Most dog owners understand their responsibility to keep control of their animals in public. However, there are a few who allow their dogs to run wild and recognize no law or ordinance that commands them to do otherwise. Dog owners are liable for damages if their animals bite anyone who has not violated their person or property. If you have been the victim of a dog attack, you have legal options.
A Public Space That Is Safe For Everyone
Dog owners walk their pets every day. On days that are sunny and warm, they may venture to the park or some other outdoor place in which large numbers of people congregate. You have a right to be in those same spaces without fearing for your safety and your life. Of course, you should always take common sense precautions to avoid being bitten. Never pet a dog that you do not know, even if you have the owner’s permission. If you have children, you should keep them at some distance from an approaching dog.
Dog owners have obligations as well. In the end, they are responsible for the behavior of their pets. They should keep them on a short lease when out in public; and if they know that the dog tends to bite, they should put a muzzle on the animal.
After a Dog Bite
You will need emergency treatment after a dog bite. The wound will need to be cleaned and treated, and you will have to undergo a course of shots for rabies. A more severe attack may force you to stay in the hospital for weeks or even months. You will lose income over this time, and you will accumulate medical bills, including expenses for rehabilitative treatment and prescription medicine. When you are ready to go back to your job, you may have to reduce the number of hours you work or take a lower-paying position.
You should not have to deal with this all on your own. The person whose negligence and irresponsibility led to your pain, suffering, and expenses should be held accountable.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Lawyers such as the ones found at Alpert Schreyer Injury Attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Dog owners tend to deny responsibility when their animals attack someone. But a lawyer who specializes in this kind of personal injury claim will know how to gather the evidence and leverage the relevant bits of law to get your money.
Even if the dog owner is a friend or acquaintance, they may put up a fight. If you were in their home when the attack occurred, they may claim that you were an intruder and thus in the wrong. Email exchanges, text messages, and social media posts are usually enough to disprove this claim.
The case need not go to trial. Your lawyer may be able to present enough evidence for the respondent to make a settlement offer. If that happens, your lawyer will ensure that it is commensurate with all that you have suffered.