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Kentucky Dog Bite Attorney

dog bite

Dogs are called man’s best friend. But they’re also sometimes aggressive and vicious, causing them to bite or attack.

Injuries from dog bites can be more serious than people think. They can cause permanent damage and leave scars that cause dog bite victims embarrassment. Cuts can also become seriously infected and cause major complications.

When the victim is a small child, it can be even more serious because a child’s head and face is at the same level as a dog. Tragically, some dog attacks prove to be fatal, especially for children.

You need Kentucky Courage to fight for your rights after a dog bite. The lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer have the Kentucky Courage to help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Call us now for a free consultation about your best legal options.

Can I Sue for a Dog Bite Injury?

The Kentucky statutes state that Kentucky follows the legal doctrine of strict liability when it comes to dog bites. This is good news for victims because it means that when a dog causes an injury, the dog owner can be held responsible.

There is no “one bite rule” as there are in other states, and you do not have to show that the dog owner did not take reasonable measures to control their pet. You simply have to show that the dog bit or attacked you, and that you suffered injury as a result.

When people are bitten by a dog, the animal often belongs to a family member or a friend. For example, you may have gone over to a friend’s house for a visit and their dog attacked you while there. In these circumstances, people may not want to pursue a lawsuit against someone they know, for fear that it will place a strain on the relationship.

It’s important to understand that when you file a dog bite lawsuit, you’re usually not actually suing your friend or family member. You’re seeking compensation from their insurance company. It is the insurance company that will pay the money, and your friend won’t have to pay the compensation out of their own pocket.

How a Kentucky Dog Bite Attorney Can Help with Your Claim

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you might be considering filing a claim without the help of an attorney. This is especially true if it’s a friend’s dog that has bitten you. You may think that bringing attorneys into it will make the case uglier. You may also think that because you are dealing with an insurance company, you will receive your compensation fairly easy.

This unfortunately, isn’t true. Insurance companies place more priority on their own profits than helping people who truly need it. They know that if you’re not working with an attorney, you likely don’t understand how much compensation you’ll need, now and in the future, to recover from your injuries. Also, an attorney is going to communicate mainly with the insurance company, not the dog owner, so there is very little chance that the case is going to become ugly. In fact, having a qualified lawyer on your side can make things go easier.

When you work with an attorney for your dog bite claim, they will understand the laws on dog bites in Kentucky. They will fully explain these to you, and how they apply to your case. An attorney will also know how to negotiate effectively with the insurance company to help you seek the maximum amount of compensation you need. Although you do not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent, you must prove that the dog caused your injuries. A dog bite lawyer knows how to investigate these cases to ensure your claim is a success.

Most importantly, an attorney will always act as your personal advocate throughout a dog bite claim. Unfortunately, not many people are on your side during a dog bite claim. The insurance companies will not want to pay the settlement you deserve, and the dog owner may even push back once they hear you are filing a claim. An attorney will always ensure your rights are upheld and that you get the compensation you need and deserve.

Compensation for Injuries in Kentucky Dog Bite Cases

Compensation for Injuries in Kentucky Dog Bite Cases

When you file a dog bite claim, you are asking the insurance company to provide compensation that can help you recover from your injuries. The compensation you can receive in a dog bite could include:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Current and future pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement

In some cases, dog bite victims can also receive punitive damages. These damages aren’t intended to compensate the victim, but are meant to punish the dog owner for extremely reckless behavior. For example, if the dog owner trained the dog to attack or bite, punitive damages may be awarded.

Kentucky Dog Bite Laws

Kentucky handles dog bite cases quite differently from many other states. You do not have to prove that the dog owner was negligent, or that they did not take proper measures to control their dog. You only have to prove that the dog bit you and caused injuries.

Under the Kentucky statute governing dog bites, you can claim compensation for any injuries a dog caused, even if they did not bite you. This means that if a dog jumped on you, causing you to fall and hit your head, you can still claim compensation for any injuries that result.

Also under Kentucky law, you can also claim compensation if a dog damages your property or injures your livestock.

What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog

Understanding what you should do after being bitten by a dog is not only crucial to your health, but also to any legal action you may take in the future.

The first thing to do after being bitten by a dog is to seek medical attention immediately. If the dog bite has broken your skin, it is prone to infection, which can cause serious complications with your health. Also, not every dog is vaccinated against rabies and so, it’s important to get tested for that and receive treatment as soon as possible.

If you can, take pictures of your injuries before seeking treatment to document the full extent of your injuries soon after the attack.

Even before seeking medical treatment, you should exchange information with the dog owner, if possible. Just as you would after a car accident, it’s important to get the owner’s name and contact information, if you don’t already know it. Also ask for the dog’s vaccination history, and the insurance information from the dog owner.

If there were witnesses who saw the dog bite or attack, also ask for their name and contact information. This could be very important evidence that can be used in your case.

After you have collected evidence at the scene and gotten medical help, you should then call animal control. They will perform their own investigation, which could help your case, and it will also prevent the dog from biting others in the future.

It’s also important to continue documenting your injuries and the impact they have had on your life. If you cannot return to work, make sure you document this on your phone or in a journal. If the injuries are also preventing you from enjoying the things you once loved, you should also document this and any other way your life has been impacted.

As soon as possible after the dog bite or attack, you need to speak to a Kentucky dog bite lawyer. A lawyer will communicate with the insurance company to ensure your rights are protected. An attorney will also handle every aspect of your claim so you can focus on your recovery, and will advise on which next steps you should take.

Understanding Complications from Dog Bite Injuries

Complications arising from dog bites are common because a dog’s mouth is filled with lots of bacteria. When the teeth puncture the skin, that bacteria can then enter your bloodstream and cause significant complications, such as osteomyelitis or septic arthritis.

This is particularly true if the dog bit your hand. Many dog bite victims place their hands out in front of them to protect themselves from the dog, making their hands especially vulnerable to being bitten. Hands have many bones, tendons, and joints in them, and all of them can easily become damaged during a dog attack. The hands also don’t have as much circulation, which makes it harder for the body to fight infections that develop in the hands.

The face, neck, and head are also particularly vulnerable in a dog bite, especially when children are the victims. When dogs bite they can exert over 450 pounds of pressure per square inch. This can cause facial injuries and skull fractures, both of which can lead to infections in the nervous system. Pasteurellosis, streptococcal, staphylococcal, and capnocytophaga are just a few of the most common infections that can develop from a dog bite.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog in Kentucky, you have only one year to file a claim. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations and if you file your claim after this time has expired, you will likely be barred from receiving any compensation.

The statute of limitations is one reason it’s so important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after being bitten by a dog. An attorney will conduct an investigation to collect evidence, and prepare your case. Even with Kentucky’s strict liability laws on dog bites, this still takes time. The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the sooner they can get started on your case to give you the best chance of a positive outcome with your claim.

Defenses Against a Dog Bite Injury Claim

Kentucky is a unique state when it comes to dog bites. Although there are other states that also follow the strict liability rule, those states have certain defenses dog owners can use to protect themselves from claims of liability.

One of those defenses is when the dog bite victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property. When this is the case, some states have determined that this is a viable defense. In Kentucky, it is not. Even when the dog bite victim was trespassing, they can still file a claim if they are bitten or attacked by a dog on that property.

Another defense commonly used in other states is provocation. When a person provokes a dog, such as waving a finger in their face or yelling at the animal, dog owners can use that as a defense if the dog then bites or attacks. This is also not the case in Kentucky. Provocation cannot be used as a defense against dog bites and attacks, and owners are still held liable in these cases.

Although these defenses cannot be used to shield dog owners from paying compensation to victims, they can be used to reduce the compensation a victim receives. Kentucky follows the rule of comparative negligence. Under this legal concept, if you are found to be partly at fault for the dog attack, your compensation may be reduced.

Talk to a Kentucky Dog Bite Attorney Now

Many people can’t imagine the serious injuries that result from a dog bite or attack. If you’ve been bitten though, you understand just how severe these injuries are. You also know they can greatly impact your life, and that the complications from them often means a very long recovery time.

If you’ve been bitten or attacked, you need a Kentucky dog bite lawyer who can help you claim the compensation you need for your injuries.

At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, we want to help you restore your life back to order as soon as possible. We will help you pursue the full amount of compensation you’re entitled to, and handle every part of your claim so you can focus on getting better. Contact us today for your free consultation to learn more about how we can help.