Topic: Dog Bite

Your Dog Bite Claim Timeline

Filing a Claim for a Dog Bite

Your Dog Bite Claim Timeline

A dog bite can lead to a confusion of events and processes. Understanding the process for a dog bite claim will help you better navigate through your injury. Know what to do within certain amounts of time to help secure your compensation for any injuries you received during the attack.

Immediately After the Dog Bite

seek medical attention before pursuing a dog bite claimDirectly after a dog attacks, you should obtain medical treatment and notify authorities. Contact both animal control and your local police force and report the dog attack.

Seeking medical treatment will not only ensure your health, but also create a professional record of the attack that occurred. Reporting the attack to the local authorities will help minimize the risk of the dog attacking someone else. If the owner of the dog is unknown at the time, the report will also ensure the dog is secured for owner identification.

48 Hours After the Dog Bite

After you are medically stabilized, the doctor can create a preliminary medical report of your injuries, which will include the extent of your injuries and the cost related. At this point, you will need to contact a dog bite attorney, such as Scott T. Gegenheimer, who will assist you in pursuing a claim against the owner of the responsible dog.

Louisiana, being a strict liability state, places responsibility of the dog’s actions on the owner, regardless of past behavior. Barring that you did not provoke the dog by trespassing on private property or with animal cruelty, you are entitled to compensation.

Within 1 Week of the Dog Bite

Your attorney will send notification of the claim to the owner of the dog. This notification allows the dog owner time to seek representation and respond to the complaint. Normally, the dog owner will have 15 days to file an answer.

Within 4 Weeks of the Dog Bite

The continuation of the process will depend on the dog owner’s answer to your complaint. If the dog owner chooses to settle the claim outside of court then your attorney will help you receive the compensation you need based on your injuries and future treatment requirements.

If the dog owner decides to take the claim to trial then you and your attorney will compile evidence of the attack. You and your attorney will gather your medical records and police reports, contact any eyewitnesses, request depositions, and gather any additional evidence.

Scheduling a Trial

1_01-FilingaClaim_statecapitolYour attorney will proceed to continue the process of the claim by scheduling a court date. As availability differs based on the number of current claims, your court date and length of the trial will vary.

When the trial concludes, you will be awarded your monetary compensation or the dog owner will be found not at fault. If you wish to challenge the court on the ruling, you may file an appeal.

A Reminder for Dog Bite Injuries

Louisiana allows you to file a personal injury claim for one year after the incident. It is best to file the claim as soon as possible in order to preserve evidence and get the compensation you need for your injuries. You also do not have to wait to file a claim until you are finished receiving treatment.

Filing a dog bite claim quickly and getting assistance from a personal injury attorney will help ensure you are compensated for your injuries. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer today for assistance in your dog bite incident.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

 

Dangerous Dog Breeds (Part 3)

Dangerous dog breeds

Certain dog breeds have distinct characteristics, which although not universal, can act as a guide to their behavior. Many dogs were bred for certain jobs in the past and, even today, still carry some of the same behavioral characteristics. While some characteristics do not endanger people and animals, other characteristics pose a threat. Examples include territorial, protective, and suspicious natures. Even with proper training, certain dogs still may have particular and dangerous behavioral traits that you should be aware of.

Dangerous Dog Breeds Often Have a History of Being Guard, Hunting, or Military Dogs

Shar-Pei

  • The Shar-Pei is a distinctive dog, recognizable by the wrinkled skin encompassing its body. Bred in the past to be a fighting and guard dog, this breed is aggressive toward animals and strangers without proper training. Shar-Pei are also independent and strong-willed dogs and will take control of situations and households without a strong leader. Due to the protective and independent nature of this dog, it may often act on its own if it feels the family is threatened. The Shar-Pei can be aggressive and should be handled with caution.
  • Height
    • Females: 18-20 inches
    • Males: 18-20 inches
  • Weight
    • 40-55 pounds

Chow Chow

  • Often called a Chow, this dog breed is extremely fluffy with an impressive mane and a curled tail. Known to be stubborn, reserved, and independent, these dogs were used for hunting and guarding as far back as the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.). Even with their own families, they tend to be distant and they will actively challenge approaching strangers if not introduced by their owners. Experts instruct that a Chow Chow should be significantly socialized as a puppy to counteract the aggressive tendencies and should never be approached without the owner present.
  • Height
    • Females: 18-20 inches
    • Males: 19-22 inches
  • Weight
    • 40-70 pounds

Boxers are dangerous dogsBoxer

  • The Boxer breed originated in Germany and is high energy and loyal. They have a history of guarding and serving in the military due to their alert and watchful personalities. These dogs are extremely affectionate with their family but can be suspicious of strangers if not socialized as puppies. If a Boxer feels it or its family is threatened it can respond with aggressive behavior without hesitation. With the Boxer’s strength, agility, and intelligence, people should be cautious when approaching one without the owner present and without knowing the individual dog’s personality.
  • Height
    • Females: 21-23.5 inches
    • Males: 22.5-25 inches
  • Weight
    • 60-70 pounds

A Dachshund is a dangerous dogDachshund

  • Although these dogs are small, they have the temperament of a much larger animal. Bred to be hunting dogs (with the power and confidence to take on a badger), these dogs have strong prey drives and will hunt smaller animals within a household including cats, birds, and rodents. Their personalities also include possessive and jealous natures and they can begin to snap and bite at strangers or even family members if not trained properly. While people may not see them as a threat because of their size, the Dachshund still has sharp teeth and maintains enough force to cause damage.
  • Height
    • Females: 8-9 inches
    • Males: 8-9 inches
  • Weight
    • 16-32 pounds

This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

What Should I do if a Dog Bites Me?

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Man’s best friend isn’t always friendly. Sometimes our furry companions turn against us and become aggressive and violent. Dogs can be unpredictable and put you or others you know in harms way. It doesn’t matter whether you are familiar with the dog or have never seen it before. If a dog becomes aggressive there are certain steps you should take to ensure you or your loved ones are safe and covered for the injuries incurred during the incident.

Treatment

Dogs have sharp teeth and can deeply puncture your skin to cause serious damage. Don’t wait to see if the wound will heal by itself; seek medical attention immediately after the incident. A physician will examine the wound for muscle, tendon or even bone damage, and administer the proper treatment. Additionally, you run the risk of infection when bitten. If the health of the dog is unknown, you may contract rabies and a rabies shot will be needed. A physician may also prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infection.

Get witnesses after a dog biteProof

After you are out of harms way and have calmed down you’ll need to document proof of your attack. Have someone you know and trust get the following information while you are seeking medical treatment. Have them talk to the witnesses of the attack and get their contact information for future reference. You should also take pictures of any wounds you received during the attack so you have evidence of the extent of the wound after you receive treatment. If the owner is present, have someone get their contact information too and ask for copies of the vaccinations their dog has received. Contact their vet shortly after the attack to verify the vaccination record.

Report the Incident

Contact the police after a dog biteYou’ll need to report any dog attack to animal control or the police and give them the information of the owner and the information of any witnesses. You may also get a call from an insurance company if the owner is insured. Be sure to collect the information of the insurance company as well, including the claim number and the amount of money set aside for your medical expenses.

After you’ve obtained proof, received treatment, and reported the incident, consider obtaining an attorney versed in dog bite cases to help ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Keeping Children Safe from Dogs this Halloween

Keep children safe from dogs

October is the month of cooler weather, pumpkin-flavored drinks, and the Halloween holiday. At the end of every October, people expect pranks, scary movies, and frightening occurrences because it’s Halloween, the holiday known for scary things, but some dangers are not as obvious as others. While people enjoy costumes, outdoor parties, and trick-or-treating, they sometimes overlook the dangers that come with mixing dogs, children, and Halloween festivities. With 4.5 million dog bites each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog bites and Halloween child safety is a major concern. Dog owners that bring their pets along for the ride or allow their dogs to roam free during Halloween put a lot of children at risk of being bitten. It’s important to know the dangers of meeting dogs during holiday events and how to respond so you and your children can avoid a dog bite this Halloween.

Part of Your Child’s Safety Measures this Halloween Involves Staying Alert Around Dogs

Don't approach dogs on Halloween.Trick-or-Treating with Your Child

Taking your children trick-or-treating should be a fun experience, but people often bring their dogs with them, creating an unsafe experience. While it may seem like a cute idea, dogs can be aggressive toward strangers, especially in stressful situations. Many dog owners do not realize that their pets can be out of their comfort zone and act defensively or hostile in hectic places. A holiday that involves shrieking children, many strangers, and costumes that distort appearances is a stressful event for any dog, no matter how well trained.

If you are trick-or-treating with your children this year or allowing them to go on their own, ensure that everyone knows to take extra precaution when coming into contact with any dogs. Do not approach, pet, or call strange or even familiar dogs to you while trick-or-treating, as they may not recognize you in costume or may feel threatened by your appearance. Do not tease or agitate dogs in any way, and if a strange dog comes to you, ask the owner to respect your space or stand still, avoiding eye contact until the dog leaves. Try to avoid dogs when you are walking with your children from house to house to avoid further risk.

To keep children safe, beware of dogs behind fences. Visiting Homes with Dogs

Homes that have dogs inside the house, behind a fence, or leashed outside are not as safe to approach as they may appear. While the dog may seem secure, it takes just a quick second for them to slip out from under their owner’s control and by then it’s too late. The dog may be extremely protective and only concerned about defending its property and owners. You should avoid houses when you hear barking coming from inside a house, behind a fence, or when a dog is leashed-up in the yard. If you do visit a house with a dog, do not step forward, but instead let the owner know if you are not comfortable coming near the dog. Wait for them to put the dog away or come outside of the house without the dog and to you and your child with the candy. Make sure the door is firmly closed before turning around and walking away.

When going to a party at a house with a dog, remember to be extremely cautious when approaching, even if you are sure the dog knows you. The dog may already feel threatened by the number of people there and also may not recognize you in costume. Avoid cornering and agitating dogs during Halloween to prevent a potential dog attack.

Keeping your child safe from all dangers during Halloween festivities is important. Remember this Halloween that your child’s safety concerning dogs is another matter to consider when trick-or-treating. Be alert for strange dogs while out walking, and try to avoid dogs completely during the night for extra precaution.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Dogs in Restaurants, What You Need to Know

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Allowing animals in restaurants has been an ongoing discussion for many restaurant owners, dog enthusiasts, dog critics, and public officials across the United States for some time. Officials and critics site facts about health and safety hazards while enthusiasts and owners rally around training and health benefit defenses. As it stands, the law is slightly different across the states and many states have yet to weigh in. To stay within the law of Louisiana and to also stay safe from the hazards and health risks that accompany the issue, we’ve compiled what Louisiana has permitted concerning dogs in restaurants.

Dog and Restaurant Laws and Risks in Louisiana

Louisiana Law for Dogs in Restaurants

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, allowing dogs in public places and restaurants is limited and restaurants have to meet strict requirements for dogs to be allowed anywhere near the premises. Dog owners are required to vaccinate their dogs and are also responsible for their pet’s behavior and any damage it causes when in a public area.

The FDA states that in a restaurant, dogs are not legally permitted to enter any location where food is being prepared. If the restaurant cannot guarantee that utensils, linens, and serving equipment will not be exposed or contaminated by the dog’s presence then the dog is not allowed to be there. This means self-closing doors and appropriate separation from the dining areas and the food preparation areas must exist. In addition, all restaurant equipment that customers may use must be kept in closed containers. Restaurants are never allowed to serve dogs food from the same equipment that human customers eat from. That means restaurants are required to make sure dog owners don’t let their dogs take a piece of food from their plate or fork.

Service dogs are an exception for dogs in restaurants.Exceptions for Dogs in Restaurants

As with any law, certain exceptions exist that allow dogs to be in restaurants in specific cases. The most obvious exception is service animals for people who have disabilities. These dogs are highly trained to perform actions that their owners have trouble completing on their own but even then these dogs are still restricted from the cooking areas of the restaurant. Another exception is patrol dogs that are accompanying police or security officers.

Risks for Allowing Dogs in Restaurants

While dogs can be extremely well trained, there is always the potential for a dog to bite someone. A loud noise, an accidental bump, or an unfamiliar person can cause a dog to bite, resulting in tissue and nerve damage.

Having a dog in a restaurant introduces many other threats to customers. Pet dander and hair can cause other restaurant customers to have allergic reactions. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has stated that three of 10 people in the United States suffer from allergic reactions to cats and dogs, so having dogs in restaurants can cause problems for many people.

Along wDogs in restaurants must never eat off of equipment used by humans.ith the common health risks, dogs bring in more severe health risks as well. Naturally, dogs have to use the restroom and when they are confined to an area, whether it is an eating establishment or not, they will go to the restroom when they need to go. This brings in the risk for sickness for customers if the restaurant is not properly maintained and sanitized by the restaurant staff after each accident. Dogs also have the potential to bite restaurant patrons, too. They can also psychologically affect people. Those who are afraid of dogs or who have been attacked by a dog in the past can feel extremely uncomfortable around dogs, no matter how well the dog is trained.

Ultimately, it is up to the restaurant owners whether or not dogs are allowed in their place. They have to consider all the risks and take extreme precaution to ensure sanitation if they decide to allow them. Restaurants and business establishments may be responsible for attacks and other health or safety risks associated with allowing dogs on their premises.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Dangerous Dog Breeds (Part 1)

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Let’s face it, not all dog breeds are created equal. The Labrador breed is known to cause the most dog bites each year in America, but it is also the most commonly owned breed. This favorite family pet has more opportunities to bite because of the larger population. But the fact of the matter is that a Labrador, no matter how big, simply lacks the temperament, inclination to bite, and the jaw strength to do serious damage except in the most extreme of circumstances. Other dog breeds have more severe temperaments, inclinations, and jaw strengths.

Dangerous Dog Breeds

American Pit Bull Terriors can be a dangerous dog breed due to a massive jaw.The American Pit Bull Terrier

  • This dog has a long and violent past and is known to be a fighting breed. Characteristics include massive jaws, high agility capabilities, and owner obedience. The American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog that will become aggressive if not properly socialized from a puppy. They are known for never backing down from a fight and fighting to the finish, no matter the consequences.
  • Height
    • Females: 17-18 inches
    • Males: 18-19 inches
  • Weight
    • 30-85 pounds

Rottweiler Rottweilers can be a dangerous dog breed because they are heavily muscled.

  • The Rottweiler breed is an extremely muscled breed and can be identified by its large size and coloring. It is mostly black with brown highlights around the face, chest, and eyes. These dogs have enormous physical strength and have been used as work dogs, guard dogs, and police dogs. Rottweilers are protective and aggressive and can be dangerous when strangers or unknown animals come into contact with them.
  • Height
    • Females: 22-25 inches
    • Males: 24-27 inches
  • Weight
    • 85-130 pounds

German Shepard German Shepards can be dangerous because they are suspicous and protective.

  • This dog breed is a working dog known for its agility, high energy, and trainability. They tend to be large and are versatile in the jobs they can perform. Combined with their other traits of a suspicious nature toward strangers and a protective nature of their family and home, German Shepards can be dangerous to those not known to them. They are not afraid to attack and as a result, have been used for military and police jobs.
  • Height
    • Females: 22-24 inches
    • Males: 24-26 inches
  • Weight
    • 75-95 pounds

BullmastiffBullmastiffs can be a dangerous dog breed. They were bred to be a guard dog.

  • Originally bred to be a guard dog, the Bullmastiff is a confident, fast, and courageous dog. They are extremely large in stature and carry a lot of muscle enabling them to take down fully-grown adults with ease. The dog breed is a known protector and can be aggressive with strangers.
  • Height
    • Females: 24-26 inches
    • Males: 25-27 inches
  • Weight
    • 100-130 pounds

This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Dogs and Your Child

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You’ve heard all kinds of stories about dogs and children. Some of them were inspiring, stories woven together about best friends that do everything together. Others have been scary snippets about dog attacks on innocent children. What you want to know however is if your child will be safe around your dog, the neighbor’s dog, or any dog they happen to come across. It’s safe to say that when you put two beings that have their own personalities together nothing is guaranteed. That being said, let’s look at a few things and how your child and dogs can live together peacefully.

Facts

First things first, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million dog bites occur each year just within the United States. The CDC also stated that those most at risk to receive a dog bite are children and men. Children aged 5 to 9 have the highest rate of dog-bite related injuries.

Those numbers can look frightening to anyone with children, but if you have your hopes set on having your children and dogs play together, not all is lost.

Dogs and children can live together with proper lessons and attention.

Safety Rules

Remember, children are not as practiced at reading signals from dogs as adults. Never leave your children alone with a dog. Children don’t always understand dog behavior, so teach your children the warning signs dogs give when they are unhappy or getting ready to attack. Let your child know that some of the warning signs that a dog gives when it’s unhappy include baring its teeth, lowering its head or tail, attempts at hiding, or holding its body straight or rigid.

Maintaining proper respect for the dog is also imperative to avoiding bites. Teach your children to never approach a strange dog and always ask permission from a dog’s owner before trying to pet the dog. When they are introduced to a new dog, be sure they know to let the dog sniff them before reaching out and the proper way to pet and treat a dog. Knowing how to treat a dog properly will lessen the chance of a bite.

1_01-Gegenhiemer-Blog-SafetyRules_DogChewing-ContentAnother safety rule for children when interacting with dogs is to prevent your child from interrupting a dog when the dog is enjoying its own space. Prevent your child from interrupting a dog when it’s sleeping, eating, chewing a bone, playing aggressively with a toy, or when the dog is a mother with her puppies. During these times dogs can become more aggressive than usual so it’s a good idea to keep small hands away at these times.

If you are a dog owner, you’ll also need to spend some time teaching your dog how to interact with children, especially if it hasn’t been around them from the beginning. Teaching your dog some basic obedience skills will help prevent any bites as well. Spend time teaching your dog to drop and leave any item it has, to sit, lie down and stay, to come when called, and to greet people and children gently. These skills, if taught properly can help to prevent a dog from biting a child.

With certain precautions and extra care, children and dogs can live peacefully together. It’s important however to be aware of the risks and if a bite does occur be sure to know what steps to take to help your child. In your own home you’ll have more of a handle on any situation but if your child meets another dog it won’t always be possible to stop a bite. In those times, be sure to hire a lawyer who can give you and your child the help you need.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

My Neighbor’s Dog Just Bit My Child

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It happens more often than you think; you’re attending a social event at your neighbor’s house and your neighbor’s dog bites your child. This situation can become pretty awkward due to your relationship with your neighbor. Because this can be a delicate situation, you should hire a lawyer to help you navigate the situation and get the compensation you need to pay for your child’s medical bills. If you’re worried about this incident stressing the relationship, don’t. Getting the compensation you need for your child doesn’t have to cause strain between you and your neighbor.

You can get compensation after your neighbor's dog bites. Paying the Bills

Medical bills for a dog bite injury can be expensive. You’re worried about being unable to afford it yourself, while also not wanting to put the burden on your neighbor. The good news is that the burden to pay for your child’s medical bills will not fall on you or your neighbor when you sue for a dog bite injury. Normally, medical costs from claims for dog bite injuries will fall to your neighbor’s homeowners insurance company.

What Happens to the Dog

Another concern you may have about filing a suit against your neighbor after the attack is what will happen to your neighbor’s dog. The last thing you want to do in this situation is cause more pain, and you don’t want to make your neighbor put down their beloved dog. Most likely however, that won’t be the case. Your neighbor will have to report the attack and the dog may be placed on a dangerous dog list, but the chances of it being put down is minimal.

When your neighbor's dog bites you talk to an attorney first. Talking About the Injury

This will be the hardest and most straining part of the situation. Your neighbor will want to talk to you about the incident and your child’s injuries. You should consult with an attorney before speaking about or discussing the consequences of the dog bite incident with your neighbor. Exchanging contact information and the medical records of the dog is advised, but nothing beyond that should be discussed before your consultation with an attorney.

Being familiar with a dog will not always save you or your family from a bite. Having a friendly relationship with the dog owner doesn’t have to complicate the process of getting the compensation you need. While this won’t be a happy situation, it doesn’t have to strain your relationship with your neighbor. Speak with an attorney today to find out how to proceed with getting the compensation you need for your child following a dog bite.


This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Understanding the Compensation Surrounding Dog Attacks

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If you’re a victim of a dog bite, you’re entitled to compensation for your damages and losses. But how do you know what you’re entitled to? There are many parts of losses and damages, but they can be generally put in two categories: economic (damages that cost you money) and non-economic (damages that to put to an exact number).

You can get compensated for economic damages after a dog attackEconomic Damages

Economic damages include medical costs such as emergency vehicle transportation, compensation for future operations or cosmetic scar treatment, loss of past and future income or opportunity, defensive measures (such as putting up a fence), and past counseling expenses. It also covers less obvious expenses like future psychological costs, funds expended on a vacation that could not be taken, torn clothing, and more. Essentially, economic damages are explicit expenses incurred as a result of the dog attack.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages include but are not limited to the pain of the injury and the treatment, mental suffering when confronted by dogs or remembering the attack, humiliation caused by scars, and loss of quality of life due to disability. Non-economic damages are implicit costs.

The owner of the dog is usually responsible for damages.In some states and cases, the defendant may not be solely liable for the injury. Louisiana however is a strict liability state. This means that the owner of the dog that attacked is liable for the injury, as long as the plaintiff was legally allowed to be where he or she was when the attack occurred, and did not provoke the dog.

Your lawyer should establish the full measure of your damages. Medical bills and records, opinion letters written by your primary physicians, and letters from employers are used as the starting point for the case. A private, experienced attorney is the only one who can advise a dog bite victim as to what evidence is needed in any particular case. They will help determine which experts need to be retained to present their opinions, how much a victim should receive for pain, suffering, humiliation and loss of income, and all of the other items of possible loss mentioned above.



This site is intended purely as a resource guide for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Any information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a professional attorney in your state. The use and receipt of the information offered on this site is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The content of an e-mail sent to Scott T. Gegenheimer Attorney at Law or any of its attorneys will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential.

Why Does a Dog Bite?

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Just like our own mood swings, sometimes our furry friends have a lapse in their dispositions and become a little more aggressive than we’d like. This doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to ever be around your dog again, as there are lots of reasons why a dog might bite you or someone you know. That being said, you don’t want a temporary lapse in your dog’s mood to cause you any trouble in court or with animal control. The best way to avoid an incident is to know the cause that might trigger the bite reaction in the first place and then take steps to avoid putting yourself and others in harms way.

Here are a Few Reasons that Dogs Might Bite You or Another Person.

Redirected Aggression

Often times when dogs get into a fight, they are acting on instinct and adrenaline and are not concerned with other aspects of their surroundings. You should avoid putting your hands anywhere near a dogfight and instead use a stick or loud noises to break up a dogfight.

Defense/ Feel Threatened

When dogs are protecting their toys, home, people, or themselves they can become aggressive. To avoid aggression when dealing with their toys or food, use obedience training to dispel some of the dominant possessive behavior. Training will also help with possessiveness of the people and home as well. You can also help by letting the dog meet new people gradually. You should advise visitors to not make any aggressive moves, even if they are joking, toward your dog. Let them know to never corner your dog, because if they corner your dog and it feels it can’t escape, it may resort to violence.

Dominance Aggression Obedience training can help dispel aggresive behavior.

Dogs who bite due to dominance aggression feel they are the leader of the household. They don’t believe you have the right to tell them what to do and will act accordingly. Obedience training as early as possible will curb this behavior and so will spaying or neutering the aggressive dog. You will need to monitor dominant aggressive dogs more carefully and avoid putting them in situations that will trigger undesired behavior.

Pain

Dogs can hide their pain fairly well. If your dog inexplicably bites you and you can find no other reason for the aggression, they might be in pain. You could have accidentally petted a sore spot and a warning nip of instinct might be the result. If this is the case, try taking your dog to the vet. The vet will be able to identify your dog’s injury and get them back to their healthy selves.

Maternal Aggression

If your dog is a new mother then she will be protective of her puppies. To avoid aggression bites during this time, let her have her space until she is ready to allow people around her puppies.

Prey Instincts

If you are playing an aggressive game with your dog, like tug of war and you are bitten, it was most likely an accident. Your dog was probably reaching for the toy and got you instead. Try switching to a different game like fetch that will satisfy their prey instinct and keep you out of harms way.

Dogs don’t always mean to bite and accidents do happen, but you can minimize them by knowing your dog’s tendencies and the situation. Always keep an eye on your pet when they are around strangers no matter how well behaved they are to avoid incidents. Knowing the reasons why dogs can become aggressive will help you keep your dog from biting others and help you stay clear of strange dogs that might cause you problems.


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