As a delivery driver in Kentucky, you’ll visit many homes with dogs. Dogs may bite to protect their owners and territory, a common reason for such incidents.
In Kentucky, dog owners are held responsible for their dogs’ actions. However, handling dog bite cases can sometimes be challenging. Understanding your legal choices and having the right legal team is crucial.
Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC has assisted dog bite victims in Kentucky for a number of years. We’ll evaluate your case, check for negligence, and lead you through the legal process to ensure you receive proper treatment and compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite in Kentucky, contact us for a free consultation.
How Does Kentucky Law Approach Dog Bites?
Kentucky’s dog bite law is clear and follows a “strict liability” approach, which means the dog owner is responsible for injuries, regardless of intent. This law applies consistently, even if someone was trespassing or provoked the dog.
For delivery drivers who visit people’s doors, they are covered by Kentucky’s strict liability law for dog bites. In the context of a bite incident, even with the law in place, circumstances may change if the driver goes somewhere on the property without the owner’s permission. With that said, drivers that work for companies or as independent contractors can pursue a claim against the owner or keeper of the dog. Throughout Kentucky, delivery drivers work for a variety of different companies or agencies, including:
Regardless of who you work for, there are a few things you need to do In the event of a dog bite:
- Seek immediate medical help to prevent infections and complications.
- Report the incident to animal control and the homeowner to assist in locating the dog and reviewing its history.
- Document the incident with photos and a detailed account, including date, time, location, and dog owner details.
- Follow your physician’s wound-care instructions diligently. The most significant post-dog bite risk is infection from the dog’s saliva. Your doctor’s guidelines are tailored to prevent complications such as rabies, tetanus, or cellulitis.
These steps are crucial for building a strong case, as dog bites can lead to medical expenses and other costs. While Kentucky’s strict liability law simplifies dog bite claims, outcomes can vary. Our experienced lawyers are here to support your case for the best possible outcome during the claims process.
What is the Claims Process For a Kentucky Dog Bite Case?
Dog bites are often serious, primarily due to the powerful jaws and tearing nature of the bites. Additionally, dog bites frequently lead to infections because of the bacteria in the dog’s saliva. Beyond the physical injuries, these traumatic events can cause lasting emotional and psychological harm. These factors contribute to the damages available in a Kentucky dog bite claim, including:
- Medical expenses and ongoing treatment, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Property damage related to the incident
- Punitive damages in cases of particularly negligent dog owners
Despite strict liability laws, each dog bite case is unique, and there are no guaranteed positive outcomes. However, partnering with our experienced and dedicated dog bite lawyers can ease the burden on you and your family. We can handle the daily responsibilities of your claim, allowing you to focus on your recovery. While every case progresses differently, it does follow a general outline, which typically includes the following components:
- Free consultation – The first step is to take advantage of our free consultations. We can explain our experience in dog bite cases, help you understand your rights, evaluate the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal process.
- Insurance claim – Once you decide to move forward, our team will typically engage in negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company to reach a settlement. This process can take some time, as both parties may need to agree on the terms of compensation.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit – If a settlement can’t be reached, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf. This initiates the legal proceedings and may lead to a court trial.
- Court proceedings – If your case goes to court, both sides will present their arguments, and a judge or jury will determine the outcome. This process can be lengthy and more complex than reaching a settlement.
It’s important to note that Kentucky follows a strict liability approach for dog bites, meaning the owner is typically responsible for injuries caused by their dog. However, each case is unique, and the claims process can vary based on the specific circumstances.
Reducing the Risk of Dog Bites for Kentucky Delivery Drivers
As a delivery driver, daily encounters with dogs are virtually unavoidable. Unfortunately, even the most gentle dogs can pose a risk of biting. The best way to avoid the complications that come with a dog bite are to try to reduce the chances of it happening at all. While you can’t entirely eliminate this risk, here are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of a dog bite:
- Stay alert – Always remain vigilant for dogs when approaching properties. Dogs can be unpredictable, so watch for them.
- Use safety equipment – Carry dog deterrents like pepper spray or a personal alarm as a precaution to discourage aggressive dogs.
- Observe signs – Pay attention to signs warning about dogs on the property and proceed cautiously.
- Ask customers – If you’re unsure about a property with a dog, ask the customer if their dog is friendly or if you should leave the package in a specific location.
- Maintain safe distance – If you encounter a dog, try to keep a safe distance and avoid actions that might provoke it.
- Stand your ground – Running can trigger a dog’s chase instinct. Instead, stand still and avoid direct eye contact.
- Use a barrier – If available, use a package or clipboard as a barrier between you and the dog for protection.
- Report aggressive dogs – If you encounter a dangerous dog, report it to your employer and local animal control.
- Training – Consider taking a training course on dog behavior and safety if your employer offers one. This can help you understand canine behavior and how to handle different situations.
Remember, preventing dog bites requires caution and preparedness. Your safety should always be a top priority while making deliveries in areas with dogs. If, however, a dog bite occurs, our Kentucky dog bite lawyers are here to support you.
Count On Kaufman & Stigger After a Kentucky Dog Bite
Dealing with a dog bite is undeniably challenging, even for Kentucky delivery drivers who encounter dogs daily. It brings physical injuries and financial challenges. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we have the experience and dedication you need in such situations. Our Kentucky dog bite lawyers will stand by your side as you recover and get back to work. Contact us for a free consultation to begin the process.