Dog Bites

Dog Bites

Although dog bites don’t usually break bones or cause brain damage, dog bites can cause serious trauma to a victim, especially if the victim is a child.  Frequently, dog bites occur on or near the face and require multiple reconstructive surgeries in order to repair disfigurement.  This kind of injury can dramatically affect a person’s self esteem, a consequence courts don’t overlook.  Recovery time for dog bite injuries can often be long and arduous, and occasionally, permanent damage occurs as a result of the bite, such as loss of feeling in certain parts of the body, loss of vision, or constant pain due to nerve damage.

Typical Law Governing Dog Bite Injuries

Every person owning or keeping a dog is liable for injuries committed by the dog.  Utah doesn’t require, as some other states do, that the dog was of a vicious nature, or that the owner had a reason to believe the dog would attack someone.  Utah uses a “strict liability” system of fault for dog bites.  Strict liability means, in this case, that it doesn’t matter if the owner didn’t do anything wrong, or that the owner took every precaution possible, if the dog injured someone else, the owner of the dog is liable for damages.

However, in a fairly recent Utah Supreme Court case it was established that a plaintiff’s (person suing) money damages awarded at trial could be reduced by their proportion of fault in a dog bite accident—this is called comparative negligence.  So, for example, if a jury finds that you were 10% negligent when you were injured by a dog, then the amount of money a jury awards you will be reduced by 10%.

Click here to read more about comparative negligence on our car accident page.

How do I get Compensated for my Dog Bite Injuries?

A dog owners’ insurance policy will typically cover some if not all of the damages related to your dog bite injuries.  Occasionally, the full amount of your damages may be covered by several different sources, such as homeowner’s insurance, pet owner’s insurance, employment insurance, and landlord/tenant insurance.

If a dog owner does not have an insurance policy that covers your injuries, or the insurance company refuses to cover your injuries, the dog owner’s personal assets can be used to compensate you for your injuries.

Call Red Law For A Consultation

Our office welcomes new clients and will always provide you with a friendly and professional attorney that will be happy to discuss your case with you.  If you’d like to discuss your injuries resulting from a dog bite and a potential lawsuit with a Red Law attorney, please call us at 801-4770-RED or email us at contact@redlawutah.com.  In a consultation with a Red Law attorney, your attorney will provide you with a professional opinion of your case, how Red Law can help you, and a rough time frame for your potential lawsuit.