Bruce Law Group, LLC – Dog Bites
Man’s best friend can also be man’s worst enemy when someone is injured by a dog bite. Millions of people are bitten and attacked by dogs each year, and a large portion of these people are small children and the elderly. Most dogs are not trained to attack, but sometimes their instincts shine through, causing serious injuries to innocent and unsuspecting people. At Bruce Law Group, LLC, our attorneys provide legal assistance to individuals who have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dog bites generally cannot be prevented once the dog as started its course of action, especially if the dog’s owner is not around at the time of the attack.
Kentucky Dog Bite Law
In Kentucky, as in most states, if you are injured by a dog bite, you do not need to prove the bite was the dog owner’s fault. The dog owner is “strictly liable” for the injuries you have suffered. A dog owner does not have a defense when his or her dog attacks you for no apparent reason. An exception may exist if it is absolutely clear that you provoked the dog in some way and caused the interaction that subsequently lead to the dog bite. However, most dog bite injuries are unprovoked. In addition to being strictly responsible for your injuries, the dog owner may also be liable for other harm the dog has caused. For example, if the dog bites your own pet, or causes property damage to your personal property or real property, the owner would be responsible for compensating you.
Kentucky law is strict when it comes to dog bites because having a dog is a huge responsibility. The love of pets and animals must be balanced by laws that help innocent people recover when they are harmed by dog bites and other injuries incurred during an attack.
Why Do Dog Bites Occur?
While it is extremely difficult to stop a dog from attacking another person, dog owners can take steps to prevent the situation from happening in the first place. Most dog bites can be prevented if owners do any of the following:
- Ensure that a dog is securely confined to a fenced-yard;
- Keep dogs on leashes at all times when walking them;
- Ensure dogs have basic obedience skills;
- Socialize dogs from an early age so they are less inclined to bite; and
- Ensure that aggressive dogs have muzzles when around other people and animals.
Unfortunately, there are dog owners that only want to have dogs for protection purposes, and even encourage their dogs to fight. While there certainly are valid reasons to have working dogs, and dogs used for protection purposes (such as police and military dogs), when owners are purposefully encouraging their dogs to fight with other dogs and people, this is both mistreatment of the dogs themselves and of everyone else that may be exposed to those dogs. If dogs are properly trained, Kentucky law is followed, and owners take responsibility for ensuring their dogs are properly secured, most dog bites won’t happen.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
When preventative measures are not taken to prevent a dog bite, serious and sometimes fatal injuries can result. The more vulnerable victims, such as small children and the elderly, typically sustain much worse injuries as they are not able to fully defend themselves as other people might be able to do. Typical dog bite injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Broken bones;
- Torn flesh leading to expensive reconstructive and plastic surgery;
- Torn muscles and ligaments;
- Significant blood loss;
- Damage to internal organs;
- Head trauma; and
- Permanent scarring
Any bite is likely to leave some scarring, and if a dog is extremely vicious, not stopping after one bite, the scarring will most likely be permanent, and reconstructive/plastic surgery may be required. Most injuries result in blood loss to a certain extent, and if too much blood is lost, the injuries could be fatal. For this reason, it is extremely important to seek medical attention as soon as possible following a dog bite injury.
Do Insurance Companies Get Involved?
Most homeowners’ insurance policies have a provision for dog bites. This allows victims to be compensated for their medical expenses and damage to other property (including personal property, real property, and animals), directly from the dog owner’s insurance carrier. If your injury is not too severe (i.e
., you do not require stitches for a bite), you may consider directly seeking reimbursement for your expenses from the dog owner. Otherwise, it is important to seek legal advice and determine the best plan of action for your particular case. The attorneys of Bruce Law Group, LLC have experience dealing with insurance companies. If you file a personal injury claim against the dog owner to receive compensation for the injuries you have suffered, our attorneys will ensure that the dog owner’s insurance company is acting in fairness, and not denying a claim in bad faith.
Remember, dog owners are strictly liable, so you should receive compensation without proving that the dog owner was at fault. The involvement of an insurance company is just an added step when the dog owner has a homeowners’ or renter’s policy, but Bruce Law Group, LLC will streamline the process so you get what you deserve as soon as possible. Dog bite cases tend to take less time to resolve than other personal injury cases, simply because there is no need to prove anything when a dog bite injury was unprovoked.
Serious Legal Representation For Serious Injuries – Call For Your Free Consultation
Why Hire Bruce Law Group, LLC For Your Case?
Our Kentucky personal injury lawyers provide serious legal representation for serious personal injuries. We ensure each and every client receives superior customer service. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay legal fees until after your have been compensated. We offer a free, no obligation initial consultation. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact Bruce Law Group, LLC at (502) 498-8887 for your free, comprehensive consultation.