Gillette Dog Bite Attorneys
A dog attack, whether in the form of a bite or being knocked down by an aggressive or overly energetic animal, can be painful and traumatic. Although we often think of them as loveable pets, in reality, a dog can inflict major damage in a short amount of time. Dog owners assume responsibility for the actions of their animals and agree to control their pets as a part of ownership. When they fail to do so, it is important to hold them accountable for what their dogs do.
Victims of dog bites often require medical attention and treatment for their injuries, which is not only costly but can take weeks or months of recovery time. If you or a loved one has been attacked, in any form, contact a Gillette personal injury attorney at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., by dialing (307) 257-7800.
An attack can be frightening, vicious, and emotionally traumatic. While some victims only get knocked down, others suffer deep and painful bites. But even having a dog jump on you can cause serious injuries. You can hit your head, suffer a back injury, or break your hip.
Dog attacks are extremely dangerous, if not deadly, for children and the elderly. A child’s face is usually at the exact height of a dog’s face, meaning a dog is more likely to bite a child’s face when compared to an adult. Not only can this lead to a lifelong fear of dogs, but children can also suffer real-life scars on their faces.
If an elderly person falls during a dog attack, he is far more likely to suffer broken bones, slipped discs, and pain in his neck and back. For older adults, a single bite can also cause a deadly infection. A dog’s mouth is filled with dangerous germs, sometimes rabies. If you or your loved one has been bit, you should seek medical treatment immediately and have the wound cleaned by a doctor.
At the end of the day, dog attacks are anything but minor and can lead to costly injuries like:
- Soft tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Amputation of fingers
- Broken bones
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial trauma
- Serious lacerations
While some dog bites heal with bandages, antibiotics, and rest, others can follow you for years. For one, if you suffer a severe break in your hips or back, you may require surgery to correct the damage and have to take weeks off work to recover. This is especially common for older adults. These surgeries can be extremely expensive, even with health insurance, and it may be difficult for you to pay for them out of pocket. What makes matters worse is that a head or spinal cord injury can have a long-term impact on your life. You may have limited control over your arms and legs, suffer from constant pain or headaches, or even end up paralyzed. You may need physical therapy to fully recover, as well as retraining to hold a job.
While children are capable of recovering quite quickly from an injury, many suffer emotional trauma as a result of a dog attack. In addition, severe scars may require surgery and a special treatment called skin grafting to properly heal. Children may have nightmares, a fear of loud noises, or a lifelong fear of dogs. Seeing a therapist may be their best option to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Bottom line, dog bites are not cheap. They have short-term costs in terms of emergency bills and long-term costs such as surgery and therapy. Very few families in Gillette can afford these costs on their own. However, most dog attacks are covered under homeowners’ insurance. If another person’s dog bit you or your loved one, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against their policy to get the money you need to recover comfortably.
In Wyoming, dog owners are only liable for attacks by their dogs if they have reason to believe that the dog might potentially be dangerous. If the dog has ever bitten anyone before, that "one bite" means the owner should always consider the dog dangerous and is liable for any future attacks. Any dog bites should be reported to Campbell County Animal Control so that the authorities can review the case. If the dog has bitten someone before, the owner should place a muzzle and leash on it whenever they are off his property. The owner may also be required to keep the dog fenced in and secure on the property so it does not attack anyone again. If the owner violates these rules and the dog does bites someone a second time, the owner can be held liable in a personal injury claim.
Even if a dog has never attacked anyone before, the owner may still be held liable for a dog bite. If the dog's owner acted negligently in some way, and that negligence resulted in the dog attacking someone, the owner can be held liable in civil court. Proving this can be difficult, however, which is why you should always have an experienced attorney on your side in a dog-attack claim.
One way that negligence can result in a dog attack is a situation in which a dog owner should have his pet on a leash but fails to do so. In Gillette, for example, local law requires that dogs be on a leash at all times in McManamen Park. If someone is walking his or her dog in that park without a leash, and the dog attacks someone, the owner can be held liable.
It is important to remember that Wyoming is a "comparative negligence" state, which means anything awarded in a civil suit is impacted by the victim's own contribution to what happened. So if someone is attacked by a dog after provoking it, that provocation would make the victim at least partially at fault and reduce any award he or she receives in a civil claim. For instance, if a court finds that the victim was 20% responsible for a dog attack, compensation will be reduced by 20%.
Trespassing can also cause damages from a civil suit to be reduced, though government employees performing their jobs, such as law enforcement and postal workers, are not considered trespassers even if they were not invited onto someone's property. In addition, maintenance workers, delivery drivers, and package handlers often have the right to enter a homeowner’s property to perform their duties. If the owner’s dog attacked one of them, they may be able to file a claim if the owner knew they would be on the property.
Dog bite cases can be complex, and most victims do not realize they can file a claim for compensation. The owner may try to defend his dog, claiming that it is not dangerous, or ague that it was the victim’s fault. In some situations, the homeowner may try to offer cash out of pocket to avoid a lawsuit, especially if he knew the dog was dangerous. However, you should always talk to an attorney first before accepting any offer.
A skilled dog bite lawyer at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., can review your account of the attack, your medical records, and any reports to Animal Control about the animal. If the dog has a history of violence, then you have a strong case for compensation and may have your medical costs covered in a claim.
But medical costs are not the only thing you can ask for. If you had to take time off work to recover or see a doctor, then those lost wages could also be included in your claim. The state of Wyoming also allows dog bite victims to include long-term costs, such as therapy, and pain and suffering damages. This means the dog owner’s insurance company may have to pay you money for the physical and emotional pain you went through because of the attack. But insurance companies rarely pay enough for dog attacks, even though so few people file claims. With a trial attorney from Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., at your side, you should be able to recover full compensation for your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog in Campbell County, call Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., at (307) 257-7800 to discuss your options with an experienced Gillette premises liability lawyer. We offer a free consultation to talk about your case and learn how you can receive justice.
For more information, we recommend that you set up a free consultation with our Gillette premises liability attorney by calling (307) 257-7800!
- You Can Sue For A Dog Bite In Wyoming, But It’s Not Easy
- Gillette Animal Control
- Dog Bite Emergencies - American Veterinary Medical Association
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