Arkansas families love their dogs, and rightfully so. When cared for properly and monitored appropriately, dogs are loving, lovable members of the family.
However, it is the case that sometimes a dog will get out of control and hurt an innocent person. And too often, this was avoidable if the owner had taken some simple steps. If you’ve been hurt in a dog attack, you should speak to Arkansas dog bit lawyer Alan LeVar about your claim. Here are some things to consider after a dog bite injury.
These attacks can cause significant, painful personal injuries, and the resulting medical bills are rarely cheap. The team at The Law Offices of Alan LeVar will help you pursue justice and compensation for your injuries.
If you’re looking for an Arkansas dog bite lawyer after suffering an injury in an animal attack, please call The Law Offices of Alan LeVar today at (888) 220-7068 for a free consultation
Why Talk to an Arkansas Dog Bite Lawyer?
You might be reluctant to speak with an attorney following your dog bite. Many people are. Quite a few clients are afraid of looking silly or litigious; there’s an unfortunate stigma around filing a dog bite claim. You might be inclined to shrug off the attack and move on, or maybe to try and work something out with the dog’s owner.
These are mistakes, however understandable. Even if you don’t think you have a claim you should still speak with our Arkansas dog bite lawyer about your case.
Why? We can help you in a number of ways. These include:
- Investigating the attack
- Determining if the dog has a history of biting people
- Trying to work out a fair arrangement with the dog’s owner
- Pursuing a claim if necessary
Aren’t Dog Bites Minor Injuries?
People hear “dog bite” and immediately think of the little nip they receive from their beloved family pets while playing with them.
The reality, however, is far different. The dog bite injuries we see at The Law Offices of Alan LeVar are serious. As the victim of a dog bite, you should seek medical attention immediately. If left untreated, the wounds you’ve suffered can cause serious damage.
Our personal injury lawyer has seen dog bites result in:
- Severe loss of blood
- Torn tendons, ligaments and muscles
- Broken bones
- Puncture wounds
Your Dog Bit Someone…Now What?
Severe dog bites happen more often than you may realize. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that more than 4.7 million dog bite incidents occur in the U.S. each year. Around 800,000 of those cases result in someone seeking emergency medical attention.
Few instances call for you to be a responsible pet owner like a situation in which your dog bit someone. Here are five things to keep in mind if your dog is a biter.
- Remain calm and polite. Your first instinct may be to act defensive on behalf of your animal. But your goal should be to deescalate the situation. So be courteous to the alleged victim while you survey the need for a doctor and exchange contact information.
- Remove the animal. If you’re out in public, take the animal home and secure it in a safe place.
- Remain with the victim. Seek out the nearest hospital if necessary. You also may be able to avoid further litigation if offer to pay for any medical expenses.
- Alert animal control. Like it or not, once your dog has bitten a person, your pet may be considered a threat. You’ll have the best chance of controlling what happens with your dog going forward if you’re forthcoming with animal control officers and follow their advice about how to proceed.
- Seek out obedience training. With luck, your animal can remain in your home. You should consider this a second chance to properly socialize and train your dog in order to prevent any future bites.
Dog bite prevention is always easier than managing a crisis after-the-fact. As a pet owner, it’s important that you understand why dog bites happen, and then work with your animal so that you never find yourself in this type of unfortunate situation.
What can I do to prevent a bite when I encounter a dog?
If you encounter a dog when the owner is present, you should always ask the owner if it is ok to approach or pet the dog before you attempt to do either.
- Let the dog see, examine, and sniff you before touching it
- Do not run toward or away from an unfamiliar dog
- If approached by an unfamiliar dog do not look it directly in the eye
- Stand still or walk backward slowly if an unfamiliar dog approaches you
What should I do if I can see that a dog intends to bite me?
If an unfamiliar dog approaches you and you are fairly sure that it intends to attack, try to put anything you can between yourself and the dog. Jump over a wall or fence or move around a parked car, etc.
If you can’t separate yourself from the dog or if a dog knocks you over, you should roll yourself into a ball, cover your face, and remain as still as you can.
Can I file an injury claim if a police dog bites me?
It depends on the circumstances of the bite. Police are not allowed to use unreasonable force to subdue someone. This regulation applies to the use of dogs just as much as it applies to the use of their guns or physical force.
If you were subjected to an attack by a police dog in a situation where it could be considered unreasonable force, you may be able to file a claim for the dog bite. For example, if you were not running away from a police officer and a police dog bites you, this might be considered an unreasonable force.
Should I contact a lawyer even if the bite doesn’t seem too serious?
Yes, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer even if you think you’ve only suffered a minor injury. It could turn out later that the injury turns into an infection or you find out that you’ve contracted something like rabies.
A lawyer can make sure that you take the proper steps to protect your rights just in case your injury turns out to be more serious than you first though.
What if I was on a friend’s property and bitten while trying to play with their dog?
Even if you were bitten by someone else’s dog when you thought the dog was playing, the dog’s owner has a responsibility to keep the dog under control or warn you that the dog might get overly aggressive. Many people make the mistake of thinking that a dog bite is their own fault just because they were bitten by a dog that they are at least somewhat familiar with.
Verdicts and Settlements
- $120,000 settlement: victim was bitten on the calf in an unprovoked attack at a friend’s home. Injury left a permanent 2-inch scar on her leg.
- $40,000 for employee of propane company bitten by dog while servicing a home.
- $25,000 judgment: victim was a child and suffered significant emotional trauma from the attack.
- $15,000 settlement for jogger bitten by doc on city street.
- $6,500 for person bitten on ankle by a dog. There was no scarring and minimal medical treatment.
Most dog bite victims don’t speak to a personal injury lawyer if the injuries aren’t quite serious. Alan LeVar will treat your attack with the seriousness it deserves.
If you live in Little Rock or any of the surrounding Arkansas communities and you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help after becoming the victim of a dog bite, please contact The Law Offices of Alan LeVar today for a free consultation.