Dog bites and animal attacks can cause severe injuries where the victim might need expensive medical treatment.
Idaho law allows the dog bite victims to seek compensation from the dog owner. The Advocates Law Firm has the knowledge and expertise to help you understand your legal rights as a victim of a dog bite or animal attack, and they will help you get full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Despite being a common law in other states, the Idaho Supreme Court does not follow the “one free bite” law. According to this law, dog owners are only liable for compensation if the dog has aggressively bitten or attacked someone previously. However, no such law stands in Boise, Idaho, as no dog has the right to bite anyone at any time.
If you or your loved one has been bitten by a dog, you have the right to file a dog bite lawsuit against the at-fault party. The responsible parties may consist of the dog owner or the dog owner’s landlord.
The Advocates’ dog bite attorneys can file a claim on your behalf and will improve the chances that you will receive a fair payment for your losses.
The goal of insurance companies is to pay as little as possible despite the seriousness of an injury. They will never agree to a fair settlement right from the start. Insurance companies try to delay payments or argue claims to force a “better” deal and reduce the settlement amount.
Dog bite lawyers may send a demand letter to the defendant and their insurance company. The letter usually includes all the details of the incident, the injuries and damages suffered by the victim, and the compensation claim.
Note that the letter may mention financial, mental, and physical damages resulting from the attack. Economic damages include lost wages, medical bills, property damage, etc. On the other hand, mental or non-physical damages include “pain and suffering,” which is often challenging to tabulate without an experienced attorney. The Advocates’ dog bite lawyers carefully review the facts and evidence of every case to determine the appropriate amount of compensation for each type of damage.
Proving the victim’s innocence and the at-fault party’s negligence is one of the most important responsibilities of a dog-bite attorney in Boise.
To ensure that a dog attack victim can win a case, an attorney must prove the at-fault party was responsible for taking care of the dog and that their carelessness led to the victim’s injuries. This means it is a dog owner’s responsibility to control or prevent their dog’s aggressive outburst.
The exact amount of compensation varies for each dog bite or animal attack claim. Listed below are some of the common damages one may incur due to a dog bite:
If a victim suffers temporary or lifelong trauma, stress, and anxiety due to a dog bite, they may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. As mentioned earlier, “pain and suffering” is classified as non-physical damage, and the dollar amount assigned to these losses may vary depending on the severity of the case.
Any expenses incurred for treating a dog bite injury are eligible for compensation. This includes any psychological treatment and physical therapy.
If a dog’s or other animal’s aggressive behavior causes damage to your property, such as broken jewelry, torn clothing, or other property damage, the dog owner must compensate for those losses.
Any wages you are unable to earn because of a dog bite should be part of your personal injury claim. This includes if you’re unable to work for an extended time due to the dog bite injury or end up working in a lower position.
As mentioned, Idaho does not have a Dog Bite Statute. So, you do not need to prove that a dog has attacked someone before.
In case of damage and injuries caused by a dog bite, the victim must prove that a dog owner’s negligence led to the attack.
According to dog bite laws in Idaho, if a complaint regarding a dog has been made to the police that a dog is “vicious,” the dog owner will receive a notice regarding the same. A “vicious dog” aggressively attacks, bites, or injures anyone, even when not provoked.
It is the responsibility of the owner of a vicious dog to keep the animal in a secure and enclosed area. The dog should not be able to escape without the owner’s help. Additionally, the dog must be chained when not in the enclosure.
The time for settlement in a dog attack claim depends on the complexity of the case. If liability can be easily determined, the settlement can take anywhere between 4-12 months.
If a dog bite or animal attack is a complicated case that goes into litigation, prepare to wait a couple of years. After a claim is filed, the discovery phase usually takes between 6 and 12 months. However, personal injury cases (including dog bites) rarely go to trial.
Regardless of which side of the case you’re on – the injured victim or the dog owner – the law provides some defenses that can minimize the liability of the at-fault party.
If a dog belongs to the police, military, or any government body, the dog bite statute specifies that the victim cannot sue the dog if an attack occurs while the dog is on duty.
If the injured person is proven to have trespassed on private property owned by the dog owner, the dog owner may not be liable to pay anything. But if the cause of injury is due to the dog owner’s negligence, even while the victim was trespassing, the dog bite statute may apply. In such cases, however, it is difficult to prove a dog owner’s fault.
If the victim voluntarily indulges in an activity that makes them prone to injury or harm from a dog bite, they may not be able to file a case against the dog owner. The logic behind this lies in the “assumption of risk” by the victim.
For instance, veterinarians cannot report a dog bite case since they voluntarily put themselves in a position/environment where dogs and other animals can injure them. Dog bites are common in their profession, and they know best how to avoid such incidents.
If a victim intentionally or unknowingly provokes or triggers a dog, they may not be able to hold the owner responsible for the cost of their injuries/damages. For instance, hitting a dog, stepping on its tail, etc., are acts of provocation. Any other careless behavior may also be seen as negligence, but this time, on the victim’s part.
However, the dog owner can still be held accountable if a case involves anyone below five years of age. This is because anyone of that age may not know better, and it is a dog owner’s responsibility to keep their dog away from children.
Interestingly, the dog bite statute may apply in cases involving injuries other than dog bites. For instance, dogs can scratch a person or knock them down. The dog’s aggressive behavior still leads to injury, and it is the dog owner’s responsibility to keep the dog in check.
If a dog or other animal injures you or a loved one, the first thing you should do is clean the wound with soap and water. If possible, use a sterile bandage to cover the wound. In case of deeper wounds or active bleeding, apply pressure on the injured area and seek medical treatment immediately.
We always suggest seeing a doctor after a dog bite or animal attack. Depending on the size and number of injuries, amount of broken skin, and depth of the wounds, you may need stitches. Your doctor may also recommend certain shots to protect your health.
Contact the police or a non-emergency dispatch to report the dog bite incident. The officer in charge will determine whether animal control is required for the incident.
Make sure to collect the dog owner’s information, including their name, contact number, address, homeowner or renter insurance information, etc. You can also ask the dog owner for the dog’s rabies vaccine license number and the contact details of their veterinarian. If there were witnesses at the time of the incident, collect their names and contact information.
We recommend taking photos of the injuries, damaged property and clothing, and anything that may serve as evidence.
Finally, get in touch with us, as we have a qualified team of dog bite lawyers well-versed in Idaho statutes relating to dog bite cases. Our experienced attorneys will help gather the facts and evidence necessary to support your claim in Boise. And remember, we don’t charge you anything until we win your case.
Contact an Advocate today.