Dog owners always hold a legal responsibility to prevent pets from damaging property or injuring people. So, when a dog ends up hurting someone, the owner has to reimburse the medical expenses of the victim, along with time lost from work, pain, and suffering. The liability insurance of the owner will cover the cost, even when the injury happens off the property of the owners. The victim can always take the help of the reputed Personal injury law firm Orlando to claim compensation.
Understanding civil liability:
A dog owner will be liable in any civil lawsuit for a bit or any other form of injury caused by the animal in a few instances. Understanding those instances will help you learn more about the case and make it strong to work for you.
- In some cases, a dog bite statute is applied. Most states have “strict liability dog bite laws.” It will; make the owners of the dogs financially responsible for the bites, no matter what the history of that dog is or the carelessness.
- The victim can further prove that the owner knew everything about the dog’s tendency that resulted in the injury. In states without dog-bite laws, the owners will be held responsible under a principle called the one-bite rule. It makes the dog owners liable for injuries if they know that their dogs have the tendency to hurt someone.
- Moreover, the victim can further prove that the injury took place because the owner was negligent. For example, the owner might have violated the local leash law or left the gate open, which allowed the dog to run out and bite someone.
The dog owners can avoid some or the complete responsibility for the injuries if they can prove any legal defense for a dog bite. Even in some states with dog-bite statutes, those laws will apply in case the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing when the injury took place. Moreover, the state laws can limit or reduce the owner’s liability if the victim was at fault when the dog bite took place.
Focusing on criminal liability:
In some states, there are norms placed under “dangerous dog laws.” Here, the courts will ask the owners to take special preventive measures when their animals have threatened or injured someone. Sometimes, the judge might even order that the dog be euthanized in case it possesses any risk associated with serious harm. If the owner fails to cooperate with the restrictions, he might face some criminal penalties.
- There are some rare instances when the dog can kill people because of deliberate or reckless actions on the owner’s part. During such instances, the authorities will charge owners with manslaughter charges.
- In some other cases, the state will specify criminal law applied to serious dog attacks. Some states have authorized criminal charges against dog owners that severe injuries or end up killing someone, mostly if the owner knew about the dangerous instinct of the animal but ignored the consequences recklessly.
What happens when a dog hurts you?
There are some steps to be taken immediately after you get involved in a dog bite or any other injuries. Following these steps are important if you want complete justice for the pain you are going through right now.
Get phone numbers and the name of the dog owner:
Even if you think you won’t be asking for monetary help, you can end up changing your mind the next day, especially if the injuries get serious with time. In case the owner owns liability insurance, you better get that information in hand, too, along with his name and phone number.
Get names and contact info of witnesses:
You need help from witnesses to back up your version of the story of what actually happened between you and the dog. It will surely help you in case the dog owner later denies any of the charges placed against his name. Animal control authorities can then find the dog from your given description and find its owner later.
Always take pictures of the scene:
If you have the ability, try getting a picture of the dog first. Then take pictures of immediate injuries and anything within the vicinity, which will support your version of what has happened at that time. It will help you big time if there is no one around when you get attacked by the dog.
If you need, get medical attention:
In case the injuries are serious enough that it needs medical attention then run to your nearest hospital quickly. Keep all the records of the doctor’s office and the hospital visits, along with multiple copies of the bill. So, next time when you ask for a payment, these documents will act as major proof.
If you have been a victim of a dog bite, catching up with personal injury lawyers from Orlando Law Firm will be your next big step to address.