According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), roughly 4.7 million people in America suffer from dog bites each year. Overall, close to 20 percent of those bitten need medical attention after the incidents. Dog bites are physically painful for victims and can also cause extreme emotional distress. Young children between the ages of five and nine years old are the most frequent victims of attacks and may be traumatized by their experiences.
Whenever a dog bites someone, witnesses and family members should secure medical attention for the victim immediately. However, people must also consider the legalities and expenses involved in every situation. It’s important to be aware of dog bite laws and to consider which party will be responsible for bills and expenses related to the attack.
Dog Bite Laws
Laws regarding dog bites vary from state to state. Anyone who owns a dog or interacts with dogs regularly should be aware of the regulations in his or her state. Some states have statutes in place to determine the liability of each party, while other states hold court trials to determine responsibility. Generally, statutes regulate dog owners and hold them responsible for controlling their pets. Statutes may also recommend compensation for victims or include penalties for people who own dangerous dogs.
Remedies for victims are generally based on the severity of any injuries incurred. Victims who suffer from minor injuries may not receive compensation for anything other than their medical bills. In the case of severe attacks, victims with major injuries may receive further compensation for physical impairment, pain and suffering or time away from work.
Whether a state has statutes in place or turns the case to a court trial, there are many factors that can affect how the situation is handled. Responsibility can be determined in part by the victim’s age or the area where the attack occurred. The dog’s history may also have a bearing on the final decision of legal responsibility. Owners of violent dogs may receive greater penalties if they haven’t adhered to regulations. Additionally, legal responsibility can depend on the victim’s behavior prior to the attack. If the victim provoked or harassed the dog, the victim may incur some responsibility for the incident.
Getting Legal Help
After an attack, dog owners, victims and their families should consult a dog bite attorney or personal injury lawyer to learn about their rights. Dog bite attorneys can answer questions regarding legal responsibility, damages, compensation and trials. It’s important for both victims and dog owners to understand that every situation involving a dog bite injury is different. Liability can be based on a number of factors, and cases may also be complicated by the policies of insurance providers. A dog bite lawyer can help owners and victims understand their legal rights and responsibilities before filing insurance claims or lawsuits. Because the laws surrounding dog bites can be complicated and dependent on numerous factors, anyone involved in a dog bite attack should consult a professional attorney right away.