making a claim after an accident. But if a child is hurt, the time limit doesn’t start until they turn 18. This gives you more time to ask for help. But you still need to know what to do next.

How To Respond When Your Child is Bitten By a Dog

In some ways, it’s more damaging to watch your child get bitten by a dog than it is for you to suffer the bite yourself. While the vast majority of dogs you come in contact with on your street or at places like Champions Park are well-behaved and trained, your child can still fall victim to a bite. When this happens, it’s important to respond in the right way by:
  • Getting medical care – The first thing you should do is to get medical attention for your child and getting them to safety away from the dog. This will handle any immediate injuries, and can also prevent further complications like infections.
  • Finding the dog’s owner – Do what you can to identify both the dog and its owner, and then getting their contact and insurance information. This is vital for your claim.
  • Reporting to animal control – With medical care taken care of, make sure to report the bite to the authorities, whether it be Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) or Animal Control. They can respond and get further information on the dog.
  • Gathering supporting evidence – Like any incident, you can start gathering evidence yourself, like pictures of the injuries, the location of the incident, and any witness statements. This evidence bolsters your child’s claim.
  • Tracking damages – Keep thorough records of your child’s medical care and costs from the dog bite, including hospital visits, surgeries, medications, and ongoing treatment.

Potential injuries

While the potential injuries that could result from a child’s dog bite aren’t any different from those that happen to an adult, it’s the implications that make a child’s injuries more serious. Worse yet, a child’s general lack of awareness of dog behavior and body language increases the risk of approaching them in a threatening manner. Their smaller size makes them more prone to being bitten on the face and neck, and their unpredictable behavior can make dogs nervous, leading to defensive reactions. Depending on the location and breed of dog, potential injuries could include:
  • Bite wounds, particularly to the face, neck, arms, hands, ankles, and feet.
  • Infections for untreated wounds
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Nerve damage
  • Rabies and other viruses
  • Eye and facial injuries
  • Fatal injuries, in severe cases
All of this adds up to serious setbacks for your child, at a crucial time in their development. The question then becomes, can you avoid these incidents to begin with?

Preventing Child Dog Bites From Happening

A dog bite can happen anywhere your child interacts with one. But the reality is that most dog bites are rather easy to avoid, if not totally prevent. Just like there’s certain factors that can make a child dog bite more likely, there’s a few ways you can make sure your child isn’t bitten by a dog:
  • Teach your child to respect a dog’s space and body language. They should understand signs of discomfort or aggression in dogs, such as growling, showing teeth, or stiffening of the body, and know to back away slowly if they encounter a dog exhibiting these behaviors.
  • Make sure to always supervise your child around dogs
  • Teach your child to never antagonize or disturb dogs when they’re eating or sleeping
While it’s not always possible to stop your child from being bitten, taking these steps is a good way to at least have some control over the situation. Still, if your child is bitten, turn to our team for legal guidance and support.

Trusted Louisville Dog Bite Lawyers

You never want to see your child get hurt in any type of accident, but especially not in a dog bite incident. These scenarios bring all sorts of challenges not just for your child, but for your whole family. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our experienced team of Louisville dog bite lawyers can help. We’ll make sure to fight for your child’s rights and give them the support they need to make a recovery. To learn more about your child’s options, contact us today for a free consultation.
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