Millions of people seek medical treatment for dog bites each year in the U.S. Most dog bites are minor, but others are quite serious. Anyone with serious injuries should consult a dog bite injury law attorney in Upper Marlboro, MD. Owners of the animals can be held liable for the victim’s injuries and should pay any damages.
When Is a Dog Owner Liable?
The laws on dog bites can be confusing. For this reason, it’s good to consult an attorney. The attorney may have to convince the court that the owner knew the animal was dangerous. Further, the danger doesn’t always have to come from a bite. For example, owners of large dogs who tend to jump on guests should know this can be serious. A child or elderly individual could be injured if the dog knocks them over.
Attorneys can use the “one bite rule” against dog owners in some instances. The owner has noticed the dog is dangerous if it’s already seriously injured someone. However, courts have ruled that little nips don’t qualify as serious bites. The dog’s breed makes it easier to prove liability. Because some dogs, like pit bulls, are identified as dangerous. Therefore, pit bull owners should keep them on a leash at all times.
The Victim Should Make a Record of the Event
Dog bite victims need to keep a record of the event. For instance, obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses and take pictures of the dog and the injury. Additionally, get the name of the dog’s owner and report the incident to animal control. Animal control needs to know if a dangerous animal is loose in a neighborhood.
Will I Go to Court?
Most dog bite cases are settled out of court. A dog bite injury law attorney in Upper Marlboro, MD contacts the owner. Usually, a letter is sent detailing the occurrence and the victim’s damages. Further, the lawyer may include a settlement offer. Hopefully, the owner sends the letter to their homeowner’s insurance company.
If the owner fails to act, the attorney can file a complaint in small claims court. At that point, the owner should contact the insurance company to represent them in court. For more information, visit an attorney’s website and click where it says visit us.