Each year, thousands of people in the United States suffer animal bites. These are usually from dogs, and surprisingly often from pet dogs that have been irresponsibly let off their leashes by the owners. This often gives the victim a right to sue for compensation for the injury and pain caused by the animal bite. It is an owner’s responsibility to ensure that their pet is controlled effectively, which in the case of a dog means that the animal is leashed while in public places and is only allowed to run loose in the yard or the house. With dangerous breeds and aggressive dogs, the owner may even need to resort to a muzzle when the animal is being taken out in public. Failure on the owner’s behalf to control their pet can result in serious consequences if someone gets bitten.
Anyone that is bitten by an animal is strongly advised to seek medical assistance as a matter of urgency. It is not just the pain and suffering that needs to be attended to – you never know whether the animal that bit you might have some sort of disease which could be passed on to you through a bite. An animal bite could also cause serious infections and could even prove fatal. Your first call following an animal bite should be your doctor, or better yet, your local emergency department.
You should then look into getting legal assistance, as you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. If your doctor has provided you with information following his evaluation of your injury, you should have this ready when you talk to a lawyer. There are now many lawyers that specialize in taking on animal bite cases, so you should have no problem finding a lawyer with a good amount of relevant experience. Many law firms are able to offer a free initial consultation, which means that you can discuss your case without having to pay for your first appointment. Even if you are unsure as to whether you have a claim, making an appointment with an experienced animal bite lawyer will enable you to determine whether you have a viable case.
An experienced lawyer in this field will be able to offer advice on the potential success of your case, and could give you an idea of how much you might receive based on past cases and experience. An experienced lawyer will also be able to evaluate the facts surrounding your case as well as any medical evidence in order to determine whether you have a solid case or grounds to file for compensation.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that a total of nearly five million people suffer animal bites each year. Many of these are through the irresponsibility of animal owners, and claims for animal bites are often covered under the owner’s home or rental insurance policy. The person that will be held responsible for the bite depends very much on the circumstances surrounding the case, and may not always be as straightforward as it might seem. It may not always be the owner that is held responsible, but could be a person that allowed the owner to keep a potentially dangerous animal or to bring a potentially dangerous animal into the public place where the injury was sustained (e.g. a school, daycare center, park or other public facility).
In short, the person sued for compensation may be a person who was negligent and therefore is held responsible for the bite; a person that broke the law in letting the dog run loose in a public area; or a person that kept a dog or animal knowing that is had a history of causing harm and injury to others.
Hiring an animal bite lawyer will ensure that you have the best chance possible of recovering compensation for medical expenses caused by the animal bite as well as pain, suffering and injury. An experienced lawyer will have the skills, knowledge and resources to maximize your chances of success and to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your suffering.
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