Dogs are often seen as loyal, loving, and protective companions. But what happens when a trained dog attacks an innocent stranger? In some cases, the dog may have been provoked or acted in self-defense. But in other instances, the attack may have been unprovoked and without warning.
If you were bitten by a dog without provocation, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Our team can help you determine if you have a valid claim and seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us at 1-866-909-6894 or fill in the online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Who Is Liable If a Trained Dog Attacks Someone?
Liability in dog bite cases can be difficult to determine. Some states have a “one bite” law. This means that a person who is attacked by a dog is only entitled to compensation if the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous. This can be difficult to prove, especially if the dog has never attacked anyone before.
Other states have “strict liability” laws when it comes to dog bites. This means that the owner of the dog is automatically liable for any damages caused by the dog. The owner would be liable regardless even if he or she did not know that the dog was dangerous.
There are typically three parties who can be held liable:
- The owner of the dog: The owner of the dog knew or should have known that the dog was aggressive and capable of causing serious harm. For example, trained dogs are usually handpicked for their non-aggressive nature. If the dog was behaving abnormally, the owner should have taken precautions.
- The trainer of the dog: The trainer of the dog may be proven negligent in training the dog. If the trainer provided the dog knowing it needed more training or lacked specific training, he or she could be liable.
- The person in control of the dog at the time of the attack: The person in control of the dog may have known the dog was aggressive. That person could be liable for being aware of the issue but failing to supervise the animal with other people.
If a dog attack occurred on public property, you may still have a claim. Your lawyer needs to show the party responsible for the government property knew there was a dangerous dog but failed to warn people or remove the dog.
Why Do Trained Dogs Attack?
When a trained dog attacks someone without provocation, it is usually the result of poor training or a lack of socialization. In some cases, the attack may be due to a medical condition that causes the dog to act aggressively.
Whatever the reason, an unprovoked dog attack by a trained dog can be a frightening and dangerous experience. Unfortunately, even the most well-trained dogs can sometimes attack innocent people.
There are a number of reasons why this may happen with a dog, including:
- Having been raised in an abusive environment
- Having been neglected by its handler
- Being fearful or a has territorial nature
- Having been inadequately socialized
- Lacking knowledge of how to interact with strangers
- Attacking when sick or injured
Whatever the reason for the attack, you should speak with our Judd Shaw Injury Law team. We can help you navigate the legal landscape and help determine who may be liable for your damages.
Can You Sue If a Service Dog Attacks?
You are walking down the street when you see a service dog. From a distance, you look at the animal but do not approach it. As you turn to walk away, the dog suddenly starts barking and lunging at you. Before you can react, you have been attacked. What are your options if an unprovoked service dog attacks you?
A service dog is a type of assistance animal that receives specialized training to help people with disabilities. Unprovoked attacks are very rare. To succeed in a negligence claim, you need to show that the owner should have known that the dog was dangerous.
Since service dogs are highly trained, proving that the animal was aggressive or had a history of aggression may be difficult. Gathering evidence and witness statements at the scene of the attack will help your case.
You will likely have a solid case if you can show that the owner or handler allowed the dog to be uncontrolled, even if only temporarily. Service dogs are required by the US Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to be under control at all times. Although service dogs are not required to wear a leash or harness, they must be controlled through voice, signal, or similar methods.
Common Injuries From Dog Attacks
If a trained dog attacks someone, the injuries can be serious. The victim may suffer physical injuries, including:
- Nerve damage
- Torn ligaments
- Psychological trauma
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Infection or disease
You may have significant medical bills and miss time from work. If the attack is particularly severe, you may even require long-term care or disability benefits. If you have been attacked by a dog, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Judd Shaw Injury Law to discuss your legal options.
What Damages Can You Recover From a Dog Attack Lawsuit?
Here are a few different types of damages that you can receive from a dog attack lawsuit:
- Compensatory damages: These should cover any financial losses that you have incurred because of the attack. This could include things like medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
- Punitive damages: These are meant to punish the dog owner for negligence in allowing their dog to attack someone. Punitive damages can be quite high, depending on the severity of the attack and the negligence of the owner.
- Emotional distress damages: These damages are meant to compensate for emotional trauma that you have suffered because of the attack. This could involve anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Judd Shaw Injury Law Can Help You After a Dog Attack
While most people think of dogs as loyal and friendly companions, there are some instances in which a dog may attack without provocation. When a trained dog attacks someone, it can be scary and dangerous. In these situations, the dog’s owner may be held liable for any injuries suffered by the victim.
The good news is that Judd Shaw Injury Law can help you. We understand the physical and emotional impact that a dog attack can have on your life and that of your family members. We have the knowledge and resources to take on the insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve. When we take on your case, we will fight for the settlement you deserve so that you can focus on healing.
If you or someone you know has been attacked by a dog, contact the personal injury lawyers of Judd Shaw Injury Law to discuss your legal options. Call us anytime at 1-866-909-6894 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.