Animals can make great pets and companions but sometimes they bite. This is especially the case with dogs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year and 800 000 of them require medical attention. Serious dog bites can lead to long-term physical and mental scars so they should be treated seriously. If you or someone you love has been badly bitten by an animal, you can seek legal recourse. This article will answer four common questions about animal bites but if you need advice on your own case, click here for more.
Why do dogs bite?
Dogs typically bite in a reaction to provocation or a stressful situation. They may be defending themselves or their territory. They may be scared, sick or feeling threatened. They may also get a little overexcited while playing. Dogs who aren’t properly socialized or taken care of are more likely to bite.
What should I do if I’m bitten?
In the aftermath of an animal attack, it will be hard to think straight. Depending on how serious your injuries are, you may not even be physically capable of doing much. However, there are certain steps you can take which will make it easier to seek compensation. They will also help your personal injury lawyer to help you.
It is critical that you see a doctor immediately. Not only do you need your injuries treated but you need documentation for your dog bite lawyer and the insurance companies. Even if you think you can bear the pain, or you think a doctor is a waste of money, go anyway. You’ll regret it in the long run if you don’t.
You also need to notify the animal’s owner that you were attacked and report the matter to police or animal control. They need to know there is a dangerous dog around so other people can be protected. You should also take photos of your injuries or get someone to do it for you.
Who is legally responsible for my injuries?
In Nebraska, owners are liable for any injuries caused by their animals. However, this does not apply if your actions in any way led to the animal attack. Examples of this are provoking the dog and trespassing on the owner’s property. If you were injured as a trespasser, you will need to prove the dog bit another person or pet before. If you intentionally provoked the dog, you may not be eligible for compensation.
What compensation can I receive?
In Nebraska, victims are entitled to full compensation for both physical injuries and mental anguish. You can pursue damages for medical bills, medication, physical therapy, reconstructive surgery, loss of wages and loss of future earning capacity. You can also seek compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and counseling.
Once you can identify the owner of the dog, they are responsible for paying these damages. The actual costs will likely be met by their homeowners’ insurance policy. If for some reason they don’t have insurance, you may need to go after them personally for compensation. You will need an attorney to help you with this.
Serious animal bites can leave you fearful and in pain. You may also be left wondering how you will pay all your medical bills or support your family when you can’t work. Seeking compensation from the owner can relieve some of the financial burden. Contact a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case.