Over 4.7 million people sustain dog bites annually in the United States. You or your child could potentially suffer severe injuries due to a dog attack. Children are more common victims of dog bites, with children between the ages of 5 to 9 being bitten the most often.
Further, dog bites can be extremely dangerous. Often they can be life-threatening, disfiguring, and traumatizing. If you or your child suffered a dog bite, an expert Lafayette dog bite lawyer can help to protect your rights and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Since Pepper v. Triplet, the liability standard for dog bites is no longer purely strict liability. In this case the court upheld that “the owner of a dog is strictly liable for damages for injuries to persons or property caused by the dog and which the owner could have prevented and which did not result from the injured person’s provocation of the dog.” La. C.C. art. 2321 However, the Louisiana Supreme Court has held that to prove the dog owner could have prevented the injuries caused by the dog, the plaintiff must show the dog presented an unreasonable risk of harm.
Therefore, if a dog attacked someone and they fell over sustaining a concussion or broken bones, the owner is liable for these injuries. A pet’s responsibility lies with the owner and when the pets are out of control, the owner is usually held accountable for the consequences.
An injury claim must include all physical and emotional injuries resulting from the dog attack in addition to the losses and expenses the victim incurred due to the attack. Physical injuries generally include:
Apart from the physical damage resulting from a dog bite, a person may also suffer significant emotional trauma such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder associated with canines or other animals.
Mental anguish is more often seen in children who are victims or dog bites or attacks. When this happens to a child, the parents may be able to claim compensation on their behalf so long as they have parental rights.
An experienced Lafayette dog bite attorney can help evaluate any injuries and their financial consequences, enabling the individual to seek the settlement necessary to cover their recovery expenses.
However, the canine’s owner may engage an attorney’s services for representation. Choosing a competent Lafayette dog bite lawyer to represent can help put a victim on equal footing in negotiating a settlement.
This will also ensure a parent can focus on their child’s recovery while a lawyer handles the negotiations on their behalf. A legal counselor can help determine the value of a claim to ensure that whatever offer they receive is fair and just. It is essential that settlement accounts for all kinds of economic and non-economic losses, both current and future.
You can pursue a monetary compensation claim against the owner of the dog irrespective of whether you were bitten or mauled by the animal or injured as a result of being knocked over. Consult with a reputable Lafayette dog bite attorney to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible.