While dogs are known to be man’s best friend, this rule often extends only to the animal’s owner. As many Americans have found out, dog bites are very common. With over 77 million dogs in the US, dog bite laws have been put in place to ensure that citizens are protected and can receive adequate compensation for any and all injuries. Have you been bitten by a dog and want to learn more about your legal rights? Look no further.
Dog owner’s liability
Knowing the law will be your best weapon in your case, and so the first step is to familiarize yourself with the three kinds of law that protect you in case of a dog bite. Choosing a given option will depend on the state you live in, as well as the specifics of your case.
The dog bite statute states that dog owners are liable for physical injury or property damage caused by their pet.
The one-bite rule holds the pet owner responsible only if they knew their dog was prone to biting, based on past history.
Negligence laws can work in your favor if the dog’s behavior was affected by the owner’s carelessness in controlling their dog in public.
Proving your case
Documentation is key when settling legal disputes involving personal injury or property damages. Take plenty of photos, save bills and medical records, and talk to any eyewitnesses who may have seen the event first hand. The better prepared you are to prove your side of the story, the greater chance you have of coming out on top. In some states, even the specific breed of the dog can be a factor, so make sure you get all the information you can.
Talk to a professional
Of course, working through the specifics of any dog bite laws will take the trained eye of a seasoned legal professional. While doing your homework is an important necessity, sealing the deal will mean finding a lawyer with the skill and expertise to represent you in court. If you have any specific questions or concerns, or are still unsure about your rights after being bitten by a dog, the time to act is now.