Dog bites can result in serious injuries, emotional trauma, and lasting physical scars. While most dog owners are responsible and ensure their pets are properly trained and supervised, accidents can still happen. If you become a victim of a dog bite, it is essential to understand your rights and the legal options available to you. The Law Office of Ben Evan, an experienced personal injury law firm in Suitland, Maryland, is dedicated to providing legal guidance and representation for those affected by dog bite injuries.
Empowering yourself with knowledge about dog bite liability and personal injury law is crucial for protecting your rights and seeking the compensation necessary for your recovery. Additionally, this post will explain the benefits of enlisting an experienced personal injury attorney, like those at The Law Office of Ben Evan, to advocate on your behalf and guide you through the complexities of dog bite injury cases.
Dog Bite Laws and Liability
In Maryland, dog bite laws are a mixture of strict liability and negligence. Understanding these legal concepts is crucial when pursuing compensation for your injuries.
– Strict Liability: Maryland applies strict liability to dog bite cases, which means the owner is held responsible for their dog’s actions even if the owner was not negligent. However, this only applies if the dog was “at large,” meaning the dog was not confined to the owner’s property or leashed at the time of the bite.
– Negligence: If the dog was not at large, victims may still pursue a claim based on negligence. In these cases, the victim must prove the dog owner failed to properly control their dog or knew of the dog’s propensity for aggression but did not take appropriate precautions.
It is important to note that Maryland follows a contributory negligence rule, meaning victims who are found even 1% at fault for the incident may not be eligible for any compensation.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
Taking appropriate steps after a dog bite is essential for protecting your rights and bolstering your claim. Follow these steps if you or a loved one experiences a dog bite:
1. Seek Medical Attention: Prioritize your safety and well-being by seeking immediate medical attention. This ensures proper documentation of your injuries and ensures timely treatment to prevent infections or complications.
2. Identify the Dog and Its Owner: If possible, collect information about the dog and its owner, including names, contact information, and any details about the dog’s breed, vaccination records, and history of aggression. This information will be crucial for your claim.
3. Report the Incident: Contact animal control or local law enforcement to report the incident. They will generate a report that can serve as evidence in your case.
4. Document Your Injuries: Take photos of your injuries and any damaged property, and save all relevant medical records, bills, and receipts. This will help your attorney assess your damages and build a strong case.
5. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury attorney, like the team at The Law Office of Ben Evan, who can guide you through the legal process and advocate for your interests.
Compensation for Dog Bite Victims
As a dog bite victim, you may be entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages relating to your injuries. Compensation may include:
– Medical Expenses: This includes all treatments and procedures related to the dog bite, such as emergency care, hospital stays, medications, physical therapy, and psychological counseling.
– Lost Wages: If your injuries cause you to miss work, you may be compensated for lost income. Additionally, if your injuries impair your ability to work in the future, you may be eligible for diminished earning capacity compensation.
– Pain and Suffering: Dog bites often result in physical pain and emotional trauma. Compensation for pain and suffering acknowledges the physical discomfort and emotional distress caused by the bite.
– Disfigurement and Scarring: Dog bites can leave lasting physical scars or disfigurements, which may cause emotional and psychological distress. Compensation for these damages seeks to address this impact on your quality of life.
The Importance of Retaining a Personal Injury Attorney
Enlisting the help of an experienced personal injury attorney offers numerous benefits, such as:
– Expert Guidance: Personal injury attorneys understand the intricacies of dog bite liability laws and can help you navigate the complex legal process.
– Investigation and Evidence: Attorneys can investigate your claim, collect necessary evidence, and identify liable parties to build a strong case on your behalf.
– Negotiating Compensation: An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
– Trial Experience: In the event that your case proceeds to trial, an experienced personal injury attorney can advocate on your behalf in court and present a strong case to a judge or jury.
Conclusion: Trust The Law Office of Ben Evan to Guide You Through Your Dog Bite Case
Dog bite injuries can be traumatic, and understanding the laws governing dog bite liability is essential for victims seeking justice. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney like those at The Law Office of Ben Evan, you can protect your rights, navigate the complexities of dog bite injury claims, and pursue the compensation you need to heal. If you or a loved one has suffered due to a dog bite, don’t hesitate to contact our accident and injury lawyers at 301-423-8100 or visit us at 5210 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746 for a consultation and expert guidance in your pursuit of justice.