The dog bite laws in Louisiana allow bite victims to hold the animal’s owner responsible if there is a known history of aggressive behavior. The statutes also define what makes an animal “dangerous.” This effectively gives dogs in Louisiana one “free” bite before their owner is held accountable.
In some cases, it may be possible to build a claim or lawsuit for damages based on negligence instead of using the state’s dog bite laws.
Louisiana Dog Owners are Responsible for Their Pets’ Bad Behavior
The primary dog bite law on the books in Louisiana is CC §2321, which holds the dog’s owner strictly liable for their pet’s aggressive actions. However, it requires that the owner knew the dog had a history of similar behavior or “in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known” that the dog was capable of causing injuries. The victim will also need to show the owner failed to take reasonable actions to prevent the attack and that the injuries would not have happened if the dog was in a fence, on a leash, or otherwise contained.
Dogs with a known propensity to act out aggressively are sometimes called “dangerous dogs,” and there are strict rules about how they must be handled and kept. The dog bite laws in Louisiana include a statute that defines a “dangerous dog.” This statute can play a key role in a dog bite case.
The rules for owning a dangerous dog are under RS §14:102.14. It may be possible to show that the dog’s owner did not follow these rules despite being aware of what their dog is capable of doing to a bite victim.
Dog Bites Require Medical Care and Could Result in Serious Complications
Any time a dog punctures the skin, the bite will require medical treatment. Emergency medical care may be necessary when injuries:
- Are severe
- Affect a large area of the body
- Are bleeding heavily
- Affect the hands, face, neck, or other sensitive areas
- Penetrate the victim’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, or bone
Other penetrating injuries may only need cleaning and evaluation, which could come from an urgent care facility, a walk-in clinic, or your family doctor. It is vital to get this care as quickly as possible, though. There are several reasons why this is important, including:
- Documenting the injuries suffered in the incident
- Ensuring more significant injuries are not present
- Cleaning the wounds for infection prevention
Some doctors may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of infection or recommend a special cleaning regimen for dog bite injuries. A dog’s mouth is home to a lot of bacteria, and bite wounds easily become infected. This can become systemic quickly and cause severe illness and even death.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Louisiana Dog Bite Injuries
A dog bite case falls under Louisiana’s personal injury laws. This means you may be able to file an insurance claim or sue the dog’s owner for compensation that covers your related expenses and losses.
A personal injury lawyer will likely review your case for free and represent you based on contingency fees if they believe they can recover damages for you. You should not have to pay any attorney’s fees unless your attorney secures a payout in your case. Some of the recoverable damages in a dog bite claim could include:
- Current and future medical care expenses
- Surgery for scarring or releasing scar tissue
- Mental health counseling related to the attack
- Lost wages and diminished earning ability
- Compensation for permanent impairments
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Statute of Limitations
Generally, you only have one year from the date of an attack to sue the dog’s owner under CC §3492. However, many dog bite victims are children.
The deadlines that apply when the victim is very young could differ. Your attorney can explain how quickly you need to act to hold the dog’s owner responsible for the dog bite injuries.
Contact an Attorney at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers About Your Louisiana Dog Bite Case
If you or your child suffered injuries in a Louisiana dog bite incident, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers wants to discuss what happened, the injuries suffered, and other details with you. We will evaluate your case for free to help you understand how you can take action against the dog’s owner.
Our team represents dog bite victims and their families based on contingency. Call (337) 777-7777 to learn more about how we may be able to help you.