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.
Laws Dealing With Dog Bites
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.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bites lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Injuries Caused By Dogs
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:
- Punctures and lacerations
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.
Lafayette Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Lafayette Claim Settlements
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.
Iberia Parish Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bites Specifically Addressed in Louisiana Law
Dog bites or other injuries caused by dogs are specifically addressed by the law in most states. Louisiana is unique in that successful dog bite claims must prove the negligence of the dog’s owner, similar to other personal injury cases. Residents of Iberia Parish and New Iberia are beholden to Louisiana Civil Code Article 2321, which addresses not only dog bites but also other injuries caused by dogs.
Liability of Dog Owners
Under this law, 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. If the owner could have prevented injury and harm by exercising reasonable care, and the dog was not provoked to bite or cause injury, the owner could be found liable for the victim’s damages.
For example, suppose that an individual is at a dog park and is suddenly attacked by another dog there. The victim and their Iberia Parish dog bite attorney could argue that the dog’s owner was negligent for not leashing the dog or for even bringing it to the park to begin with.
Healing from a dog bite injury can potentially take months or even years. Victims should focus on recovering from their wounds, but they also need to 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 Louisiana Civil Code §3492, dog bite victims have one year from the date of their injury to file a claim against the dog’s owner. Hiring an experienced dog bite lawyer in Iberia Parish could help potential plaintiffs file their cases before the prescriptive period expires.
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Call a Lafayette Dog Bite Attorney Today
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.