Dogs are common beloved pets in many households. But if the owner doesn’t train them right or their pet has an aggressive disposition, other people may be at risk of getting bitten. If you’ve been injured, you can learn about your legal options with an Omaha dog bite lawyer from Welsh & Welsh.
We understand that owners are naturally protective of their pets, but filing a lawsuit will send a message that they cannot ignore the event that has occurred. Your claim will make them take responsibility and may have a positive outcome. The owner could potentially seek better training and get a safer handle on their dog.
The Facts About Nebraska Dog Bite Lawsuits
Nebraska Revised Statute 54-601 states that dogs are personal property of their owners. This means the owners can be held liable if their pet injures someone who was on their property legally.
For your claim to be valid, you need to be able to prove the following two points:
- The dog bit the person who is filing the claim, their pet, or livestock.
- The person was legally on the property and doing nothing to provoke the animal.
Property owners owe legal visitors a duty of care. There may be differences in liability when the victim is a trespasser or otherwise illegally on the property. But when property owners are negligent about their pets, they’re still considered a premises liability.
Why Do Dogs Attack?
Owners may say they have the sweetest, calmest pet, but under the right circumstances, their pet can become aggressive. The following reasons are potentially why an animal would go after someone:
- Fear or Pain. Being around strangers can put any animal on edge. If they’re experiencing pain, they’re more likely to lash out at others.
- Possessive. If a person is too close to food or toys, they may trigger an attack.
- Playing. Bites can be a typical part of playing for animals, but it can sometimes go too far and cause an injury.
When encountering a dog that doesn’t know you, it’s best to give them a wide berth. Avoid making eye contact with them and don’t face them directly. This can reduce the likelihood of them seeing you as a threat. But it’s important to remember that it’s not your responsibility to prevent an attack. One of our Omaha dog bite attorneys will help you stand up for your rights.
Dog Bite Injuries
Animal attacks can be severe. There’s a chance they could cause permanent injuries, disfigurement, and will most likely require medical treatment. Some common injuries include:
- Facial Injuries. Bone fractures and harm to the eyes and ears can occur. A person could possibly sustain vision or hearing damage.
- Scarring. There isn’t a guarantee that the wounds will completely heal. Affected areas may have scarring.
- Loss of Limb. In serious cases, a bite may result in a person losing an arm, leg, or one of their fingers or toes.
- Puncture Wounds. Dog teeth can break skin and cause bleeding.
- Sprains or Broken Bones. A dog may also run into someone and knock them over, which can sprain a wrist or cause a more serious injury like a broken bone.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is also the mental trauma associated with an attack. The victim may suffer from PTSD and develop a fear of dogs or be afraid to go to the area where the bite occurred.
Another concern is what the dog’s mouth can transfer. Dogs that aren’t up to date with vaccinations can spread diseases and infection. This doesn’t mean a bite from a vaccinated dog is automatically safe, but there’s a reduced chance of these infections spreading. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the following as risks:
- Rabies. Feral or strays are more likely to have rabies than household pets, but the disease still poses a threat. It’s a serious disease that can be fatal. Those who have been bitten need to see a healthcare provider immediately.
- Tetanus. When people sustain deep bite wounds, a Tetanus infection can be debilitating because it releases a paralysis-inducing toxin.
- MRSA. This stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and is an antibiotic-resistant infection. The bacteria may cause issues with skin, lungs, or even spread to the bloodstream and become life-threatening.
- Capnocytophaga bacteria. An infection from this bacteria is more dangerous to those with weakened immune systems like young children or seniors.
- Pasteurella. Over half of infected dog bite wounds have this bacteria. Symptoms include redness and pain around the bite, but people with weakened immune systems may experience swollen joints and limited mobility.
The consequences can put victims in the hospital with painful injuries that may cause permanent damage. At Welsh & Welsh, we believe that you deserve better. One of our dog bite lawyers in Omaha will look into your case and evaluate your injuries, so your compensation can help with the cost of your medical treatment.
What Makes These Cases So Sensitive?
When dog bites occur on a family member or friend’s property, the situation can be delicate. On one hand, you know you’re injured and have a legal right to seek compensation. On the other hand, you may not want to make your family member or friend angry, upset, or risk them losing their dog.
This could make you wary of filing a dog bite claim and moving on from it. But what happens when you have to miss work and suddenly have piling medical bills? Or what if the attack leaves you with a catastrophic injury? In these situations, your health and safety need to come first. It may be uncomfortable at times, but you weren’t the one at fault.
Get Help from an Omaha Dog Bite Attorney
You aren’t responsible for this accident. You shouldn’t have to worry about all the financial expenses on your own. We’ll help you stand up for your rights and do everything to get you a fair settlement that could potentially cover:
- Pain and Suffering
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
Give us a call today to schedule a consultation about your case.