A dog bite attack can be an overwhelming experience, especially if the victim has experienced a severe injury. Dog bite injuries may include cuts and lacerations, nerve damage, broken bones, damage to tendons, and more. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog recently in South Dakota, you may be experiencing extensive medical treatment. Unfortunately, these treatments may lead to expensive medical bills.
Dog bites may not only leave you with serious injuries, but also with questions of proving fault, liability, and how you may be compensated for your damages. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, a South Dakota dog bite lawyer can provide you with legal assistance after your dog bite attack.
If your South Dakota dog bite came without warning or provocation, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can protect your rights. While you focus on recovering, our firm will pursue financial compensation on your behalf. By doing so, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can also strive to hold a dog owner or other liable party accountable for your damages.
To learn more, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 816-0755.
Handling the Aftermath of a Dog Bite with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
If you have not already received medical treatment from a dog bite, it is crucial that you do so as soon as possible. While it is important for your health, receiving a medical exam after a dog bite can also protect your legal interests. Without medical documentation, your injury claim against the liable party may lose credence.
A dog bite can also potentially spread diseases aside from physical injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs can carry a variety of diseases, such as rabies.
Aside from obtaining medical treatment, there are other important steps to consider after a dog bite. For instance, you should report the attack to your local South Dakota animal control office. Animal control can help you in a myriad of ways, such as by:
- Determining if the dog has a history of biting
- Providing you documentation of the dog bite
- Helping you potentially identify the dog and its owner
If you contacted the police after the accident, you should also seek a copy of the police report. A police report may obtain the dog owner’s contact information, which can be beneficial if the owner was not present during the attack.
If you have not yet notified the police, you may still do so after the accident occurred. The police report may also include contact information from witnesses of the dog bite, which can potentially come back to support your claim.
What Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Do for Your Case
Depending on the circumstances of your case, a South Dakota dog bite lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can navigate through your potential paths for seeking compensation. Your path to earning compensation may entail negotiations with the dog owner’s insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit – both of which our law firm can manage on your behalf.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can support your case by determining who is responsible for paying your dog bite claim. Typically, the dog’s owner will be responsible for paying your damages.
Each state has different laws governing liability for dog bites. South Dakota is a “one bite” state, which means a dog owner may not be liable for injuries if it was the dog’s first attack. However, they can be exceptions to this rule that can still hold a dog owner liable, even if it is the dog’s first bite.
Some other ways in which Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can benefit your dog bite case include:
- Identify the dog’s owner
- Establish liability
- Handle all communications with your insurance and the dog owner’s insurer
- Determine fair compensation for your claim
- Negotiate with insurers on your behalf
- File a personal injury lawsuit
- Review your medical records and help obtain medical evidence when necessary
- Investigate your dog bite
- Obtain evidence and meet with witnesses
Pursuing Fair Compensation for Your Damages
You have the option to seek a South Dakota dog bite lawyer to determine the value of your claim. Whether your claim will involve an insurance settlement or a lawsuit, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you identify and evaluate the worth of your recoverable damages. This can include any noneconomic damages, such as your pain and suffering.
Recoverable damages from a dog bite may include, but not limited to:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Missed future wages
- Property damages
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Limited earning capacity
Dog Bite Laws in South Dakota
Under South Dakota dog bite laws, dog bite victims generally can follow two legal theories to pursue compensation for a dog bite injury claim:
- The “one bite” rule
- Negligence-based fault
With the “one bite” rule, previous aggression can be proven beyond a physical bite.
For example, our firm may be able to prove that the dog had shown signs of aggression from previous instances of growling or pouncing. The owner can be found liable for dog bite injuries if it is proven that they knew or reasonably should have known of their animal’s aggressive behavior.
With the principle of negligence, you must prove that the dog’s owner (or another party) had a duty to use reasonable care that would have prevented the attack. You would also be required to prove that your injury was a direct result of this failure to act from the dog owner or from another party involved at the time of the dog bite.
South Dakota Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
When filing a personal injury lawsuit in South Dakota, it must be done so within the statute of limitations. According to South Dakota Codified Laws § 15-3-530, claimants generally have up to three years from the date of the attack to file a claim. If your claim is filed beyond the statute of limitations, your case may be dismissed.
Seek Justice for a Dog Bite with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
If you have been injured from a dog bite in South Dakota, the dog bite attorneys of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you seek justice and compensation. While you focus on recovering, our law firm can handle a legal claim on your behalf.
Additionally, our law firm offers free case evaluations to help you better understand your legal recourse options. To learn more, call us today at (800) 816-0755.