Park City Attorneys for Dog Bites & Attacks
We’re Here to Help You Recover Compensation if You or a Family Member Were Bitten
Of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs each year, more than half are children who might never fully heal from the damage caused by an out-of-control pet. Though some bites don’t break the victim’s skin, 1 in 5 is bad enough to send the victim to the emergency room. Children, who are often on-level with the dogs that attack them, are often bitten on the face and scalp. This terrifying and painful event might affect a child for the rest of their life.
Youngster or adult, the victim of a dog bite may deal with physical and psychological complications. A trip to the doctor is a necessity for anyone bitten by an animal. Dogs can spread rabies, which is often fatal if not caught (though thankfully preventable by vaccine). They also carry bacteria such as Clostridium tetani (which causes tetanus) and a form of Staphylococcus that cannot be killed by standard antibiotics. Once a victim is safe from any infection, they may receive stitches if the wound allows for it. In some cases, the victim may need surgery, especially if bitten in the hand or foot. Even with the best care, the bite may cause permanent, visible scars.
Dog owners may not realize the extensive damages their pets can cause if they attack, but victims have no choice but to undergo weeks or even months of treatment and recovery. Aside from the medical bills they face, they may be forced to miss work and other life activities. If someone else’s dog bit a member of your family, you may be able to file for compensation. An injury claim can help relieve your financial stress and pave the way for you to re-enter your normal life.
If you need legal support after a dog bite, our Park City attorneys can help. Call (435) 296-7434 to schedule a free consultation with our team.
The Limits of “Strict Liability” in Dog Bite Cases
When a dog bites (or otherwise attacks) someone in Utah, the liability is presumed to lay with the owner. It does not matter if the dog has never bitten or shown any signs of aggression before. An owner is expected to keep their dog under sufficient control at all times.
However, like other personal injury cases in Utah, dog bite claims do recognize the role of comparative negligence—whether the victim shares blame in the attack. A dog owner may try to argue the dog only attacked because it was provoked or threatened. If you are found partially to blame for the accident, your recovery may be reduced by the percentage of fault you hold. Especially when the attack victim was a young child, it’s important to have a lawyer to defend your interests so your settlement isn’t unfairly slashed.
Recovering Compensation After a Dog Bite
Dogs have become common enough in American households that homeowners’ and renters’ insurance plans usually cover dog attacks. This is the first place we will look when it comes to recovering the compensation you need. If the dog owner is covered, we’ll have to take on an insurance company to receive a settlement, but collectability is more certain. If the dog owner is uninsured, we can take them to court directly, but you may not receive as much compensation.
We Are Here to Help
Dodd & Kuendig was founded to help the victims of accidents and other negligence recover compensation for their damages. For dog bite victims, the costs of physical therapy, plastic/reconstructive surgery, and/or treatment for PTSD may continue to grow for months or years after the attack. Receiving recompense that’s only equal to the cost of an initial doctor’s visit could leave you with thousands of dollars of medical debt.
Before you accept a settlement—or a payment from the dog owner—talk to our attorneys to learn your legal options. If your injuries are serious, we can bring in medical consultants to determine the costs of future necessary treatment and other ways they might impact your life. Only after a full evaluation can we determine how to best present your case for a maximum settlement.
Dog attacks can be serious, so don’t miss your chance to make a claim. Call us at (435) 296-7434 to schedule a free consultation with our Park City team.