I was Bitten by a Dog, What are my Rights?

FIVE THINGS TO DO WHEN BITTEN BY A DOG

  1. Get the Dog Owners full name, address, and phone number
  2. Call Animal Control to the scene immediately
  3. Call the Police
  4. Take photos of your injury, the location and the dog if possible
  5. Seek Medical attention.

Dog Bite Victims In Nevada Need to Obtain Legal Counsel Immediately to Preserve the Evidence.

In Nevada, the dog owner is not automatically considered liable for your injuries. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-202.html#NRS202Sec500     For this reason, it is extremely important to obtain counsel immediately following a dog bite so that the proper evidence can be gathered to establish the owners liability for injuries sustained.  The Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt,Esq. can immediately take steps to preserve the evidence in your case.

The personal injury victim has the burden to establish the dog owner was negligent.  The required evidence and documentation must be gathered immediately to establish the owners liability for injuries sustained. If you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by a dog that is not yours Henderson personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, Esq. can help you recover your medical bills and money for the pain and suffering and trauma you have endured.   

 If the owner was negligent in maintaining their dog, for instance the dog was loose or not on a leash, the owner can be liable for injuries sustained by the victim. As a practical matter, if your injury does not warrant medical attention, it is not likely worth pursuing a claim for injury against the owner of the dog.  However, is your injury is severe, the owner should be held liable for your injuries.

If the dog owner has homeowners insurance that does not exclude the breed involved in the attack, it can take time to settle your claim since negotiations cannot begin until the extent of the scaring is known.  Meanwhile, the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. can assist you in deferring payment of some of your bills, and/or getting ongoing treatment.

Tell Your Homeowners Insurance Company about all Dogs you own

In cases where the dog owner owns a home, the personal injuries sustained by the victim are covered by homeowner’s liability insurance policy. It is important to note that many homeowners’ policies are starting to exclude specific breeds of dogs and considering them dangerous animals such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chows,  Dobermans etc. When purchasing homeowners insurance, it is extremely important to list any pets you have and their breed. Failure to advise your homeowner’s insurance company that you have a specific breed of dog can result in you being personally liable for the injuries your dog may cause. If you fail to advise your homeowner’s insurance company of the pet that you own in your home, they may deny coverage for the injuries.   It is important to remember to call your homeowners insurance company each time you get a new dog to advise them of the breed to confirm you are protected from personal liability in the event your dog injuries someone.

How Many Dog Bites are there every year?

  In the United States, approximately 90 million dogs are owned as pets, according to a survey by the American pet products Association from 2017 to 2018. The centers for disease control and prevention have estimated that approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year. Sadly, the rate of dog bite claims is highest for children 5 to 9 years old. The centers for disease control also estimate that over half of the dog bite injuries occur at the home where the dog lives.  

According to The Insurance Information Institute, it is estimated that insurers paid approximately $675 million in liability claims related to dog bites in 2018. An analysis of insurance data by the Insurance Information Institute found that there was a decrease in dog bite claims to 17,297 in 2018 down from 18,522 in 2017 which was a 6.6% decrease.  The Insurance Information Institute also found that the cost per claim had risen 5.3% in 2018. According to their analysis, the average cost payout for a dog bite claim nationwide was $39,017 in 2018.

Interestingly, approximately 20% of all dog bite claims arose in the states of Florida and California. All of these injury claims are not solely attributed to dog bites. Often a dog can knock down a child, a bicyclist or an elderly person which can result in potentially severe injury to the victim.

https://www.iii.org/article/spotlight-on-dog-bite-liability

What Kind of Medical Attention Should I get?

It is important that you obtain medical care if necessary right away for your dog bite injury or dog related injury. It is also important to call animal control if the dog involves an injury where you are knocked off a bicycle or knocked down by an animal but not actually bitten. Liability can still attached to the dog owner for your injuries. If your injuries are severe you should seek treatment at the emergency room. If your injuries are moderate you should seek treatment adequate care to document your injury and obtain stitches that you may need or x-rays. It is  very important to photograph your injury daily following the accident. Most dog bites involve residual scarring and it is important to have the evidence of the initial wound and how long it took to heal and the scarring that remains when the injury is healed. Often times, dog bite injuries will necessitate a scar revision surgery. At the personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt we work with very skilled doctors and plastic surgeons to find the right medical care for you to minimize any scarring you have sustained as a result of a dog bite injury. As in any personal injury claim, documentation and proof is key to maximizing your recovery for the pain, suffering and loss that you sustain. At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, Esq., we will guide you and assist you through the entire process and make sure that you get the care that you need for the personal injury you sustained.  

Criminal penalties for dog owners

Although it is uncommon, there can be criminal penalties on behalf of the dog owner. In January 2001 the tragic death of Diane Whipple resulted from being attacked in the doorway of her San Francisco apartment by two pit bulls owned by Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel. Both of the owners were convicted of manslaughter for harboring a mischievous dog that killed a person. Although they were convicted on different charges both were sentenced to a four year prison sentence. They became the first Californians convicted of murder for their dog’s actions.

This was only the third time that such charges have been upheld in the United States.  The first conviction was in Kansas in 1997. It is important to understand that criminal liability can attach for ownership of certain pets. If you are severely attacked by an animal, you should call the police and animal control both and you should be willing to press charges as a personal injury victim. At The Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq., Laura and her staff love dogs and dog owners.  Over the years we have donated to various animal welfare organizations. We understand the nature of pet ownership and we believe that a responsibility attaches with such ownership. Pet owners should be held accountable for the actions of their pets if they injure residents of their community including Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. At the personal injury Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. we will also assist all regulatory departments investigating the incident and if criminal charges should be brought, we will push for such charges to be brought against the negligent pet owner.

Contact Us If you or a loved is the victim of a Dog related injury

Often times we see clients and they want to minimize their injury and get on with their life. At the personal injury Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, we will help you quickly get back on track while also healing and recovering from your injuries. We will assist you in documenting your injuries and make sure that you get the proper medical care you need at the most convenient location and time for you. We understand at the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt that victims of personal injury need to go on with their life in spite of the injury that they sustained. We specialize in helping victims of personal injuries in all aspects of their recovery as well as preserving evidence of the injury itself.

  Dog bites can cause traumatic, painful, emotional, and residual injuries for which monetary compensation is warranted and allowed under the law. If you have a question about a dog bite injury and/or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.