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Personal Injury Blog

Can an Animal Rescue Be Liable For a Dog Bite?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

When it comes to the city or state-run animal control, their business is to take dangerous animals off the street to prevent various issues, namely animal attacks. However, you also have groups working independently of the government to re-home dogs and other animals found on the street or in neglectful situations. These groups have the benefit of being able to place dogs and other animals with loving homes and also removing them from shelters in which, if not adopted in a certain amount of time, they will be euthanized.

Dog Bites

Unfortunately, while dangerous animals can be rehabilitated in many cases, it takes time to do so. During this time, there is the potential that they could lash out violently and hurt someone. If you were the victim of a dog bite by an animal that was under the care of an animal rescue group, can you hold those groups liable for the attack?

The answer, in most cases, is yes. As there is always the potential for any dog to bite someone this means that rescue groups need to take the time to protect themselves from what could very well be not a possibility, but an eventuality. In the larger animal rescue group, you will find that they have insurance to protect the group in case of an animal bite. If a dog bites someone, whether it is a worker or someone looking to adopt a dog, the insurance will be there to pay for the medical bills of the victim. However, if you are dealing with smaller animal rescue groups, they may not have the insurance, but you still retain the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Who's Liable?

While you maintain the right to pursue a personal injury suit against an animal rescue group, you must also realize the certain reality of doing so. Animal rescues, particularly small ones, run on a limited budget. Typically, this is the reason they did not have insurance in the first place. Often one bite and the impending lawsuit will unravel the organization. For some, they may choose not to pursue a lawsuit because it would likely mean the end of that particular rescue. However, dog bites can be more than just simply bites. They can be vicious attacks that require extended medical treatment, even plastic surgery to rectify. In these cases, there is no question who should come first – the victim.

Personal Injury

A personal injury suit against a group is much like a personal injury suit against an individual. You must first prove that the organization was liable for the injury. If the animal had attacked you on the animal rescue's property, they had the responsibility for making sure it was secured. However, it needs to be proved that you did not actively provoke the animal either. As they were harboring the animal, the organization has the responsibility to actively work to prevent attacks.

As for who to file the personal injury lawsuit against, you may not be filing it against the animal rescue group as a whole. Often these groups work on donations and have very little if any, profits from it. Instead of filing against the group as a whole, it is likely you will be filing the personal injury lawsuit against the person in charge of the group such as a leader or a founder. This is generally why many animal rescue groups insist they have insurance because a personal injury lawsuit against an individual is damaging financially.

If you have been bitten by a dog, whether it was held by an animal rescue group or just a private owner, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can help get you the compensation you deserve for your injury.


Do Dog Walkers Have Liability For Dog Bites?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dog Bite Injuries

When it comes to dog bite injuries, most worry about negligent owners with their poorly monitored dogs or even stray dogs doing the biting. However, while both situations can result in dog bites, there is a situation that can be even more common – a dog bite in the care of a dog walker. If your occasionally aggressive dog is inside your home, they are at a much lower risk for having a dog bite incident, obviously. However, that risk goes up exponentially if you have a dog walker take them out for some exercise. Not only is the dog walker at potential risk for getting bit, but anyone else is as well. However, who holds the liability in a dog bite incident when they were with a dog walker?

Dog Walkers and Dog Bites

When it comes to dog bites and dog walkers, typically the dog walker will not have any liability in these incidents. Whether you are using a legitimate dog walker or just a neighborhood kid, the blame will almost always come back to you, the owner. You may note that when choosing a legitimate dog walking service, you will have to sign certain liability forms.

These forms will state that the dog walker and the dog walking service will hold no liability in the event of a dog attack. Typically there are certain clauses within this form to protect the owner as well. For example, if the dog walker specifically antagonized the dog so that it did attack the walker or another person, they can still be held liable for that negligent action instead of the blame still going to the owner.

Insurance

While having insurance to protect the company and walker is recommended for all dog walkers, if you choose to have your pooch walked by a small company, they may not have insurance to cover them.  In this case, the person who is walking the dog may be held liable for its actions under a keeper or harborer clause. Under this clause, it states that if the dog is under the care of another – their keeper - then that keeper is liable for the dog's action, not the owner. This law is frequently used in dog sitting incidents, but it can be applicable to dog walkers as well if they are not covered by insurance.

If you have an aggressive dog, it may be best to not use a dog walker just to avoid any potential incidents. However, the fact remains that dogs need exercise and sometimes an aggressive dog is just an overly bored dog that needs more fitness. If you have a dog that you think might bite, it is best to notify the dog walker beforehand. In this regard, they can take the proper preventative measures. This might mean your dog walking service won't agree to walk your dog, which is within their right. However, more likely, it means that the dog walker will be more aware of your dog's behavior or need to walk them with a muzzle on. Either way, having a dog walker know that your dog might be aggressive is the first and most effective step to preventing dog bite accidents.

If you have been bitten by a dog, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman and Freeman is dedicated to helping make sure that victims get the justice they deserve. Dog bites can be both horrific and traumatic injuries and they deserve compensation so you don't end up paying hundreds of dollars in medical bills that were not your fault, but the fault of a negligent individual who didn't know they had an aggressive dog that was prone to biting.

Mistakes to Avoid if Bitten by a Dog

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Los Angeles dog bite lawyer

While not often highlighted by the media, dog bites are extremely common. Among the average citizen, a dog bite is most common among postal workers and children, but it can happen to anyone that has an encounter with a dog that they do not know, or even sometimes with a dog they have known for years. However, regardless of the how or why you are bitten by a dog, you may be able to pursue a personal injury case to receive compensation for your injuries. However, you will also want to make sure your case is as strong as possible. As such, there are certain mistakes you will want to avoid so they don't hurt your case or make it harder than it needs to be to get the compensation that you deserve.

Not Seeking Medical Treatment

Some dog bite injuries might be something you can walk away from. However, by failing to seek medical attention, it makes your injury seem less serious and it can make proving your case in the future difficult. The biggest complication you will face from this mistake is the injury worsening from infection. A dog's mouth is home to a myriad of bacteria that can make a minor wound have major problems if not treated. If you failed to seek medical attention, it could be argued that you caused it to get infected with your inaction and you could be stuck with the bills.

Not Photographing Injuries

Alongside not getting immediate medical treatment, you should also avoid not photographing your injuries. By the time your legal case progresses, it is likely your injuries will have healed quite a bit. It will make some people unsympathetic to your plight, but if you have photos of just how bad you got hurt, it serves as both proof and persuasive evidence that you need to receive compensation.

Not Reporting a Dog Bite

After a dog bite incident, it is likely you will be fairly rattled. However, do not forget to make a report of the incident to the proper authorities such as police or animal control. These authorities allow for the incident to be well documented and will take measures to ensure it doesn't happen to anyone else. Never believe a dog owner that begs you not to report and promises to repay your medical bills. There is nothing legally binding them to do so and it is likely they will not.

Talking to an Insurance Company Alone

In some cases, a dog's actions may be covered by the owner's insurance. However, you should be wary of giving any statement to an insurance company alone. Their job is not to make sure you are taken care of, but rather to keep the costs of a claim as low as possible. Much of what they trick you into saying can go to hurt your case and lower what they need to pay you.

Instead of talking to an insurance representative alone, you will want to do so with a skilled lawyer by your side. They will advise you as to whether you need to answer the question or how to answer so as to not hurt your case. Dealing with insurance companies isn't particularly common in dog bite cases, but even if you don't have to, you will want an attorney by your side to help you with your case. If you have been bitten by a dog and need someone in your corner to help you get the compensation that you deserve, contact us today. Let the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman make sure you get what is fair for your injuries.


Is There Liability for Stray Dog Bite?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Often when a person is bitten by a dog, the owner of the dog is held liable for their pet's actions. As such, lawsuits can be pressed against them to cover the extent of medical bills. However, not every dog has an owner. If you were attacked by a stray dog, what happens then? Is anyone held liable?

Those bitten by a stray dog may first look to the city as liable. After all, they are responsible for animal control. However, it is very rare that if you were bitten by a stray dog that anyone will be held responsible for the attack. There is one clause that states if the dog was already picked up and put in animal control, and it for some reason escapes, then the city can be held responsible for any injuries that occur. Yet, those circumstances are very rare. This means that if you are attacked by a stray, you will need to cover your own medical bills.

If you were attacked by a stray dog, your first priority is to get to safety. Afterwards, call emergency services in order to seek help for your injuries, and, if the dog is still present, be sure to contact animal control right away so they can prevent any more injuries from occurring. This is particularly important so they can arrive with or before emergency services to prevent the paramedics from becoming injured as well.

While there is not much we can do for you in the event of a stray attack, if it does turn out that the dog belonged to someone, even if they abandoned it somewhere, that dog's owners can still be held liable for the attack. If you were attacked by a dog, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

Will a Dog Be Euthanized After a Dog Bite Incident?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dog attacks are traumatic incidents, but even so, many victims after a dog attack don't want the dog to be euthanized. They are animals, after all, and likely it is the conduct of their owner that resulted in the attack and not an issue of the dog or dog breed itself. While owners are held liable for the financial burden of the attack, does the dog have to be euthanized after it bites someone?

The quick answer is no. There are some cases, usually in particularly vicious dog attacks, where the dog will be labeled by the court as "potentially dangerous" or "vicious" and it will need to be detained and potentially euthanized. However, not only does the owner have some recourse, but a few words from the victim can go a long way to saving a dog's life.

In court, the victim can advise their attorney that they want to save the dog, which will prevent their attorney from contacting animal control. Victims can also say a few words to the judge stating that they don't want the dog to be destroyed, and that is taken heavily into consideration. Even in vicious dog attacks, if the dog has displayed no other signs of aggression, the victim may be able to see that it lives, but is forced to go into dog training or taken away from its owner to ensure that a dog attack never happens again.

If you are a dog lover, a dog attack can be especially hurtful since the myth that dogs will be euthanized after just one bite is a widespread one. However, you shouldn't just shoulder the medical bills yourself in order to try and save the dog. If you have been attacked, contact us today to see what the Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman can do for you.


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