Dogs are truly man’s best friend. They are loyal, playful, and eager to please. But not every dog is a good dog and even the best of friends can snap. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans are bitten by dogs. Some are strays, but the majority of these dogs are owned by negligent or irresponsible owners who do not take the safety of others into consideration. Dog bites can be painful and traumatic, but as a victim, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.
Dog Bite Liability
In most states, there are statutes (laws) which impose liability upon a dog owner when his or her dog bites someone as long as the victim was lawfully on the property where attacked. In Kentucky under KRS 258.235(4) any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock, or other property shall be responsible for that damage. In Indiana under I.C. 15-20-1-3 liability is imposed when a dog, without provocation, bites a person who is acting peaceably and who is in a location where the dog owner has a duty of care. Our firm’s lawyers recently represented a dog bite client in a case in which the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in our client’s favor in interpreting KRS 258.235(4) and finding a dog owner is strictly liable for damages caused by their dog.
How Do You Find Out Whether the Person Liable for the Dog Bite Is Insured?
A critical aspect to making a recovery in any case – and certainly a dog bite case – is finding insurance coverage. Even though a dog owner may be responsible for a victim’s damages regardless of whether he or she is insured, without an insurance policy to pursue, recovering damages against an uninsured owner is extremely difficult. Homeowners insurance and renters insurance are the two most common types of insurance which may cover dog bite damages.
Unlike in an automobile accident, a dog owner does not have to provide his or her insurance to the injured victim. Many times, a lawyer can assist a dog bite victim in locating insurance by contacting the dog owner directly. Sometimes it may be necessary for a Louisville premises liability lawyer to file a lawsuit against a dog owner in order to identify any insurance coverage.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Cases
Dog bite victims should not only be aware of their legal rights but should also understand that there are state statutes of limitations pertaining to their claim. A statute of limitations restricts the time period in which a person can file a lawsuit for their injuries.
These statutes vary from state to state and also vary with each cause of action. It is important for a dog bite victim to contact an experienced attorney who is familiar with the state’s statute of limitations. If suit is not filed within the state’s statute of limitations, the injured victim may be barred from any recovery.
Minors Have Unique Statute of Limitations
Because dog bites are often associated with children, it is very important to understand that most states have an extended statute of limitation with regard to minors. Many times, a statute of limitations may not begin to run until the minor’s 18th birthday. However, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to determine the specific timeline in which a minor’s dog bite claim must be filed.
Seeking Financial Compensation
Dog bite victims have the right to seek compensation for their injuries, including:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages; and
- Past and future pain and suffering.
Kaufman & Stigger Dog Bite & Animal Injury Settlements
Below are a few of our client dog bite settlements.
Settlement: Dog Bite Injury Accident $300,000.00 Policy Limits A 31-year-old was attacked by Pitbull. Victim had a fractured arm and needed surgery as a result. Our firm settled his case for policy limits $300,000.00.
Settlement: Dog Bite Injury Accident $200,000.00 – A 30-year-old female sustained a bite on the face resulting in permanent scarring. Our firm settled her case for $200,000.00.
Settlement: Dog Bite Injury Accident $225,000.00 – A 10-year-old was chased and jumped on by a dog that had was loose in their neighborhood. The child suffered from a knee fracture that required surgery. Our firm settled this case for $225,000.00.
Settlement: Dog Bite Injury Accident $100,000 Policy Limits – A United States Postal Service employee was delivering a package at a residence. The dog escaped from the home and attacked the USPS employee resulting in significant leg injuries. Our firm settled this case for $100,000.00.
Settlement: Dog Bite Injury Accident $90,000 – A 3-year-old client was bitten on the arm and head and sustained multiple injuries. Our firm settled this case for $90,000.00.
Settlement: Dog Bite Injury Accident $75,000 – A 6-year-old client was bitten on the face by a dog resulting in injuries and scarring. Our firm settled this case for $75,000.00.
Settlement: Dog Bite Injury Accident $60,444 – A Fed Ex employee was bitten on the hand and injured by a dog while delivering packages. The dog owner was unable to provide proof of vaccination requiring our client to get a series of 4 rabies shots. Our firm settled this case for $60,444.00.
Settlement: Animal Injury Accident $49,500.00 – A sheep escaped from a neighboring property and charged our client resulting in knee injuries. Our firm settled this case for $49,500.00.
Speak with a Legal Professional
If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, the law firm of Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, can help gather evidence to prove the dog owner’s fault as well as demonstrate the damages sustained. Our team has experience with state dog bite laws as well as handling dog bite cases, and we can help you get the justice you deserve. Please call our firm today at (502) 458-5555 to discuss your case with a legal professional.