Our New Orleans Dog Bite Attorney Explains Your Legal Rights in Louisiana
Dog bites are a serious public health issue. Approximately 1,000 Americans receive treatment for dog bites every day. A dog bite can cause broken bones, cuts and bruises, disfigurement, scarring, permanent injury and even death. Expensive medical treatment is often necessary after a dog bite, and it is common for victims to suffer from serious emotional distress. Without a consultation with an experienced New Orleans dog bite attorney, you may not realize how much compensation you are eligible to receive.
Regardless of the breed, if you have suffered from a dog bite, the dog’s owner may be responsible for your losses. You have the right to damages, including compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages (depending on the severity of the bite). However, you may need to prove that the incident was one that the owner could have prevented.
Proving a dog bite case can be complicated, and the stakes are high. You need Bloom Legal on your side to make sure that you know your legal rights and that you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries. The New Orleans personal injury lawyers at Bloom Legal can help you gather the evidence you need to prove that the dog owner was negligent and that the owner’s actions or inaction caused your injuries.
Common Injuries After an Animal Attack
Dog bites can cause serious and even life threatening injuries, whether they come from the bite itself or are sustained while trying to get away from an attacking dog. As a leading New Orleans dog bite attorney, we commonly see the following injuries from an animal attack:
- Puncture wounds and bruises
- Broken bones
- Eye damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
These and other injuries can mean expensive medical bills, both to treat the immediate injury and recuperate following an attack. They can also limit a person’s ability to work or otherwise earn an income to provide for his or her family.
The good news is that a New Orleans dog bite lawyer at Bloom Legal can help you hold the dog’s owner responsible and get compensation for your injuries.
New Orleans Dog Bite Attorney Explains the Louisiana Dog Bite Law
Louisiana is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. A dog owner is legally liable for any personal injury or property damage caused by the animal, so long as the damage could have been prevented and the injured person did not provoke the dog.
A person injured by an attacking dog has to show that the dog posed an unreasonable risk of harm. The injured person also has to establish that the person being sued is actually the dog’s owner and detail the extent of the injuries directly caused as a result of the attack.
The money damages typically available in these cases is designed to put an injured person back in the financial position that he or she was in before the bite. That includes compensation for doctors’ bills, property damage and any missed wages or reduction in earning capacity caused by the injuries. In the tragic event that a person is killed in a dog attack, his or her family can seek similar compensation from wrongful death.
Steps To Take After an Animal Bite
If you or someone you know is bitten by a dog, it is very important to make sure the dog is identified. If the dog is a stray, you may require treatment for rabies, which can be a painful procedure and is best left to your physician to determine. If the dog is not a stray, it is important to locate the owner so you can accurately determine if the dog has been vaccinated. In addition, you will know who should be held accountable for your medical bills.
After identifying the dog, it is crucial to seek prompt medical attention to avoid any potential medical complications. Below are additional steps you should take after you experience a dog bite:
- Identify and obtain contact information from any witnesses (it may be necessary to return to the scene of the attack and knock on neighbor’s doors)
- Obtain contact and insurance information from the dog’s owner
- Take pictures of and document any and all injuries, cuts, or bruises that result from the attack
- Immediately contact an attorney
It is also very important to never sign anything after a dog bite unless you have spoken with a New Orleans personal injury attorney. It is possible that the dog owner’s insurance company is responsible for paying your bills and costs. This may lead the dog owner to ask you to sign a settlement agreement for less money than you deserve. An experienced dog bite lawyer at Bloom Legal will fight for your rights and help you hold all parties accountable.
The Most Common Questions Our New Orleans Dog Bite Attorney Receives
After a dog bite, your mind is likely filled with questions about how you should move forward with a claim. From being able to prove that the dog posed a threat to establishing the dog owner’s negligence, below are just a few of the common questions our New Orleans dog bite attorney receives on a regular basis.
How do I prove the dog was dangerous?
Determining whether the dog that bit you could be classified as dangerous and therefore totally responsible for the cost of your injuries, your New Orleans dog bite lawyer will make specific arguments and review the particulars of the state dog bite law. Fortunately, Louisiana has a leash law in place, which means that dogs cannot roam freely on someone’s property without a leash. If the dog was unleashed when it bit you, then proving your case may be a simple task.
However, if the dog was leashed, your attorney will have to prove that the dog had a history of threatening or aggressive behavior towards people or other animals. It will also require proving that the owner was aware of the dog’s dangerous tendencies.
How do I prove the owner was negligent?
If an unleashed dog in Louisiana attacks you, it would be pretty easy to prove the owner’s negligence because the law strictly forbids owners from letting their dog roam free on other’s people property. Your attorney may want to gather additional evidence, even if the dog was unleashed, to strengthen your case further.
Some things your lawyer may argue include the following:
- The owner was fully aware of the animal’s history of aggression.
- The animal escaped from an enclosure or cage that the owner did not properly secure.
- The person responsible for the animal was not strong enough to control the dog when they became excited.
- The leash or other measures they used to contain the animal were not strong enough to actually make a difference.
- The animal lacked proper training and therefore posed a threat to others.
Your New Orleans dog bite attorney will work to gather evidence that supports these arguments to help you obtain the full extent of the compensation you’re owed.
What records do I need to keep to prove my case?
To prove that you’re entitled to compensation, your New Orleans dog bite attorney will ask you to retain copies of all of your medical records, including bills, invoices, doctor’s notes, reports, referrals, and anything else that pertains to your injury. You should also keep track of any other losses or expenses, including whether you lost any income due to missed work. You should also plan to document your injuries by taking photos of the bite and keeping track of how the injury changes or progresses over time.
Witnesses will also be essential to proving your case, so making sure you have the appropriate contact information for anyone who witnessed the attack is key. You should ask them to provide a written statement of what they observed leading up to the attack. Finally, you should also obtain copies of the dog’s vaccination records to ensure that the injury doesn’t pose an even more significant threat than what you’ve already endured.
How We Can Help Win Your Case
Bloom Legal can help you prove liability and build the strongest possible case for money damages.
That starts with investigating the attack and preparing a claim. Our attorneys will compile all of the evidence available, including witness statements, police reports and any video footage, to identify the dog, establish ownership and detail how the bite occurred.
Our investigations often uncover how bites could have easily been avoided, if the dog’s owner properly trained and handled the animal. That can be established by speaking with neighbors and others to show how the owner has handled the dog, obtaining medical history and other documents regarding the dog’s background and digging up police or other reports of similar attacks.
We will also gather medical records and other evidence to describe the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your daily life. This is a critical step in maximizing the potential money damages.
Your New Orleans dog bite lawyer will then make a demand for money damages to the owner and his or her insurance company. We have a strong track record of resolving these cases through negotiated settlement with insurers. Our attorneys are also accomplished litigators who stand ready to take cases to court when necessary.
Get Help After an Animal Attack from Bloom Legal
If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog or other animal, call Bloom Legal today at 504-599-9997 or use the contact us form at the top left of this page to discuss how to get started. Together we will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
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Posted By: Sarah Perrie