Dog bite injuries can be disfiguring and lead to serious complications. If you or your child suffered a severe dog bite injury, please get in touch with our experienced Lafayette dog bite lawyers today. A qualified personal injury attorney can help protect your rights and fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Choosing a personal injury lawyer from our firm will help even the playing field when negotiating a settlement with the dog owner or their insurance company. An experienced attorney can help determine your claim’s full value and handle all insurance negotiations and court proceedings on your behalf.
Reach out today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Financial Compensation After a Dog Bite Is Based on the Damages You Suffered
Our team determines the fairness of a settlement offer by calculating your total damages. After a dog bite incident, you may receive compensation for multiple economic and non-economic losses.
Your economic losses may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Income loss
- Reduced earning potential
- Travel expenses for doctor’s appointments
We can also include any non-economic damages you suffered and assign a monetary value to them. These damages may include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Psychological trauma
- Physical disfigurement, such as scarring
- Permanent disability
We work with experts to help us understand any related future damages you could face, such as additional medical treatment or ongoing care and support costs.
For example, dog bite victims may require plastic surgery to improve their appearance and increase the functionality of scarred skin. These procedures may not occur immediately after the attack, but your settlement should cover the costs.
If you have lost a loved one because of a dog attack, we will also include damages related to their wrongful death. These damages can include costs for funeral services, loss of society and companionship, loss of financial support, and pain and suffering experienced by the victim and their surviving family.
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Why You Should Consider Hiring a Lafayette Dog Bite Lawyer for Your Case
Our legal team regularly handles dog bite injury cases. When you work with us, we’ll take care to explain the nature of your case, including:
- Laws that might affect your case
- Who might be held liable for your damages
- The time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit for your dog bite injuries
Our personal injury attorneys have over 350 years of combined experience representing victims in personal injury cases, including dog bite and attack claims.
We work based on a contingency fee, never charging upfront retainers or hourly fees. We only get paid from the compensation we recover on our client’s behalf. Also, our initial consultation is always free.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
Liability for Dog Bites
Under CC Art. 2321, dog owners are liable for any damages their pet causes with the stipulation that they knew or should have known that their dog would cause harm.
In situations where the owner could have prevented injury and harm by exercising reasonable care and the victim did not provoke the dog, the owner could be liable for the victim’s damages.
For example, suppose an individual is at a park, and someone else’s dog suddenly attacks them. The victim and their Lafayette personal injury lawyer could argue that the dog’s owner was negligent for not controlling the dog. They might be liable for even bringing it to the park if it had a known history of bad behavior.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
File Your Dog Attack Lawsuit Within the State Deadline
Healing from a dog bite injury can take months or even years. Victims should focus on recovering from their wounds but must also understand that lawsuits are subject to strict filing deadlines.
If plaintiffs do not comply with the deadline for filing their case, they may lose the right to seek compensation. Under CC Art. 3492, dog bite victims and other accident victims have one year from their injury to take legal action against the dog’s owner.
Contacting Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Hiring a dog bite lawyer in Lafayette could help potential plaintiffs file their cases before the prescriptive period expires. We understand that you may not know your prognosis or the full cost of your treatment yet, but we want to hear from you now.
It may be possible to investigate what happened and gather the evidence before you reach maximum medical recovery. Your Lafayette dog bite lawyer will not file your personal injury claim and begin settlement negotiations until we understand the value of your economic, intangible, and future damages.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
We Aim To Hold Pet Owners Liable for Their Pets’ Actions
Louisiana law states that to prove the dog owner could have prevented the injuries the dog caused, the plaintiff must show the dog presented an unreasonable risk of harm. In most cases, this requires proving that the owner knew the dog had a history of vicious, threatening, or otherwise dangerous behavior.
This is sometimes called the “one-bite rule” because dogs can bite one person without consequences, and the owner is only liable for additional incidents. It can be challenging to prove these cases, which could occur at an off-leash dog park, on the owner’s property, or in other locations.
Preventing Dogs from Running Loose
Because of a Lafayette City-Parish law that prevents dogs from “running at large,” the owner might be found negligent regardless of their pet’s past behavior.
Owners must keep their pets leashed, contained, or under “voice control” at all times, depending on the setting. Negligence occurs if:
- The dog’s owner has a duty to keep their dog under control to protect their pet and others.
- They fail to do so, allowing their pet to roam.
- The dog bites another party because it is not under the owner’s control.
- That party suffers physical and emotional injuries, as well as financial losses.
Dog Attack Injuries
A dog owner can be liable for injuries an out-of-control dog may cause, including puncture wounds, torn skin, and other soft tissue injuries.
For example, suppose a dog attacked someone because it was not under the owner’s control, and the victim fell, leading to a concussion or bone fracture. In that case, the owner may be liable for these injuries because they should have restrained the dog.
In most cases, liability for the pet’s actions lies with the owner. Owners are usually held responsible for the consequences when they fail to prevent their pets from harming someone. Our Lafayette dog attack lawyers know how to develop these arguments and get maximum compensation for victims.
When Might Lafayette Dog Owners Escape Liability?
Dog owners may be able to avoid liability for the injuries their dog causes in some situations. Some of these may include instances of trespassing and provocation.
Suppose the injured victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property or committing a crime at the time of the incident. In that case, the victim may find it more difficult to go after the dog’s owner for their damages.
Dog owners must protect invited guests and patrons from their dogs when on their property. However, if you were trespassing, the dog’s owner has no obligation to protect you from their pet.
Provocation is a common defense in dog bite claims. If an injury victim provoked a dog to bite, they could find it more difficult or impossible to win a civil claim against the dog’s owner. Some examples of actions that may be considered provocation include:
- Hitting, kicking, or punching the dog
- Throwing objects at the animal
- Screaming or yelling at the dog
- Acting aggressively toward the dog
Shared Fault in Dog Bite Cases
Although the dog owner is ultimately responsible for their pet’s actions, the dog owner likely won’t be liable for all damages if the plaintiff provoked their dog into aggressive or violent behavior. This is considered a shared fault.
Sharing fault in a Lafayette dog bite case is fairly common. Louisiana operates under a pure comparative negligence system (CC Art. 2323); therefore, sharing fault will not bar you from financial recovery.
However, you may be limited in the amount of compensation you receive. If you share liability, your injury settlement will be reduced to account for your portion of the fault.
Example of Comparative Negligence
For example, if you were throwing things at the dog before the attack, the judge might find you 25% responsible for causing your injuries. If the court awarded you $250,000 in damages, your settlement would be lowered by 25%, leaving you with an overall injury settlement of $187,500.
This is just one example of how Louisiana’s comparative negligence laws could influence the outcome of your case. These laws are known for being complicated. Make sure you understand the implications of the state’s shared fault laws on your case.
Find out more by contacting your Lafayette dog bite attorney to discuss the specific details of the incident.
What To Expect From Your Dog Attack Insurance Claim
The insurance company may fight back when you file a claim for a dog bite. The insurer doesn’t want to lose money by paying your claim, so they may look for opportunities to reduce their financial liability.
Protect your compensation by allowing an experienced attorney to build a strong case and use the evidence to negotiate with the insurer.
Start Working With a Lafayette Dog Bite Lawyer Today
You shouldn’t have to pay for injuries caused by someone else’s dog. Instead, you can pursue a monetary compensation claim against the negligent pet owner if their animal bit or injures you. We can assess your case and discuss your legal options for free.