You may love dogs, but not every dog is friendly. A bite can leave you with serious injuries that require extensive surgery to repair and months or years of healing time.
If you are a dog attack victim, you might think it is pretty obvious that the dog owner should assume liability. However, this is not always the case. Here are a couple of questions that can help you determine the strength and weaknesses of your claim.
Did the dog owner violate the state’s animal control statutes?
Louisiana, like all the other states, has statutes that govern how dog owners must handle and control their animals, and it is a “One Bite Rule” state. Meaning, every dog owner shall be held responsible for any injuries caused by their animal if they had knowledge of, or should have known about, their animal’s aggressive nature.
The logic of this law is that the owner is given the benefit of the doubt if the dog had never attacked before, after which the owner is expected to exercise reasonable care in restraining the animal. If you can prove that the dog owner violated this statute and the dog’s attack was unprovoked, then you will have a strong case for compensation.
Did anyone witness the attack?
An eyewitness account is one of the most credible forms of evidence that you can present to prove negligence in your dog attack case. Your eyewitness may testify that the animal that attacked you was off-lease in a public place, or that the animal owner did not take appropriate steps to contain the animal in a reasonable manner.
If anyone witnessed the attack, be sure to take their contact information for your case. Alongside eyewitness statements, you may also provide photo, video and CCTV evidence to strengthen your case. These days, cameras are everywhere, so there’s a good chance the attack was caught on video.
Understanding how the law works and the standards required to prove negligence in your dog bite case can help you move forward with your life.