Fargo Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
If you’ve suffered a severe dog bite, you might not know what to do next. You might know the owner really well, or you’re actually fond of the animal and don’t want to see anything happen to that beloved pet. It’s important to note, however, that you’re probably suffering some serious monetary losses as well – and you know you deserve compensation.
The first thing you should do is to speak with an attorney – assuming of course, you’ve already received the medical attention you need. If you do have to file a lawsuit, it will be against the dog owner’s insurance company, not the dog owner. Also, as long as the animal hasn’t shown a pattern of aggressive behavior, there’s a very good chance nothing will happen that will result in any sort of permanent separation from the owner.
Dog Bite Injuries Can be Preventable
If you’re like most people, you know how to act around a dog, whether or not you’re familiar with the animal. But even when that’s the case, an attack can still happen. When it does, it’s usually because someone was negligent in some form or fashion. Here are just some examples of the different parties that can be held accountable for a dog bite, and could have prevented it from happening if they had just shown some responsibility.
- The dog owner. You might have been taking a leisurely stroll through your neighborhood, only to be attacked because the owner of a dog failed to fix a hole in the fence. The dog got through, and bit you as a result. Owners have a responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen. They also have a responsibility to keep a dog separated from people if the dog tends to feel threatened around strangers. If you went to someone’s home and a dog bit you, the owner could be held liable.
- A dog sitter. Dog sitters are supposed to know how to properly care for an animal while the owner is away. If they ignore the instructions that the owner leaves, and the animal gets agitated and attacks you, then that dog sitter – as well as the company that trained them, if applicable – could face liability.
- A dog walker. Dog walkers are supposed to know the personalities of the dogs they care for. If the walker failed to keep the dog away from others, or failed to keep the dog on a leash, then you may be able to take action against either the walker or the company that hired them.
Safety Tips to Prevent Dog Bite Incidents
While not all dog bites can be prevented, certain precautions can reduce the risk. Always ask for permission before petting someone else’s dog. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises around unfamiliar dogs.
Never leave children unsupervised with a dog, regardless of its known temperament. Understanding a dog’s body language can also be beneficial; for instance, a wagging tail doesn’t always mean a dog is friendly. Educating oneself and practicing caution can go a long way in preventing potential dog bite incidents.
Types of Dogs that Commonly Cause Bites and Injury
While we would never want to stereotype any dog breed as being a menace, the fact is that there are some breeds that are more prone to attacking than others. This isn’t meant to imply that every dog that belongs to this breed is dangerous – there are obviously plenty of them that are very sweet and docile. In general, however, these are the breeds that are known to exhibit aggressive tendencies.
- German Shepherds
- Jack Russell terriers
- Pit bulls
- Siberian huskies
Duties and Responsibilities of Dog Owners in North Dakota
Dog owners in North Dakota have a duty to ensure their pets don’t pose a danger to others. This includes proper training, securing their property to prevent escapes, and leashing their dogs in public areas.
If a dog has shown aggressive tendencies, the owner has an increased responsibility to take precautions, such as muzzling the dog or ensuring it’s securely confined. Being a responsible dog owner not only protects others but also ensures the safety and well-being of the dog itself.
Long-Term Damage after a Dog Bite
Dog bites can, in many instances, result in catastrophic injuries that can be life altering. The following are just a few examples.
- Facial injuries. Dog bites can result in horrible facial injuries that can require years of expensive treatment.
- Broken bones. Dogs can have incredibly strong jaws – so strong, in fact, that their bites can break bones, in addition to tearing muscles and ligaments.
- Traumatic brain injuries. If a dog bite victim falls to the ground, they can easily strike their head on a hard surface and suffer an injury that can rob them of the ability to accomplish even everyday tasks.
The Psychological Aftermath of Dog Bites
Beyond the evident physical injuries, dog bites can leave lasting psychological scars. Victims might develop a fear of dogs, experience nightmares, or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Especially in children, a traumatic dog bite can lead to prolonged anxiety and behavioral changes. Recognizing these psychological impacts is crucial, as therapy or counseling might be necessary to help victims cope and recover.
The insurance company of the dog owner, walker, sitter or whoever the negligent party may be will very likely make it difficult to obtain the compensation you deserve. You’ll need that money in order to recover the financial losses, or damages, that you’ve incurred. For example, you’ve probably had significant medical bills stemming from the treatment you’ve had to receive. Not only have you lost wages due to the time you’ve missed from work, you may not be able to return to your former position. That could negatively impact your potential future earnings.
The best chance to get the money to which you’re entitled is to have hard evidence that you were in no way to blame for the attack. Take pictures and videos of your injury. If the dog came through a hole, take pictures of that hole before the owner has a chance to fix it.
The more evidence you can collect, the stronger your case will be – and the better your chances you’ll win that case. Your attorney will also work to collect the proof it will take for you to achieve the most positive result possible.
Receiving Compensation for Your Injuries
This proof will also help deflect the insurance companies efforts to claim that you were in some way responsible for the injuries you’ve suffered. The insurer may say, for instance, that you somehow agitated the dog.
This kind of case falls under North Dakota’s “comparative negligence” principle. This basically means if you are found to have been partially responsible for the attack, your compensation will be reduced depending on how much blame you’re assigned. Suppose you would receive $100,000 if you were 0% to blame. If you’re found to be 40% responsible, then you’d lose $40,000. If you were found to be 50% or more responsible, you wouldn’t be eligible to receive a dime.
Contact Sand Law PLLC for a Free Consultation
Don’t let this happen to you. Talk to an experienced dog bite attorney with Sand Law so we can get to work on your behalf. We’ll do everything we can to make sure you receive full, fair compensation. Schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling 701-609-1510.