Salisbury Dog Bite Lawyers
Let the Team at Hearne & Bailey, P.A. Protect Your Rights!
Man’s relationship with our four-legged best friends has not been without the occasional mishap here or there. About 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damages in the form of injuries and other financial burdens. In the state of Maryland, owners are liable for the actions of their dogs, meaning they are liable to cover your damages in the event their dog bites someone. If you have been injured as a result of a dog bite, you may have the right to compensation, and you should review your case with the team from Hearne & Bailey P.A. today!
Do I Have Legal Recourse Options?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and you have suffered serious injuries that required medical attention in addition to other repercussions, then you may have the right to compensation from its owner. In the state of Maryland, dog bite victims must bring their claim forward as soon as possible.
Certain factors contribute to liability, such as whether or not a dog has bitten anyone before, where the dog bite took place (on private or public property), whether or not the person who sustained the dog bite was trespassing, and whether or not the person was provoking the dog. If a dog was provoked to attack or bite because they were threatened or forced to do so, Maryland’s law of contributory negligence dictates that a bite victim could not collect compensation. The principle says any victim who is partly at fault cannot recover any damages.
Here are a few statistics about dog bite cases in the United States and around the state of Maryland:
4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs every year, with approximately 1 million seeking medical care
More than 1,000 people require emergency medical treatment for dog bites every day.
In 2015 alone, over 28,000 people had reconstructive surgery as a result of a dog bite injury
Children account for over half of all dog bite victims
Approximately 60% of dog bites occur in the home or on private property
In 2016, dog bites and dog-related injuries made up over one-third of all dollars paid in homeowners’ insurance liability claims, at a cost of over $600 million.
In 2016, dogs attacked more than 6,750 U.S. postal workers, up 200 from the previous year.
In the U.S., a dog bite occurs every 75 seconds.
In 2012, Maryland passed a new law attaching stricter liability to owners of American Pit Bull Terriers, also known as “pit bulls.” The laws state that this breed is inherently dangerous, and stipulated that owners of pit bulls should expect their dogs to bite and therefore take appropriate precautions. A 2014 decision overrode this previous ruling, but dog owners should act under the assumption that their dog of any breed may bite. However, dog owners may override this law if they can prove that a reasonable owner would not expect the dog in question to cause harm to anyone.
Have you suffered injuries from a dog bite? Call Hearne & Bailey P.A. at (410) 618-0903now to request a free consultation and discuss your case with our Salisbury dog bite attorneys!
As we stated previously, the dog isn’t always at fault in a dog bite incident, and thus their owner isn’t always liable. As a dog bite victim, your case will be stronger if the dog has attacked people before, or if the dog has shown menacing behavior like growling and lunging. Your case will also be stronger if the dog owner should have known and failed to effectively control his or her dog in a potentially dangerous situation. Under strict liability, the dog owner is held responsible for the dog bite even if he or she used reasonable care to prevent the incident, and even if the victim of the dog bite is partly to blame. However, A child under five years old is completely exempt from any fault in a dog bite case.
In other cases, the court may determine that the dog bite victim is partly at fault. For instance, someone who provokes, teases, or abuses a dog must expect that the dog will attack. Additionally, someone trespassing or committing a crime cannot fault the dog owner for an attack. Someone who assumes a risk, such as ignoring a sign stating that a guard dog is on duty, will likely be found to be partly at fault in a dog bite case.
As in any other personal injury case, a victim of a dog bite can recover damages based on monetary losses related to the injury. An at-fault dog owner is required to compensate the victim for medical bills related to the dog bite, such as emergency care or reconstructive surgery, lost wages or income, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.