While it is easy to associate an injury from an animal as being a dog bite, it is important to note that there are a number of different scenarios pertaining to dogs that could result in injuries, damaged property, and the need for medical care. Common examples include being chased and injured while walking down the street by a dog that is not adequately contained and being chased while driving with the dog inflicting damage to the vehicle. If either of those situations are similar to what you have recently experienced, it is a good idea to be aware of the following information before speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Documenting The Extent Of Your Injuries In A Timely Manner Is Essential
While the problem of stray animals that are allowed to run freely is a significant concern in its own right, there is not always much you can do to seek reparations because there was no-one in charge of the canine at the time. However, you should be sure to seek medical care if necessary and report the injury to the animal control in your area if your injuries occurred as a result of an interaction with a stray.
Assuming that the dog in question is owned by a third party and was either allowed to run freely or the owner was not yet aware that the animal escaped from the yard, you should first get to a safe location. After assessing your injuries, you should either call your primary physician or go the emergency room, depending on their severity. It is important to note that the extent of your injuries and how quickly you need medical care can impact the dollar amount you expect from a lawsuit, as waiting too long to see the doctor can often indicate that you did not feel it was a major concern.
The Liability Of The Owner Will Vary By State
It is often surprising to learn that the owner is not always responsible for the behavior and damage of their dog. Those laws vary from one state to the next and unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all law. For instance, some states dictate that the owner is only liable for damages if it can be proven that he or she was aware of the situation and failed to stop or prevent it. That means that if the owner simply let the dog run freely and made no effort to leash or fence in the canine, you are more likely to be able to file a successful lawsuit.
However, if the dog escaped from the yard while the owner was away from the home or broke away from its leash while outside, some states won't hold the owner responsible. A notable exception in some states to the lack of liability laws has often been if the owner has a dangerous or aggressive dog and fails to take adequate measures to control it. That means that if the dog has previously caused personal or property damage in the past, there is a stronger burden on the owner to contain and control the animal. Failing to do so is frequently cause for a lawsuit.
In conclusion, dogs that are allowed to roam freely can quickly inflict damages to the people and items around them. If you have recently incurred injuries as the result of an uncontrolled dog, you need to be familiar with the above information and then speak with a personal injury attorney, such as Charlie Tucker P.A., to seek the justice and compensation you are entitled to.