Dog bites can happen when it’s least expected and can leave victims with lasting physical and emotional scars.
Every year, more than four and a half million Americans are bitten by dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
If you or someone you love has suffered a dog attack, contact the Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart. We are highly experienced Kentucky personal injury attorneys, who are passionate about protecting the rights of dog bite victims.
Dog bites can cause pain and injury, but they can also spread germs that cause infection. Nearly 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog requires medical attention. No matter the age of the victim, the effects of being bit by a dog can be life-changing. Some of the serious dog bite injuries that can be caused include:
According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2018 nearly 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
Although anyone can suffer the damaging effects of a dog attack, both children and the elderly are most susceptible to suffering severe, and even life-threatening injuries.
Kentucky operates under “strict liability” laws when it comes to dog bites. This means that the owner of a dog is responsible when their animal causes injury to a person. Negligence on behalf of the owner does not have to be proven by the victim. Even when reasonable care is taken by the owner or if the dog has not been previously aggressive, the dog’s owner is still liable.
However, when it comes to obtaining a financial award, Kentucky’s law of comparative negligence will still apply. Under this principle, the damages the owner owes will be reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault.
Dog bite victims are given one year from the date of the injury to file a personal lawsuit. If a civil suit is not filed within that time, the case will not be heard. If the dog bite victim is a minor child (under 18 years old), that statute of limitations will be extended or tolled until a year after the victim meets the age of majority (18 years old).
Following a dog bite, the injured party may pursue these damages:
According to The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average cost of a dog bite related hospital stay was $18,200.00, which is about 50% higher than the average injury-related hospital stay.
JAMA American Medical Association estimates that dog attack victims suffer over $1 Billion dollars in monetary losses annually.
The damages you may be awarded have no set limits, as the state of Kentucky does not have a law in place setting caps. However, as previously stated, compensation can be reduced if the victim is found to be even partially at fault.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners insurers paid out $797 Million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2019, with 17,802 claims nationwide. Homeowners and renter’s insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000). If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount.
Some insurance companies may not insure homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs categorized as dangerous, or may choose to exclude the dog from the policy.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, some insurers are taking steps to limit their exposure to such losses. Some companies require dog owners to sign liability waivers for dog bites, while others charge more for owners of breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers and others are not offering insurance to dog owners at all. Some will cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at modifying its behavior or if the dog is restrained with a muzzle, chain or cage.
Animal bite injuries are among the most tragic injuries we see—often leaving a victim with intense pain, permanent scars, and psychological trauma. Even more tragic, children are frequent victims of animal attacks—especially dog bites. Animal bite injury victims commonly suffer from bruising, lacerations and scarring. They may need to take shots to prevent infection and may require ongoing medical treatment. In Kentucky, victims of dog bites may be able to recover for injuries sustained by direct contact with the dog and those sustained in an effort to avoid the attack. Dog bite injury cases fall under the umbrella of premises liability.
Get Medical Attention
After a dog bite attack, the most important thing to do is seek medical treatment immediately, no matter how minor you think the injury is. Proper medical treatment is imperative for a complete recovery and will help reduce the risk of contracting an infection from the dog bite. Avoiding disease, reducing scarring, and minimizing damage are important aspects of your recovery after an animal bite. Be sure you report the attack to local authorities such as the police or animal control so they can conduct an investigation and impound the dog if needed. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, contact a dog bite injury attorney for a free review of your case.
Report the Bite
Be sure you report the attack to local authorities such as the police, animal control, or the health department so they can conduct an investigation and impound the dog if needed. This is particularly important because anyone who is bitten by a dog is at risk of getting rabies. Try to get names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the dog attack and get any information you can about the dog’s owner and the animal itself including medical history and breed.
Contact an Experienced Kentucky Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, contact an experienced Kentucky dog bite injury attorney for a free review of your case.
If you have been injured by a dog, seek medical attention immediately. The police, animal control, or the health department should come to the scene and file a report. If possible, get names and contact information of witnesses and take photos of the vehicles and scene (such as damage to vehicles, skid marks, road signs, or anything that might have contributed to the wreck). Do not discuss the accident with the at-fault party or their insurance company before consulting with an experienced Kentucky dog bite attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack and you can’t come to us, we will meet you at your home, in the hospital, or another location that is convenient for you. We have offices in Bowling Green, Glasgow, Greenville, Kentucky, but we travel throughout Kentucky and Tennessee to meet with our injured clients. If you have been injured in an animal bite attack, call Kentucky personal injury attorney Flora Templeton Stuart at (888) 782-9090 twenty-four hours a day/seven days a week.
With just a few exceptions, Kentucky’s dog bite laws impose strict liability on pet owners. That means the dog owner is generally held liable for injuries caused by the animal, even if the dog has never shown aggressive behavior in the past. If the owner of the dog owns real estate, there will usually be covered under the homeowner’s policy to pay your medical bills. Even if the dog attack occurred off their property, the homeowner’s insurance may still apply. If the dog owner rents his/her residence, they may have renter’s insurance that could cover your injuries or the landlord/property owner may be responsible–depending on the terms of the lease. It is also possible that your personal homeowner’s policy could provide coverage. Be sure you contact an experienced dog bite injury lawyer who can help you get all the benefits you are entitled to.
Kentucky has strict liability laws relating to injuries caused by dog attacks, but there are a few cases where pet owners may not be held liable. If the victim of the dog bite provoked the dog to attack or trespassed on private property, the pet owner may not be responsible for the injuries. If you are unsure if you have a dog bite injury claim, contact a dog bite attorney for a case evaluation.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, report the incident to local authorities such as the police or animal control as soon as possible. If the attack was severe, call 911. The authorities will investigate the dog attack, possibly impound the dog, and could criminally charge the owner. The results of this investigation are critical to your dog bite injury case.
In a dog bite injury case, it is important to retain an experienced Kentucky dog attack lawyer as soon as possible. Although the statute of limitations is one year from the date of injury, it is important to contact a dog injury attorney immediately so we can investigate the incident and preserve important evidence. We will need to document all injuries with photographs, obtain medical records, and locate any potential witnesses. We also try to get photos of the dog and the scene of the attack to build a strong dog bite injury case for our clients.
If you are injured in a dog attack, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. As with any other personal injury case, a dog bite settlement should take into account the immediate needs of you and your family as well as all future expenses including medical bills, rehabilitation or therapy, lost earning capacity, and long-term care, if needed. You may also be entitled to seek punitive damages (in cases that involve gross negligence or violations of the law), pain and suffering, and other compensation against the at-fault party. In some cases, the dog attack victim’s family may be able to seek restitution for loss of consortium (companionship) or a wrongful death claim if the injuries lead to the passing of their loved one. An experienced dog injury lawyer can help you get all the compensation you are entitled to. Contact our dog bite attorneys for a free case evaluation.
Punitive damages could only be awarded in cases that involve gross negligence by the at-fault party. Call an experienced dog bite lawyer for a free case evaluation if you think you are entitled to punitive damages for your dog injury.
Never accept any payment from the insurance company before consulting with a Kentucky dog bite lawyer–especially if you or your loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury. If you accept compensation now, you may be giving up your right to file additional claims in the future. Only an experienced Kentucky dog attack attorney can help you determine the full value of your case in terms of past, present, and future medical bills, past, and future lost income, and additional losses for you and your family. Call Kentucky personal injury lawyer Flora Templeton Stuart immediately at (888) 782-9090 to investigate your dog bite injury claim.
The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart works on a contingency fee basis. That means we only get paid if you get paid in your truck wreck injury case. Contact an experienced Kentucky dog bite accident attorney Flora Templeton Stuart at (888) 782-9090 for a free initial consultation twenty-four hours a day/seven days a week.
Those who have suffered a dog bite injury in Kentucky should speak with our qualified dog bite lawyer at the Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart. We have decades of experience and have produced tens of millions of dollars in results. Contact us today and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We serve our communities all across Kentucky with offices in Bowling Green, Glasgow, Greenville, Kentucky.