If you are like most people, you encounter dogs of all sizes regularly during the course of your life. Whether you are walking in your neighborhood or in a public park, dogs are often a constant presence in these open spaces. Most encounters with dogs are harmless or even pleasant. Unfortunately, dog attacks can happen when you least expect it.
If you suffered injuries from a dog bite, you could recover monetary compensation from the owner through a civil lawsuit. This compensation could cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, and any other losses stemming directly from your injury.
You do not have to pursue legal action on your own. A Delaware dog bite lawyer can assist you in developing a claim and pursuing your case from beginning to end. To learn more about your legal options, call a member of our team at (800) 816-0755 to schedule a free consultation with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm right away.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
No matter the size of the dog, a bite could result in an injury that alters your life forever. While some dog attacks are fatal, most injuries are not life-threatening. That does not mean these bites are minor—in many cases, a dog bite can cause serious health complications that are far worse than the bite wound itself. The trauma of the attack could last long after your physical injuries fade, as well.
Dog bite injuries are common. According to data provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), roughly 4.5 million Americans suffer a dog bite each year. Approximately one out of every five of those bites requires medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some common injuries that come with a dog bite include:
- Eye injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Head or neck injuries
Any of these injuries could require significant medical treatment. The cost of this treatment could be substantial, both in terms of the amount of time and money it can take.
Following a dog bite, you have the right to hold the owner of the dangerous animal accountable if they caused your injuries. A Delaware dog bite lawyer can evaluate your claim and advise you on how best to move forward with a lawsuit. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm as soon as possible to learn more about your options to get compensation.
The actions of the bite victim will also play a role in an attack. Individuals that taunt or tease an animal are more likely than others to suffer a bite injury. The same is true for trespassers or anyone approaching a dog while it feeds. If you provoked the dog that bit you, or if you were trespassing at the time of the attack, you might be party liable for your damages.
Delaware Dog Bite Laws
Liability for dog bite injuries is governed by 16 Delaware Code §3053F. According to the statute, a dog owner is strictly liable for any injury, death, or loss to a person or property caused by their dog. This means liability under this statute goes beyond just dog bites. Any injuries resulting from a dog attack could lead to a civil claim under this statute.
The legal standard used to determine liability for a dog bite in Delaware is different than in a standard negligence claim. Delaware uses a strict liability standard, which means a plaintiff does not have to establish that the dog owner acted negligently in order to recover compensation for their injuries. Under a strict liability standard, the injury victim needs only to establish that the defendant owned the dog responsible for the bite, and they were on the property legally during the attack.
There are some defenses available, even under a strict liability standard. For example, a dog owner is not liable if the bite victim was trespassing at the time of the attack.
Likewise, a person that was in the act of committing a crime at the time of the attack will not be able to recover compensation. Finally, provocation is also a viable defense under a strict liability standard. Provocation occurs when the injury victim teases, torments, or abuses the dog prior to the bite.
Compensation for Your Injuries
The compensation that comes with a successful dog bite injury claim can vary. Typically, more severe injuries will result in more financial compensation. Building a claim is central to maximizing your chances of a fair monetary award, however. Some of the most common types of damages available in these claims include:
- Medical bills: You could recover the cost of medical treatment following a dog attack. This could include past and future hospital bills, ambulance rides, surgical procedures, medication, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages: If you missed time from work due to an injury, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your lost paychecks. You could also be able to recover compensation for your reduced earning capacity if you are no longer able to return to your former job.
- Pain and suffering: The physical pain that comes with a dog bite can be severe. However, the injury can affect your life in many ways, often making it less enjoyable. You have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.
You Could Be Entitled to a Financial Award for Your Dog Bite Injuries
It can be difficult to know where to turn following a dog bite injury. However, the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you. If you do not know who the owner of the dog that attacked you is, we can help you track them down and hold them accountable for your injuries.
A Delaware dog bite lawyer can work to ensure you hold the owner of the dog that attacked you accountable. To learn how we can aid you in your injury claim, call (800) 816-0755 to schedule a free consultation with the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm team today.