If you’ve been bitten by a dog or are involved in a dog bite lawsuit, you may have some questions. The personal injury attorneys at The Schafer Law Office will answer your questions!
- What To Do After Your Dog Bite Or Animal Attack Accident
- Who Is Responsible If A Dog Bites Me?
- Should Criminal Charges Be Brought Against The Dog Owner?
- Are Dog Attacks Different For Children?
- How To Avoid A Dog Bite Or Animal Attack
- After Your Kentucky Dog Bite Or Animal Attack Accident
Report the attack immediately! Call 9-1-1. This will enable you to get medical attention if necessary and get the appropriate law and medical personnel to you as quick as possible. You should also call the local Animal Control Office. They will investigate the attack, impound and quarantine the dog and bring any criminal charges if they are warranted. This could be a failure to control citation or even an assault under extreme circumstances. Kentucky law (KRS 258.065) requires a physician to report a dog bite to the local health department within 12 hours.
Kentucky is a strict liability state for dog bites. The Kentucky Statute states: “Any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock or other property shall be responsible for that damage.” This means that a dog’s owner is strictly liable for any injuries or bites that their dog inflicts. The owner is liable even if the dog has never bitten anyone before or acted aggressively in the past.
The bottom line is the owner of the dog is responsible for the action of their animal. The owner can’t claim they accidentally left the gate open. They are still responsible. If the owner of the dog owns real estate and has homeowners’ insurance, there will be insurance coverage in most cases. If the owner of the dog is renting a house, condo or apartment, they may have renters’ insurance that would cover a dog bite. Also, depending on the terms of the lease, the landlord who is renting the property may be responsible.
Every person that is bitten by a dog, no matter how minor they consider the bite, should report the incident to their local animal control office. An animal control officer will investigate the attack by interviewing the victim and the owner of the dog, as well as any witnesses. They will also go to the dog’s home to view the environment where it lives. This information is critical to the outcome of a dog bite case. Animal control will cite the dog owner if they believe there is criminal activity or a violation of any law.
When a child is bitten by a dog, the injury is usually more severe, both physically and emotionally. This is because of the smaller physical stature of a child. It is easier for a dog to do more damage. A claim for the child would be brought by a parent or guardian of the child as their next of friend. When a child’s case is resolved, a parent would be appointed as their guardian in probate court in the county where they reside. The District Court Judge would then give the guardian permission to settle the dog bite case and release the owner of the dog, their insurance company and any other responsible party. All monies received would be placed in a blocked guardianship account. This would be released to the minor after their eighteenth birthday.
Dogs are great companions. However, it’s important to remember that not all dogs are friendly. Here are five tips to help avoid being bitten by a dog:
- Do not disturb a dog. If the dog is eating, drinking, nursing puppies, chewing on a toy or sleeping, give them their space. Dogs are territorial by nature. If you try to invade their space, they may attack you to defend their territory.
- Avoid touching a dog’s feet, tail, and ears. Most dogs do not like being touched on these parts. If you do try to touch or pet these areas, they may act defensively.
- Look for warning signs. If a dog is growling, barking, showing teeth or has raised fur, these are signs that the dog is likely to bite or attack. It’s best to avoid dogs that are displaying such behavior.
- Don’t move. If a dog starts to chase you, don’t run. That will only provoke it. If the dog seems aggressive, you should not move and be still. You should then back away very slowly without making eye contact.
- Look away and keep calm. If the dog seems aggressive (it’s growling, showing teeth or acting defensively), avoid making eye contact with the dog. Dogs think you are challenging them when you make eye contact. Stay motionless with hands at your side, remain calm and do not shout.
If you’ve been injured in a dog bite or animal attack accident, you need to get legal advice as soon as possible. You’ll want to make sure any evidence that will help your case can still be gathered. You’ll want to make sure that the evidence is not destroyed. A dog bite or animal attack accident attorney can help you understand your case and Kentucky law. You want an attorney who cares about you. You'll find all that and much more in Mike Schafer, Bryan Meader, and The Schafer Law Office.
With Mike Schafer and Bryan Meader on your side, you’ll be in good hands. The Schafer Law Office has been helping personal injury victims get compensated for more than 25 years. Unlike big law firms who will have other people work on your case, Mike or Bryan is personally involved in every case.
The Schafer Law Office knows the challenges and pitfalls of personal injury cases (especially in Kentucky), all the tactics of the “other” side and how to best present the facts. They can handle the brutal tactics of the insurance companies. In fact, before Mike opened The Schafer Law Office in personal injury and accident law, Mike worked for an insurance defense firm. He really knows all the tactics the insurance companies have up their sleeves.