Tagged: Dog Attack

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.

 

Dog Leash Laws of Louisiana

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On a typical day, it is rare to see dogs running down the street unsupervised and at large. While we do encounter a stray or come across our neighbor’s dog that escaped a fenced yard every once in a while, we normally walk freely down the street with few encounters with unleashed dogs. This is largely due to the laws most states, including Louisiana, have in place that prohibit dogs from being out in public without restraint.

Louisiana Leash Laws Protect You and Your Property

Louisiana Leash Law

The State of Louisiana has very specific laws for the protection of its citizens. It is expected that dogs and cats, as well as other domestic animals, will be restrained in some way. Specifically for dogs, dog at largethe Louisiana law states, “No person shall suffer or permit any dog in his possession, or kept by him about his premises, to run at large on any unenclosed land, or trespass upon any enclosed or unenclosed lands of another.” This means that an owner of a dog cannot at any time, legally allow his or her dog to run freely across your property.

Individual cities require further standards and define what is needed for owners to maintain dogs in their possession. Baton Rouge’s Code of Ordinances defines an “at-large” animal to be any dog that is not on the owner’s property or on a leash less than six feet long.. Other cities and parishes require different criteria for the restraint of animals. Be sure to check your parish’s laws.

What Happens if a Dog is at Large

While there are laws put in place that help prevent dog owners from allowing their pets to run freely, it frequently occurs. When dogs escape their owner’s notice, you may encounter a difficult and sometimes dangerous situation, with an unrestrained dog. Louisiana’s State Legislature has put statutes into place that protect you. One such statute states that any citizen or officer may seize a dog that is trespassing on a public or private property when not accompanied by its owner. Citizens and officers may also protect themselves from vicious dogs under this statute without the risk of being liable for damages done to the animal. These statutes protect you and your right to defend yourself and your property from dogs at large.

Baton Rouge Parish has enacted ordinances to protect citizens and their property from dogs that are roaming unsupervised. One ordinance states that the owner of any dog roaming at large is dogs must be on leashesresponsible for actions and damages caused by the animal. The damages and actions could include threatening, biting, or attacking citizens or other animals on the public or private property. We can help locate ordinances in your city or town.

Knowing the leash laws in Louisiana and your parish will help you better understand your rights when it comes to dogs roaming your neighborhoods. Call Scott T. Gegenheimer when you are unsure of your rights or what you are entitled to when a dog attacks you, your pet, or trespasses on your property.


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.

Dog Attack Treatments and Compensation

Dog Attack Treatments and Compensation

Dogs can cause lasting, physical and emotional damage when they bite. Some attack injuries require specialized dog attack treatment or long-term treatment that is costly and demanding. When a dog attacks, it is important to know what kind of treatment you may receive and also what you can be compensated for so you are not left paying for the costs out of pocket.

Dog Attack Treatments Range in Price and Time Length

Standard Treatments

When a dog attacks you, certain precautions are taken by all physicians to prevent further complications. The wound will be cleaned to remove all debris and sterilized to prevent infection. You may dog attackalso receive an antibiotic to help prevent infection and fever. If the dog cannot be identified or the owner does not have verification of shot records, then you could be subject to a rabies treatment as well. This treatment includes six shots over a course of about 30 days and must be started early. Your physician will also administer any treatments including stitches, other vaccinations, and bandaging to help the wound heal and prevent further problems.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has stated that those who already have the following health conditions run a higher risk of infection when a dog bites them.

  • Chronic disease
  • Chronic edema
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Immunosuppression
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Previous mastectomy
  • Prosthetic valve or joint
  • Splenectomy
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

Specialized Treatments

Some dog attacks result in more serious injuries that require specialized treatments. Disfigurement, scarring, broken bones, and torn muscles among other physical injuries can cause a dog bite vtreatment for a dog attackictim to undergo long-term treatment. Those attacked may have to consider reconstructive or orthopedic surgery and physical therapy to regain full function of their muscles and features.

Victims of dog attacks could also suffer psychological problems, which could affect their feelings for dogs for years to come. In this case, the person who was attacked would most likely need to seek therapy for the incident due to the mental anguish and suffering due to remembering the attack or being confronted by dogs in the future.

Compensation

You can receive compensation for the injuries you receive from a dog attack as long as the attack was not provoked. The owner’s insurance company, whether it’s homeowner’s, renter’s, or landlord’s, will cover the expense of your injuries, both standard and specialized treatments. If the owner is uninsured, the expenses will fall onto the owner to pay out of pocket. If the insurance companies are limited to a certain dollar amount for compensation, the owner of the dog is still responsible for the remaining costs.

Importance of Hiring an Attorney

There are many steps in securing your compensation from the owner of the dog that attacked you. Navigating through the insurance, animal control, and police report paperwork can be confusing. An attorney can help you ensure the correct filing to get you the compensation you need. Many dog attack related claims also never reach court because of the insurance company’s push for an outside settlement. While this may not seem like a big deal, without an attorney you could be compensated far less than what you are entitled to for your injuries.

Dog attack treatments range from standard medical treatment to specialized or long-term treatment depending on the extent of the injuries. Hiring an attorney to represent you after a dog attack will help you get the compensation you deserve to cover all your injury-related expenses. Call an experienced dog attack lawyer such as Scott T. Gegenheimer if you are attacked by a dog and find out what you can be compensated for.


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.

Dangerous Dog Breeds (Part 2)

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Certain dog breeds were bred for specific characteristics throughout the centuries. Whether they were bred for small size, herding instincts, or defensive traits, these characteristics were passed along in the designated breed until it was in their nature and part of the breed itself. While all dogs can benefit from training and exposure to situations thus calming some of the more aggressive characteristics, the complete suppression of an instinct is not reasonable. Dogs that were bred to be alert, defensive, and protective will show the signs of being a dangerous dog breed throughout their lives. It is best to know which dogs naturally have these characteristics and to be cautious when interacting with them.

Dangerous Dog Breeds Due to Breeding

AkitaA dangerous dog breed, the Akita, is unsocial.

  • The Akita is known to be a stubborn, protective, an unsocial breed. They are fiercely loyal and protective of their family and naturally suspicious of strangers. This dog breed was originally utilized for guard work and for large-game hunting, as they are capable of standing their ground against bears. Without proper socialization as a puppy, this large and muscular breed can become aggressive. They are known to be unfriendly toward other animals, children, and strangers.
  • Height
    • Females: 24-26 inches
    • Males: 26-28 inches
  • Weight
    • 85-130 pounds

 Doberman PinscherDoberman Pinschers have been used in the military and can be a dangerous dog.

  • The Doberman Pinscher breed originally began in Germany and was bred to be loyal and protective. Over the years, the Doberman has added intelligence, speed, and stubborn qualities to its name and has been identified as aggressive in some situations. They were used in WWI and have been used as military and police dogs in various countries. They are extremely protective and loyal to their families and can be intimidating to strangers when given cause.
  • Height
    • Females: 24-26 inches
    • Males: 26-28 inches
  • Weight
    • 60-80 pounds

Giant SchnauzerGiant Schnauzers are a dangerous dog because of their territorial natures.

  • This dog was bred as a working dog. Known for its intelligence and energy levels, the Giant Schnauzer was used to herd cattle and act as a guard dog. They were later incorporated into the role of a police dog in Germany. They tend to have bold personalities and work well as guard dogs due to their territorial natures. Schnauzers will alert their owners of trespassers without fail. They are suspicious of strangers and will do as they please without proper socialization and training, including guarding the house in any way they see fit.
  • Height
    • Females: 23.5-25.5 inches
    • Males: 25.5-27.5 inches
  • Weight:
    • 55-80

 Staffordshire Bull TerrierThe Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a dangerous dog to other animals.

  • Although small, these dogs were initially bred in Britain as fighting dogs. They have muscular bodies and large heads that often remind people of American Pitbull Terriers. Although they are known to be loving toward their family and friendly toward children and strangers, these dogs are highly aggressive toward other animals. Even with exposure to other dogs at a young age, this breed can be overly aggressive with other dogs throughout its lifetime.
  • Height
    • Females: 14-15 inches
    • Males: 15-16 inches
  • Weight

24-38 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.

A Loose Dog Caused Me to Crash My Car

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Many people automatically think a dog injury only occurs when a dog bites a person, which forces them to seek medical attention. While this is one type of injury caused by a dog, it’s not the only type of injury. When a driver swerves or brakes to avoid hitting a loose dog, it can cause serious property damage or bodily injury to you, your car, and others in the area. These types of injuries that are not a result of direct interaction with a dog but are still caused by a dog are considered dog-related damages.

Louisiana Law

Louisiana addresses the negligence of a dog owner with specific legal doctrine. When a dog owner does not take precautions to prevent their dog from causing injury to others then they can be held liable. Louisiana doctrine states that dogs must be secure at all times, either on a leash or behind secured fences, and that a dog does not have to bite anyone in order for the doctrine to apply. If a dog causes someone to injure him or herself through directly targeted behavior, then the owner can be liable for the resulting damages and injuries. This means that if a dog causes a car wreck then the owner is responsible.

Responsibility of the Accident

While Louisiana is a strict liability state, meaning a dog owner is responsible for any injuries their dog causes, a situation can become complicated if more than one car is involved in a wreck.

If a dog causes a car crash it is considered a dog-related injury.If your car is the only one affected when a dog causes a car wreck then the owner of the dog is likely responsible for the accident. The resulting injury and/or property damage caused by the negligence of the dog owner to properly secure their dog means that it is the owner’s responsibility to pay for the damage.

If several cars are involved while avoiding the dog then two or more parties could be held responsible for the accident, including the dog owner. If someone rear-ended you after you hit the brakes, the dog owner and the person who rear-ended you could both be responsible.

Filing a Claim

A car wreck can lead to serious expenses and that’s something you don’t want to be on the line for by yourself. This is especially true if you didn’t cause the accident in the first place. Getting the responsible party, in most cases the dog owner, to cover your expenses will be your top priority. If the dog is a strange dog you are unfamiliar with, try to identify it by its nametag. If the dog is aggressive or skittish, ask around the area where you wrecked to see if any neighbors know who the dog belongs to and avoid further injuries. After you find the owner, you can file a claim.

In the case that you know the dog and whom it belongs to then all you need to do is file your claim with the owner’s information. While you may be hesitant to cause strain in your relationship by filing a claim, you don’t need to worry about putting a financial strain on them. Their homeowners insurance will cover the costs of the damage and your injuries. You’ll be able to get the compensation you need to repair your life.

A car accident caused by a loose dog in the street is no laughing matter. Swerving into a light pole, mailbox, or other object will result in extensive property damage and can result in great personal injury. If you have experienced an accident due to a dog roaming the streets, contact Gegenheimer so he can help you get the compensation you need to restore your life. Whether you need help making sure the claim includes all damage and costs or you need help getting the dog owner or other party involved to cooperate, Gegenheimer can help you with your accident claim.


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.

Where Does Your Compensation Come From After a Dog Attack?

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You are finally safe after being attacked by that strange dog that was wandering through your neighborhood. You’ve sought medical attention, reported the incident, and contacted an attorney, but now you’re wondering how you can pay for those medical bills. So where exactly does your compensation come from?

The Insured

Even though Louisiana has a strict liability statute and the owner is technically liable for damages, the dog owner’s insurance company will most likely pay for the medical bills you’ve incurred. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, more than one-third of homeowner’s insurance claim dollars in 2014 were paid out due to dog-related injuries. Whether it is homeowner’s, renter’s, landlord’s, motor vehicle or other types of insurance, you generally won’t have to pay for your medical bills if the owner is insured.

Insurance usually covers dog attack injury expensesThe Uninsured

Some insurance companies will only pay up to a certain dollar amount or they might only cover certain dog breeds. If you find yourself attacked by a dog that is not covered by the dog owner’s insurance or you go over the dollar limit, don’t panic. In the case that the insurance is inadequate or even non-existent, the owner of the dog is responsible for paying for damages with their own money.

Many dog bite lawsuits will never reach court because the dog owner’s insurance company or the owner will settle them before it reaches that point. Finding an attorney with a background in dog attack cases, whether it reaches court or not, will help ensure you are fully compensated by insurance companies or the dog owner for all 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.