There are several reasons why dog lovers call Fayetteville home. Not only are there two large off-leash parks (Lake Wilson and IAMS Park), but there are fewer restrictions on how many dogs you can own. Unlike other big Arkansas cities, you can own one dog for every 100 square feet of your home!
Being such a canine-friendly community can have its drawbacks, however. While well-socialized dogs make excellent companions, others can actually pose a safety risk. Every year, dozens of victims, many of them children, are treated for bites that range from mild to severe. Such incidents not only cause physical harm but can also lead to long-lasting psychological distress.
The effects of a dog bite often extend beyond the initial injury. Victims can face medical expenses, potential loss of income, and the emotional toll of the attack. In some cases, the injuries can be catastrophic, requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. The emotional impact, including anxiety and fear, particularly in children, can linger long after the physical wounds have healed.
Figuring out your next steps after a dog bite can be overwhelming. You might be unsure of your rights or who to turn to for help. This is where a seasoned Fayetteville dog bite lawyer can help. At the Law Offices of Alan LeVar, we can explain your options and ensure that you receive the compensation and support you deserve.
Why Hire the Law Offices of Alan LeVar For Your Fayetteville Dog Bite Case?
For years, the Law Offices of Alan LeVar have been offering assertive and compassionate legal representation for dog bite victims. Choosing the right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case, and here are some key reasons why the Law Offices of Alan LeVar stand out:
- Decades of Experience in Dog Bite Law: Our team has in-depth knowledge of dog bite and animal attack laws in Fayetteville and across the state. This understanding is crucial in securing fair compensation.
- Track Record of Success: Our personal injury lawyers have a proven history of successfully handling dog bite cases, demonstrating their ability to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients.
- Compassionate Representation: Recognizing the emotional and physical trauma of dog bites, we offer compassionate support throughout the legal process, helping clients feel understood and supported.
- Strong Negotiation Skills: Our Fayetteville dog bite lawyers are skilled negotiators. We can effectively deal with insurance companies to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and related losses.
- No Upfront Costs: At the Law Offices of Alan LeVar, we offer our services on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if you win your case. This approach ensures that quality legal representation is accessible to all victims regardless of their financial situation.
Our law firm is well-positioned to handle your Fayetteville dog bite case. Although every claim is different, we have achieved results like the following:
- $120,000 for a young woman bitten by a bulldog. Her leg was permanently scarred by the unprovoked bite.
- $25,000 for a child bit by a neighbor’s dog. As the child walked on the street, the dog left his yard and pursued him.
Let us provide the support, experience, and representation you need to secure maximum compensation for your case.
Arkansas Dog Bite Laws Explained
Arkansas does not have a statewide law that directly addresses dog bites. However, the state has laws in place concerning the consequences of vicious dog attacks, especially when these incidents result in serious injury or death. These laws are primarily focused on the behavior of the dog owner and the nature of the dog involved in the attack.
The key statute governing dog attacks is 5-62-125, known as the Unlawful Dog Attack Regulation. Under this law, a dog attack can be a Class A misdemeanor under the following circumstances:
- Knowledge of the Dog’s Dangerous Nature: If a person knows, or should have reasonably known, that their dog has a natural tendency or inclination to attack or cause injuries, they are held responsible under this law.
- Negligence in Preventing the Attack: The regulation also holds a person liable if they are negligent in controlling or restraining their dog, which then leads to the dog attacking another person.
- Serious Physical Injury or Death: For the attack to be considered under this law, it must cause serious physical injury or death to the victim.
In cases where these conditions are met, and the dog attack is classified as unlawful, the owner can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The court can also order the dog owner to pay compensation or restitution to the victim. This financial compensation is meant to cover the medical bills and other related expenses incurred by the victim due to the attack.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
If you or someone you know has been involved in a dog attack in Arkansas, taking certain steps to ensure your safety is important. They are outlined below:
- Seek Medical Attention: Prioritize your health (or that of the injured person). Even if the injuries seem minor, get medical attention immediately. Dog bites can cause infections and other complications if not properly treated.
- Report the Incident: Contact local animal control or the police to report the dog attack. This is a crucial step as it creates an official record of the incident, which can be important for legal and insurance purposes.
- Collect Information: If possible, gather information about the dog and its owner, including the owner’s name, address, and contact details. You should also try to get information about the dog’s vaccination history, particularly for rabies. If there were any witnesses to the attack, get their contact information.
- Document Injuries and Damages: Take photos of your injuries and keep all medical records and bills related to the treatment. If your clothing or personal belongings were damaged during the attack, document these as well.
- Consult a Lawyer: Consider consulting with a Fayetteville dog lawyer. They can explain your rights and help you navigate any potential legal actions, especially if you’ll be seeking compensation for your injuries and expenses.
- Say Nothing to Insurers: If the dog owner’s insurance company contacts you, do not discuss the incident or agree to any settlement before consulting with a lawyer. Insurance companies often aim to settle quickly and for less than what might be fair.
Taking these steps can ensure your well-being, protect your legal rights, and provide a clear record of the incident. A Fayetteville dog lawyer can help you put together a compelling case for the financial recovery you need.
Compensation in a Fayetteville Dog Bite Case
Compensation in a dog bite case is usually divided into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages: These damages are the tangible, financial costs resulting from the dog bite. They are relatively straightforward to calculate because they are based on actual expenses and losses. Economic damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
- Non-Economic Damages: Damages in this category are more subjective and cover the non-financial impacts of the dog bite. They can be harder to quantify but are just as important. Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and scarring and disfigurement.
Arkansas does not have a set formula for calculating damages, so each case is assessed individually. The total amount of compensation usually depends on factors like the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim’s life, and the circumstances of the attack.
Victims usually need to file a claim with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance, but there may be other resources as well. A Fayetteville personal injury lawyer can help you identify all potential sources of compensation and negotiate a fair settlement.
Does Arkansas Have a One-Bite Rule?
In Arkansas, the approach to dog bite liability can involve elements of the “one bite rule” and strict liability, depending on the circumstances.
One Bite Rule in Arkansas
The “one bite rule” concept essentially gives a dog owner a free pass for the first bite, but not if they knew or had reason to know that their dog was dangerous or had a tendency to attack.
While Arkansas doesn’t have a clear-cut one-bite rule, dog owners can be held liable under similar principles if they knew of their dog’s aggressive nature. This could be due to the dog’s past behavior, like a previous bite or display of aggression. In such cases, if the dog bites someone, the owner can be held liable because they were aware of the dog’s dangerous tendencies.
Strict Liability in Certain Cases
Arkansas also uses strict liability in specific scenarios. Under strict liability, a dog owner can be held responsible for a dog bite injury regardless of whether they were at fault or knew of the dog’s propensity to bite. This is often applied to dogs that are considered inherently dangerous, such as those with a reputation for aggression or violence. For example, if a pit bull or similar breed bites someone, the owner might be held liable under strict liability, even if they weren’t aware of any dangerous tendencies in their dog.
How Can a Fayetteville Dog Bite Lawyer Help?
After a dog attack, a Fayetteville dog bite lawyer can help you proceed with a claim. They understand the state and local laws that apply to these attacks and can help determine how all of them apply to your specific case. A lawyer can also accurately assess the full extent of your damages, ensuring that both economic (like medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering, and emotional distress) are taken into account.
Furthermore, dog bite lawyers are skilled in negotiating with insurance companies, which often try to settle for the least amount possible. A lawyer will advocate on your behalf to ensure that any settlement offer adequately covers all your expenses and damages. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, they are prepared to take the case to court.
Finally, having a lawyer by your side can provide peace of mind during a stressful time. They handle the legal details, allowing you to focus on recovery. While you’re healing and preparing to build your life, Fayetteville dog bite lawyers can help you get the fair compensation you need to move forward..
Get a Free Consultation With a Fayetteville Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries in a dog attack, don’t wait to take action. Call the Law Offices of Alan LeVar right away. Our goal is to protect your rights and win the financial compensation you need to treat your injuries and move on from your traumatic experience. For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our Fayetteville dog bite lawyers, call (501) 588-0082 or contact us online today.