Dog Bite Lawyers in Louisville
Dog are special members of many American families. Even the most beloved canine companion can potentially bite and cause injuries, however.
If you have been attacked by a dog and hurt, you may want to consult an experienced dog bite attorney who can give guidance on what is often a difficult situation. You should be compensated for your suffering and any damages that may have occurred as a result of the attack — medical bills, lost work, painful injuries and permanent disability are all common.
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Dog Bite Statistics
There are around 90 million dogs kept as pets in the United States. Estimates show that 36 percent of home have at least one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those dogs cause around 4.5 million bite injuries per year.
The true numbers of injuries is likely much higher, as there is no centralized data collection regarding dog bites. Many instances go unreported, but an estimated 20 percent of dog attack injuries are serious enough to require medical attention. Every day there are more than 1,000 emergency department visits as a result of dog encounters.
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Why Dogs May Bite
Anyone can be attacked by a dog. More than half of dog bites involve animals that are familiar to victim. Children, especially children ages five to nine, are often the ones most severely injured by dogs, because of their size and inability to always recognize a dangerous dog situation or aggressive behavior. Delivery persons and mail carriers also bear a higher risk of attack.
Dogs can be prone to biting for many reasons. A dog's personality or breed could potentially predispose it to being aggressive. Some dog breeds are recognized by insurance companies and cities as aggressive and can be restricted or banned. Breeds most commonly affected by these policies are pit bulls and other bull terrier-type dogs, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans and Chow Chows. Biting and aggression are not breed specific though, and any dog has the potential to do serious harm.
A dog's negative prior experience with people or a history of neglect or abuse may make it bite out of fear. A dog may attack to protect its family members from harm, whether real or perceived, or to defend its territory, food or toys. It may be in pain. It may not have been properly socialized as a puppy, which can exacerbate bad behavior and fear. Sometimes the dog may simply be overly excited or playing too roughly and cause and unintentional injuries.
What to Do If You Are Bitten
There are steps to take immediately after a dog attack which can increase your chances of being compensated, should you decide to take a case to court. Even if you are not sure of how you will handle the situation, it is very important to have well documented evidence of the attack and your injuries. It is better to have more information that is eventually needed than not enough.
Kentucky's Dog Bite Laws
Laws concerning dog bites vary from state to state but there are two basic types: negligence or strict liability. Under negligence laws the owner is only held responsible for injuries caused by their dog if they had reason to believe that the dog would bite or if their own negligent behavior contributed to the attack. For example, if they allowed their dog to roam without a leash and it bites someone, they would be negligent.
Kentucky follows strict liability laws, and these are more straightforward. Owners are responsible for injuries caused by their dogs in almost all cases.
In some strict liability states, an owner may not be responsible for their dog's actions in only tow scenarios: if they can prove that the injured person was trespassing on their private property or if the dog was provoked. Typically, a situation which scares or hurts the dog can be justified as provocation. However, in Kentucky the laws are different. A dog owner is responsible for all injuries caused by their pet, however, the amount paid as a result of a judgement in a dog bite case can be reduced when there is evidence of shared liability.
It is important to act quickly if you decide to take legal action and pursue compensation. In personal injury cases like a dog bite, Kentucky's statute of limitations laws say that you have one year from the date of your attack to initiate a case in court.
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The involvement of an insurance company may be reassuring because you can recover damages from a company and not the owner directly. This also guarantees that any compensation won will be paid. However, insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with. Hessig & Pohl can navigate this process with you, so you are sure they are playing fair.
At Hessig & Pohl, we understand how sensitive and complicated these cases can be. We have experience with dog bite injuries and can help you recover what was lost as a result of your attack. We offer the Fee Free Guarantee, and you will pay nothing if we cannot get you the compensation you deserve. As the premier dog bite attorneys in Louisville and throughout Kentucky, we are ready to help you.
Contact us through this website, or call our office at (502) 777-1111.