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Frequently Asked Legal Questions About Dog Bites

Below are answers to common legal questions about dog bites. These answers are for informational purposes only. Sometimes, exceptions apply. Please rely on your own attorney to determine whether an exception applies to your case. Only by consulting an experienced lawyer can you be sure your rights are fully protected.

Should I contact a lawyer if a dog bit me?

If someone else’s dog bit you, hiring legal representation can help you seek compensation for your medical expenses and other bills. CaseyGerry has full-time investigators who get to work right away gathering the details of their clients’ cases.

Proper medical attention is the first priority. Once you have received all necessary immediate care for your dog bite, contact a law firm that has represented others in similar situations. The sooner you act, the better. The firm’s investigators will be able to preserve more evidence to show what happened and who is at fault. It’s critical to gather the facts and evidence as soon as possible before evidence has been lost or destroyed and while witnesses’ memories are fresh.

Homeowner’s insurance may cover the claim for the dog owner. However, some insurance companies now exclude ten potentially dangerous breeds from coverage, which may make financial recovery more difficult. The breeds most commonly excluded are:

  • Pit bull
  • Rottweiler
  • Chow chow
  • Presa Canario
  • Akita
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Mastiff
  • Wolf
  • German shepherd

These purported exclusions make it very important to consult with an experienced attorney, as he or she may be able to overcome some insurance company defenses and still recover full damages.

What qualifies as negligence on the part of a dog owner?

Dog owners are responsible for taking all necessary measures to ensure their dogs do not bite someone. When they act carelessly and let someone get bit, they have acted negligently and can be held responsible for the harm that person suffered.

What is a statute of limitations and how does it apply to my dog bite claim?

If you decide to pursue legal action after a dog bit you, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to review your situation. The state limits the time you have to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog, so you should not delay in contacting an attorney. If the statute of limitations expires, your right to pursue a claim may be forever barred.

My dog bite is minor. Do I really need to see a physician anyway?

It’s important to seek medical attention if a dog has bitten you. Dog bites can cause rabies, Capnocytophaga, Pasteurella, MRSA, tetanus, and other serious infections. In addition, having a physician’s medical records can help explain your injuries, should you decide to file a claim. 

The attorneys at CaseyGerry can review the circumstances of your case to determine the next steps. You can reach our firm by calling (619) 238-1811.

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