Personal Injury Laws Governing Dog Bite InjuriesLast updated on: February 1, 2021
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Although dogs are typically known as man’s best friend, there are some occasions where a dog may bite. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to receive compensation for your dog bite.
If you have been bitten by a dog, Zinda Law Group attorneys may be able to help. Our attorneys are here to explain the personal injury laws governing dog bite injuries and guide you through the legal process. Call (800) 863-5312 today to speak with a Zinda Law Group attorney. We may be able to help you seek compensation for your dog bite injury.
WHY DOGS BITE
Understanding why dogs bite may help keep you safe from a dog attack. Most often, dogs will bite when they feel threatened in some way, or if they are in pain. There are some common reasons why a dog may bite:
Dogs may develop dominance aggression if they are allowed to believe they are in charge of the family dynamic and the home. For example, a dog who thinks he or she is the leader of the family “pack” may growl or bite if lower members of the pack (i.e. you) tries to move the dog off of the couch. Giving your dog clear limitations and boundaries from day one may help curb dominance aggression in the future.
Protection of Valuables
Some dog breeds have been known to protect what they view as valuable. A dog’s valuables may include food, toys, their house, or even their human. This protection instinct is more often seen in guardian and herding breeds, such as German shepherds and rottweilers. In certain cases, this protective instinct can lead to aggression. Early training and lifelong management are the only solutions to this potential liability.
Like people, dogs can sometimes be afraid of unfamiliar or potentially threatening situations. For example, if a dog was raised in a quiet adult household, he or she may then be afraid of a house full of loud children. A frightened and nervous dog may sometimes bark, lunge, or bite the person that is causing that fear. Early socialization may help curb a dog’s fearful tendencies.
All dogs have a unique pain tolerance and threshold. If a dog is pushed past that threshold, he or she may bite. For example, if your dog’s leg has been cut, you may get bit while trying to examine or bandage the wound. Although any dog may lash out if in pain, there are certain breeds, such as chihuahuas, that tend to be more pain-sensitive.
There are many different reasons why a dog may bite. Understanding the reasoning behind dog aggression may help you avoid being bit in the future. If you have, unfortunately, been injured by a dog bite, Zinda Law Group personal injury lawyers can help. Our experienced dog bite lawyers may aid you in seeking the maximum amount of compensation available for your dog bite injuries.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR DOG FROM BITING
Every dog is capable of biting, no matter its size or breed. Dog owners are ultimately responsible for the dog’s behavior, so it is important for dog owners to take proper measures to protect themselves and others. Below are helpful tips that dog owners can take to reduce the risk of dog bites:
Basic training is important for every dog. Taking your dog to a reward-based training class will help open a window of communication between you and your dog and help you teach the dog good behavior. Training should be ongoing and consistent throughout the dog’s life. You should refrain from using any harmful or physical punishment to discipline your dog.
One important step for all dog owners to take is to socialize their dogs. Un-socialized dogs can become a risk to their owners, and others, due to fear. Socializing a dog means getting the dog comfortable with other people, animals, places, and things. Always let your dog proceed at his or her own pace and never force your dog to be in a situation he or she is uncomfortable in.
Always supervise your dog around children and other animals. Never leave your dog alone with a baby or child under the age of 10, or with animals the dog is unfamiliar with. Always pay attention to your dog and understand his or her body language. If your dog is showing fear or aggression, take them out of the uncomfortable situation immediately.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWS GOVERNING DOG BITE INJURIES
There are many different laws governing dog bites or other domesticated animal attacks. These laws vary from state to state, so it is important to contact a dog bite attorney in your state to discuss your case. Below are examples of personal injury laws governing dog bite injuries.
Some states follow a “one-bite” rule. This means that the owner of a dog is held strictly liable for any injuries caused by the dog. This rule, however, typically applies only if the owner knew, or should have known, about the dog’s dangerous propensities. For example, if you are aware that your dog has a tendency to snap or lunge at visitors, but you fail to leash the dog when a guest comes over, you will be held liable if your dog then bites that guest.
Strict Liability Statutes
In certain states, like Colorado, dog owners may be held strictly liable if their dog bites another person, regardless of whether the owner knows, or should have known, about the dog’s dangerous propensities. This means that you may be held liable if your dog bites a guest of yours, even if your dog has never snapped or lunged at another person in his or her life. Some states have exceptions to this rule. For example, in Colorado, you are not held strictly liable if your dog bites another person who is unlawfully trespassing on your private property.
If you own a dog, it is important to understand the specific dog bite laws in your state. If you are unsure of the personal injury laws governing dog bite injuries in your state, contact a Zinda Law Group attorney today. Our personal injury lawyers can help explain the specific laws in your state and whether or not there are any exceptions.
Zinda Law Group attorneys can also help you if you have been bitten by a dog. Our experienced attorneys can investigate your dog attack and help you determine who is at fault. Further, we may negotiate a dog bite claim on your behalf or fight for you in court if a settlement cannot be made.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The time limit for filing any lawsuit is referred to as the “statute of limitations.” This time limit is important, and you must file your claim in time. If you fail to file your claim within the statute of limitations, you may be barred from receiving any kind of compensation. Different kinds of lawsuits have different time limits, and these time limits vary from state to state, so it is important that you contact an attorney in your state before filing a personal injury claim.
Dog bite injuries typically fall under a personal injury claim. Below are the statutes of limitations for personal injury cases in different states:
- Texas: two years
- New Mexico: three years
- Colorado: three years if the injury was sustained from a car accident, or two years for all non-auto claims.
The time limit for personal injury claims begins at the date of the injury. For example, you have exactly two years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury claim in the state of Texas.
Zinda Law Group dog bite injury attorneys are nationwide and available to discuss your unique case. We can explain the statute of limitations in your state and help you file your dog bite injury claim on time.
CONTACT A ZINDA LAW GROUP ATTORNEY TODAY
Getting attacked by a dog may be a traumatizing event. Your injuries may range from relatively minor, to catastrophic. The personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group understand how quickly your medical bills may add up. We do not want to add hefty legal fees on top of your potential medical bills. That is why we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not pay us anything unless we win your case. We understand that each case is unique, and we give each one of our cases the individual attention it deserves.
Zinda Law Group dog bite injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience required to help with your personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys understand that each case is unique. We are available to discuss your specific case and give it the individual attention it deserves. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 to set up your 100% free consultation.