You Can Sue for a Dog Bite in Wyoming, But It’s Not Easy
Dogs are a big part of the landscape here in Wyoming. We keep them not only as pets, but also as a form of security, for hunting, and for other jobs. But all these dogs, while useful, mean that people get bitten quite often in Wyoming.
When a dog bites, the victim can suffer both physical and emotional injuries. A bite can break bones, lacerate and infect tissue, and cause permanent scarring. In addition, one attack can cause a victim—especially a child—to develop a fear of dogs.
Dog bites can be costly to treat, so victims can seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. However, getting this compensation is not easy. Due to Wyoming’s laws surrounding dog bites, anyone wishing to file a claim should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
Wyoming’s Dog Bite Laws
Some states operate under a strict liability rule for dog bites. Strict liability means that any time a dog bites or injures someone, the owner or keeper of the dog is liable for the injuries.
Not so in Wyoming. We have a “one-bite rule”: dog bite victims must be able to prove that the dog caused their injury, and that the dog’s owner knew that the dog had a history of being violent or aggressive. If the owner did not know, he cannot be held liable for any injuries the dog caused.
The one-bite rule in Wyoming is not an actual law; rather, it’s part of common law, where the courts made decisions in the past that have set precedents for new cases.
What About Owner Negligence?
When an attack victim cannot prove that the dog’s owner knew his dog had behaved aggressively in the past, the victim may still be able to file a lawsuit under the concept of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person does not behave in a reasonable manner to ensure other people around him are kept safe. For example, if an owner took his dog to a public park that required leashes for dogs, but did not have his dog on a leash, and it suddenly attacked a child who was playing nearby, a jury would almost certainly find the owner’s disregard for the leash rule negligent—and directly responsible for the child’s injuries.
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney
Wyoming’s laws can be tricky when it pertains to dog bites. Because of that, victims should speak to a Gillette dog bite attorney who can help.
At Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., we will conduct an investigation into the incident. We will speak to people who are close to the dog, such as neighbors, to find out if the dog has shown violent or aggressive tendencies before. We can also analyze the facts to determine if the dog owner showed any negligence that could help your case.
In some instances, the dog owner will have a homeowners’ insurance policy that may provide coverage for victims. We will speak to the insurance company on your behalf and ensure that any settlement they offer is fair and will cover your medical treatment and other expenses. If we have to go to trial, we’ll do that, too.
Best of all, we charge you nothing until we get you the money you deserve. Call (307) 257-7800 today to get your case started.
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