Animal assaults and dog bites can result in serious injuries, and victims may need expensive medical care.
According to Idaho law, dog bite victims are entitled to compensation from the dog’s owner. The Advocates Law Firm will assist you in understanding your legal rights as the victim of a dog bite or other animal attack and in obtaining a fair settlement for your losses.
The “one free bite” rule is disregarded by the Idaho Supreme Court even though it is a common law in other states. This law states that a dog’s owner is only responsible for compensation if a dog has previously bitten or attacked someone aggressively. In Idaho Falls, however, there is no such rule. Even if a dog has no history of aggression and you are the first person to be bitten or attacked, you can file a claim for your injuries.
You have the right to seek compensation from a person or entity responsible for a dog that attacks you or a loved one. Usually, the dog owner is the responsible party. But if the dog owner’s landlord knows the dog is aggressive and does not take measures to let people know, they can also be held accountable for your injuries.
Even in the case of severe injury, insurance companies aim to pay as little as possible for your losses. They rarely agree to a reasonable settlement at the beginning of a claim. Often insurers attempt to delay payments or contest claims in an effort to negotiate a lower payout amount.
Part of an attorney’s responsibility in filing a claim is issuing demand letters. These letters outline the event, describe the injuries and losses from the dog bit or animal attack, and clearly state the demand for compensation from the defendant and their insurance provider.
A demand letter is the first step in reaching a fair settlement. It is an official document informing the insurance company of the financial, mental, and bodily toll. These may include lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and other economic damages. You may also experience mental or non-physical losses such as “pain and suffering.” These can be difficult to quantify without a skilled lawyer. The dog bite attorneys at The Advocates thoroughly examine each case’s facts and supporting documentation to establish the appropriate compensation for each type of damage.
One of the most crucial duties of an Idaho Falls dog-bite lawyer is establishing the victim’s innocence and the negligent behavior of the at-fault party.
An attorney must demonstrate that the entity responsible for caring for the dog was negligent and that their actions caused the victim’s injuries. It is the owner’s duty to restrain or prevent their dog from acting aggressively.
Your lawyer will also prove the severity of your injuries. This is done through the evaluation of medical records, eyewitness testimony, and photos or video documentation of your wounds.
The actual amount of compensation varies for each claim involving a dog bite or other animal attack. The following are some typical losses brought on by dog bites:
A dog bite victim may be entitled to damages for pain and suffering if they have short-term or long-term trauma, stress, or anxiety due to the attack. As previously stated, “pain and suffering” falls under the category of non-physical harm, and the monetary amount attributed to these losses will depend on the extent of emotional and mental trauma.
Your injury claim will include any dog bite or animal attack injuries resulting from an owner’s negligence. Common medical bills include the cost of ER visits, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, occupational therapy, prescriptions, and any other treatments required for managing your injuries.
The owner of the dog is responsible for any damaged property. Some examples of frequently damaged property resulting from an animal attack include broken jewelry, phones, watches, and torn clothing.
Any lost wages resulting from a dog bite should be included in your personal injury claim. This includes you being unable to work for an extended period of time or being forced to take a lower-paying position because your injuries prevent you from performing your duties.
As previously stated, Idaho doesn’t have a one-bite law. This means you and your attorney do not have to provide evidence that a dog has previously attacked someone. All of your efforts can be focused on your claim and seeking fair compensation.
A vicious dog is one that behaves aggressively even when not provoked. These dogs have a history of aggressive behavior.
The owner of a dangerous dog is responsible for keeping the animal in a safe, confined space. Without assistance from the owner, the dog shouldn’t be able to get out of the enclosure. The dog must also be leashed anytime it is outside of the enclosure.
An owner may be fined up to $100 for any infraction of the dangerous dog statute.
The time it takes to resolve a dog attack lawsuit depends on how complicated the case is. If determining negligence is simple, the settlement process can take 4 to 12 months.
Be prepared to wait a few years if a complicated dog bite or animal assault case goes to trial. The discovery period follows the filing of a claim and typically lasts between 6 and 12 months. Then the case would go before a judge. Trials in personal injury claims, especially those involving dog bites, are uncommon as both parties tend to reach a settlement.
The law offers several defenses that can reduce the at-fault party’s liability.
If a dog attacks a person on duty for the police, military, or other government agency, the victim cannot file a claim for the injuries sustained.
If it can be established that the injured party trespassed on the dog owner’s private property, the dog owner might not be held responsible for any losses. However, even though the victim was trespassing, the dog bite statute may still apply if the dog owner’s negligence caused the injury. Establishing the dog owner’s responsibility in such situations can be challenging.
The victim may not be entitled to bring a claim against the dog owner if they actively engage in an activity that puts them at risk of harm or injury from a dog bite. The victim’s “assumption of risk” serves as the basis for this reasoning.
For instance, veterinarians are not able to file claims for dog bite incidents since they willingly expose themselves to the risk of harm from dogs and other animals. In their line of work, dog bites are frequent, and they are best equipped to prevent them.
A victim may not be able to sue a dog’s owner for their injuries or property damage if the victim provoked or triggered the dog. Acts such as striking a dog, treading on its tail, etc., are examples of provocation. The victim’s carelessness could be considered negligence, meaning the victim of the bite or attack is at fault.
However, the dog’s owner may still be held liable if the victim is a child younger than five. This is because children of that age may not understand the significance of their actions. It is a dog owner’s duty to ensure that their dog is kept safely away from kids.
Any injuries sustained from a dog’s aggressive behavior or an animal attack should be included in your claim. A dog may never bite someone but still knock a person to the ground, causing scrapes, bruises, and other injuries. The injuries are still caused by the dog’s aggressive behavior, and it is the owner’s obligation to restrain the animal.
If a dog or another animal has bitten you or a loved one, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Cover the injury with a sterile bandage.
After an animal attack or dog bite, medical attention is strongly advised. Depending on the size and type of wound, you may need stitches or special dressing. You may also need vaccinations because of an animal attack.
Report the dog bite or animal attack to the authorities by calling 911 or your local non-emergency dispatch. If the responding officer deems it necessary, animal control will be called to take custody of the animal.
You should get the dog owner’s details, such as name, phone number, address, home insurance info, etc. The dog’s owner should also provide you with the dog’s license number and contact information for the animal’s veterinarian. It is also a good idea to speak to any witnesses and get their contact information. This will help your lawyer contact individuals with information regarding your claim.
Take pictures of everything that could be used as evidence, including injuries, damaged property, clothing, etc.
Finally, contact us; we have an experienced group of attorneys that are familiar with the laws of Idaho that apply to situations involving dog bites and animal attacks. Our seasoned attorneys are here to help.
Your initial consultation is free, and we don’t collect any payment unless we win your claim.
You owe us nothing unless we win your case.