According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. And almost 1 out of 5 bites become infected.
If you were bitten or harmed by another person’s dog, the owner can be liable for the damages resulted. It mostly depends on the situation and the incident itself, but there is always a good chance that you can receive compensation because a dog bite comes under personal injury law. If you’re not sure who should be held accountable, talking to a personal injury attorney in Door County, WI may be your best way to find out.
Who is Liable for a Dog Bite Injury?
The liability for injuries resulting from a dog bite depends on state law. For example, in some states, if a trespasser is bitten by a dog within the boundaries of another person’s private property, they will likely not have a strong claim against the owner of the dog.
Individuals who provoke the dog are also not protected by the law. If however, you were bitten by a dog in a public place, and you did nothing to provoke the animal, then you can file a claim.
How to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Dog bite personal injury cases are very simple and straightforward compared to car accidents, slip, and other injuries.
To file a claim against the person whose dog bit you, you simply need to prove that the dog was the cause for your injuries. After you have established a liable party, you can start making a list of future costs that will result because of the injury. These costs include –
- Future medical costs
- Permanent scarring
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
A dog bite is just as bad as any other injury. For some, it is a very traumatic experience that often results in mental scarring along with physical injuries. If such is the case, you will be entitled to compensation in the form of punitive damages.
You will also have to deal with the insurance company at some point during the claims process. This is the part where you must be ready with tangible evidence to prove that the injuries resulted due to a dog bite. If you fail to provide such evidence, your provider retains the right to refuse to cover your damages.
Here are some examples of tangible evidence –
- Medical bills
- Witness reports
- Incident reports
- Photographs or videos of the scene and the injury
After you have gathered enough evidence and have estimated the damages, you will need to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Keep in mind that the owner of the dog is also protected by insurance and most insurers do not cover dog bite incidents. If however they are covered, your lawyer should be able to settle terms with the insurance provider. If the owner is not covered, then you will have to file a claim in court.