As safe and friendly as the vast majority of dogs may be, Man’s Best Friend is still an animal by nature and prone to biting, scratching, or otherwise attacking those that it sees as a threat. While many owners feel that a dog will only bite if provoked or that their pet would not be capable of such an act, the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of people are bitten by dogs every year. Not to mention most bite injuries involve children.
A dog attack happens quickly, often out of the blue. This traumatic injury may not only leave you or your child injured, it could lead to lifelong scarring, both physical and emotional. Medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional support following the incident aren’t things that most families are prepared to deal with so suddenly. For many, having a dog bite lawyer with experience in state and parish laws is the best possible way to make sure that you are compensated for the injuries that you or a loved one have sustained due to an attack from a canine or other domesticated animal. The consequences of your injuries might be with you for years to come; you deserve justice and fair compensation to help you get your life back to normal. Don’t hesitate to call a Baton Rouge dog bite lawyer to find out if your injuries entitle you to take legal action.
Louisiana Dog Bite Laws: A Quick Summary
Louisiana has a nearly unique legal approach to animal injury claims. The Louisiana Dog Bite Statute is a form of strict liability, in which the owner of the animal is responsible for any injuries and the financial compensation of such so long as it can be proved that the animal was not provoked, that reasonable care was not taken to prevent injury, and that there was reasonable or specific knowledge that the animal had behavioral issues. This Louisiana law also extends beyond dog bites to allow anyone injured by the behavior of an animal to seek compensation as well. Examples of animal behavior injuries include those sustained from a kick or being knocked down by an improperly restrained animal.
What really stands out about the dog bites laws in Louisiana is that they are based entirely in the practice of negligence law. That means that in order to win your case, you will be responsible for proving that your injury only occurred because the dog owner failed to take reasonable care in regards to their pet that would have otherwise prevented damages from happening. Being partially at fault for your injury does not exclude you from compensation either. However, if it is proven that you are partially at fault for the injuries sustained, a percentage will be reduced from your total compensation once awarded. For instance, if you have been awarded $10,000 for your injuries but have been proven 35% at fault for the ordeal, your total damages will be that much less.
In the event that it is found you have provoked the animal, culminating in your attack and injury, the law specifies that the owner is not liable for any damages. This caveat to the law will also apply if you were trespassing at the time of your attack.
Dog bite law in Louisiana can be some of the most complex, thanks to the differences in which each Parish or County handles their own dog regulations and bite laws. An attorney will know the specific laws as they apply to where the attack happened and where the owner resides.
What Kind Of Dog Bite Injuries Can You Sustain?
The harm that a dog bite injury can inflict goes far beyond the initial physical attack.
When you bring your case to our injury attorneys, you may be unsure what level of compensation you can seek or what you could claim as compensable items. The first thing that the attorneys at Babcock Injury Lawyers will do is assess your claim and ensure that you are seeking compensation for all possible damages to your person, property, or quality of life.
First, there’s the physical damage to consider. This could be medical bills, hospital stays, rabies shots, stitches, and even amputation and skin grafting in severe cases. Some of your medical expenses, like prescriptions and follow up appointments, may stay with you into the foreseeable future, causing you further financial strain and possible lost wages. These are quantifiable damages that are easy to see and back up with receipts and medical charts. However, they are not the only damages for which you may be due compensation.
Due to the savage nature of dog bite injuries, you may be left with psychological scarring as well. Serious mental health issues may arise, some of which may feel more debilitating than the physical pain of your injuries. Dog bites can be a source of trauma, stress, and anxiety. They can even cause severe phobias, particularly in children. If your child was the victim of a canine attack, a Louisiana dog bite lawyer can help you make a claim for them as long as you are exercising parental rights.
If you have sustained an injury due to the bite or behavior of an animal, you have undergone a serious event; one that could alter your life or that of your family going forward. Let the Baton Rouge dog bite attorneys from Babcock Injury Lawyers build your case and get you the compensation that you need to meet your financial obligations following such an attack.
Settling Claims For Dog Bites And Attacks
Many of us tell ourselves that if it were our own pet to suddenly attack, we would do the right thing and settle the victim’s medical bills. However, when actually faced with such a situation, many dog owners will refuse to acknowledge the incident and ignore any requests for legal compensation. Some parties may be afraid of losing their beloved pet; a common fear for animals that have prior histories of attack or damage.
Likewise, individuals who have been injured by the dog of a family member or close friend may be hesitant to seek damages. This stems from an all too common belief that the money for medical bills and pain and suffering would need to come out of the pocket of the dog owner. In fact, this is covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies. In many cases, the owner will be paying premium rates to include this coverage that kicks in in just such an event as an unprovoked dog bite attack.
Call a Baton Rouge Truck Driver Fatigue Attorney Today
If you or your child has been the victim of a canine attack in Louisiana, we’re here to provide the legal help you need to protect your rights and seek fair compensation for the damages you have sustained due to the negligence of a dog owner. Attorneys Stephen Babcock and Chase Tettleton come with years of experience in handling some of the most complicated and seemingly insurmountable personal injury cases in the State of Louisiana and are ready to put that knowledge and skill to work for you. When you’re ready to learn more about your right to compensation for an animal attack, call a Baton Rouge truck driver fatigue lawyer. Your consultation is always free.