A dog attack could be traumatic as even small dogs may cause disfiguring scars and serious bite wounds. Due to the potential danger, Louisiana dog owners have a responsibility to take steps to ensure their dogs do not harm anyone. When they fail to do so and their dog causes an injury, they may be held liable in court.
If you have been a victim of a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Alexandria dog bite lawyer could evaluate the facts of your case and explore your options. If you decide to move forward with a claim, a skilled personal injury attorney could stand by you throughout the process.
Establishing Liability in Dog Bite Cases in Alexandria
A dog owner has a duty to control their dog in a responsible fashion and may be held liable for any harm their animal causes when it attacks a person without provocation. In Louisiana, defendants must adhere to the state’s applied strict liability statute (see La. C.C. Art. § 2321). This means that dog owners may be held liable for the actions of their dog, even if the dog had no history of aggression or violence.
Louisiana also has several other requirements for the dog owner to be found liable for damages, including:
- The dog owner needs to have known or should have known that the dog was dangerous
- Any injury or damage must have been preventable had the owner take reasonable care and caution to prevent it
- The owner must not have taken sufficient care to prevent the victim from being injured
- The victim needs to not have provoked the animal prior to the injury
For a free legal consultation with a dog bites lawyer serving Alexandria, call (318) 777-7777
Arguments Dog Owners May Use
The dog owner may raise a number of defenses to try to reduce their liability. A common defense is that the injured party may have provoked the animal, and as a result, they were attacked.
An owner may also try to claim that the injured party bears part of the blame, also known as comparative negligence. If the owner’s argument is successful, the plaintiff’s damages may be reduced by a percentage the court finds them at fault. This is why it may be important to work with an Alexandria dog bite lawyer who knows how to argue against these defenses.
Alexandria Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (318) 777-7777
Someone who was attacked by a dog may be entitled to fair compensation for their losses and damages. The two main categories of harm are economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include compensation for tangible losses such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, property damages, future psychological costs, and past counseling expenses.
Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Humiliation caused by scarring
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages may also be applicable in dog bite cases if the dog was known to be vicious or had a history of attacking others and its owner acted recklessly in exposing others to the danger presented. These damages are meant to punish the responsible person, set an example, and reduce the chance of future attacks. Therefore, they are only awarded for especially egregious behavior. For help with recovering damages, retain the services of a dedicated lawyer.
Rapides Parish Dog Bite Lawyer
Louisiana Dog Owner Liability
Dog bite laws differ from state to state. In some jurisdictions, dog owners are always liable, and others do not place liability on the owner until the dog causes a problem. Under Louisiana Civil Code § 2321, dog bite liability is rooted in negligence law. Under this law, a dog owner is liable for the damages their dog causes from a bite or another incident, such as knocking someone down, if:
- The owner was aware or should have been aware that their dog’s behavior would inflict damage upon another
- Taking reasonable care would have prevented the damage
- The owner did not take reasonable care to prevent harm
- The injured party did not do anything to provoke the dog to bite
In essence, the plaintiff in a dog bite case or their Rapides Parish dog bite attorney must prove that the owner failed to take reasonable care and the failure caused their injuries. Also included in this law are injuries from other animals, such as cats or horses.
Recoverable Damages in a Rapides Parish Dog Bite Case
People who have not suffered a dog bite may not understand how extensive the resulting damages can be. A victim’s damages could involve financial burdens, physical injuries, or even emotional trauma. Potential damages that dog bite victims could recover in a lawsuit might include compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
In addition to proving the liability of the dog’s owner, the plaintiff’s dog bite lawyer in Rapides Parish must also prove that the plaintiff suffers damages from their injury. Without proving damages, the plaintiff will not be eligible for compensation.
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Contact a Reliable Alexandria Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bite injuries might have debilitating and even permanent effects on your health and life. Children, in particular, may be vulnerable to dog attacks and might suffer extreme psychological trauma and severe injuries.
A knowledgeable Alexandria dog bite lawyer could review your case and help you explore your available sources of compensation. To learn more, call today to set up a free consultation.