If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a dog bite in Alexandria, you understand the physical and emotional toll that this traumatic incident can take. During this difficult time, it can be invaluable to have a dedicated and experienced Alexandria dog bite lawyer by your side. The attorneys at Morris Bart offer a full range of legal services to help you seek justice and maximum financial compensation after a dog attack. Contact us today to begin with a free case evaluation.
Why Choose Us for Your Alexandria Dog Bite Case
- We take pride in fighting for our personal injury clients in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. We have over 40 years of legal experience in dog bite injury law.
- Our law firm has helped thousands of clients across the Southeast United States. We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for injured victims.
- We do not pass cases off to assistance or paralegals. You will have direct contact with your dog bite accident attorney, who will personalize a legal strategy just for you.
- Our Alexandria dog bite lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means if you do not win your case, you will not owe us anything in attorney’s fees.
For a free legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer serving Alexandria, call 800-537-8185
How an Alexandria Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help You
If you get bitten by a dog in Alexandria, it is important to protect your legal rights by hiring a personal injury attorney. While a personal injury lawyer can help with any type of case, it is especially crucial to hire one if you or a loved one suffered serious or catastrophic injuries in the attack. You may deserve more money than what a dog owner’s liability insurance company initially offers you to settle the claim.
An Alexandria personal injury attorney can seek fair and full financial compensation for the economic and noneconomic damages caused by the incident, including future estimated costs. You can trust your lawyer to use proven (and aggressive, when necessary) legal tactics when going up against an insurance claims adjuster. A law firm will have resources such as medical experts and investigators to build the strongest possible legal case while you focus on healing.
Financial Compensation Available for Dog Bite Injuries
Pursuing a dog bite claim can bring a victim the justice, accountability and financial compensation that he or she needs to move forward. It can hold a dog owner responsible for careless actions that contributed to the incident, such as violating Alexandria’s leash laws. A successful claim could also result in damages paid for the victim’s injuries and losses, including the overall impact the attack had on the victim’s life.
Victims may be able to recover compensation for the following losses through their dog bite cases:
- Medical costs: all health care bills associated with the dog bite, which may include surgeries, skin grafts, therapies, medications, and ongoing or future necessary care.
- Lost wages: income lost from the inability to go to work at full capacity due to the injury. This includes any future lost capacity to earn from a long-term or permanent disability.
- Property damage: payment for property repairs or replacement if the dog damaged any of the victim’s personal property in the incident.
- Pain and suffering: physical pain, emotional distress and mental suffering experienced by the dog bite victim, including post-traumatic stress disorder from the trauma of the event.
- Wrongful death: damages from fatal dog bite injuries, including funeral and burial costs, final medical bills, lost income and inheritance, loss of consortium, and grief.
The types of damages available and the potential value of your dog bite injury claim will depend on the circumstances. One determining factor is the severity of your injuries. In general, serious injuries result in greater harm and expense than mild injuries, meaning victims with catastrophic dog bite injuries may require more compensation. Discuss how much your case might be worth with an attorney at Morris Bart.
How Much Does a Dog Bite Attorney in Alexandria Cost?
At Morris Bart, your dog bite injury attorney will not cost you a penny out of pocket, win or lose. Our contingency fee arrangement means that we charge our clients $0 upfront and $0 if the case does not result in a financial settlement or judgment award. We take on 100 percent of the financial risk involved in a personal injury case by fronting the costs.
If your dog bite injury case leads to a positive outcome, we will charge our fee as a percentage of the money recovered for your losses. You will be informed of this percentage before you sign the initial contract with your attorney. That way, you always know what to expect – no hidden fees or surprises at the conclusion of your case.
Can You Sue for Emotional Damages After a Dog Attack?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit to pursue financial compensation for the emotional, mental and psychological harm caused by a dog bite incident in Alexandria. This includes compensation for mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD or a new phobia of dogs. You may qualify for pain and suffering damages as part of your dog bite injury claim. If you suffer disfiguring scars that affect your self-confidence, for example, you can include this on your injury claim.
In limited circumstances, it is also possible to seek emotional damages without physical injuries. If you witnessed a dog attacking or killing a loved one, for example, this could be grounds for a claim based on emotional suffering alone. These cases can be more difficult to prove than those involving physical injuries.
Louisiana’s Dog Bite Law
According to Louisiana Civil Code Article 2321, the owner of an animal is answerable for the damage caused by the animal, but only if it can be shown that the owner 1) knew or should have known through reasonable care that the animal’s behavior would cause damage, 2) the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and 3) the owner failed to exercise such care.
This type of dog bite law is often referred to as a “one-bite rule,” as it requires evidence that the pet owner knew or should have known that his or her dog was dangerous. This could be proven with evidence that the dog had bitten or attacked someone else in the past. In other words, the dog gets one “free” bite, after which the owner has a duty of care to prevent future dog bite incidents.
Louisiana’s dog bite law is in contrast to states that operate under a “strict liability” law, in which a pet owner is held liable for damage caused by a pet regardless of negligence. A one-bite rule requires proof of a breach of the pet owner’s duty of care. A dog bite injury lawyer in Alexandria can help you establish a claim using evidence such as accident reports, Animal Control documents, witness statements, medical records and photographs.
Who Pays for a Dog Bite Injury in Louisiana?
In most cases, the owner of the dog is responsible for paying for injuries caused by the animal. If another party was in control of the dog at the time of the attack, however, such as a pet sitter or dog walker, he or she could potentially be held liable for negligently failing to prevent the incident.
Landlords can also be held liable for dog bite injuries in Alexandria, in certain circumstances. If a landlord knowingly permitted a dog with prior aggressive behaviors or a dog that has been deemed dangerous to live on the property, the landlord could be held responsible as the party in charge of premises safety.
Since dogs are classified as personal property in Louisiana, a defendant’s property insurance company will generally receive dog bite injury claims. This may include a homeowners insurance, commercial insurance or renters insurance policy. Although most dog bite injury claims in Louisiana achieve settlements, if an insurance company does not offer a fair amount, you may have to take your case to court.
Liability in a Dog Bite Case
Louisiana pet owners have certain duties, responsibilities and obligations regarding the safety of others. For example, a pet owner has a duty to protect the public from a dog that has been known to bite or exhibit aggressive behaviors. If an animal is regarded as a “dangerous dog” under Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:102.14, a pet owner must take special precautions to restrain or confine the dog. Dog owners also have a duty to obey state and municipal leash laws.
During a dog bite injury case, the owner of the pet may attempt to avoid liability for the incident by blaming the victim. Common defense arguments include that the victim was trespassing on private property, provoked the dog into attacking or that there were “Beware of Dog” signs posted. You may need an attorney to help you prove your case and argue against a defense strategy.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Injury in Alexandria
A dog attack is a frightening and traumatic event. It can be difficult to remember what steps you need to take to protect yourself physically, legally and financially in the aftermath of a dog bite incident. In an emergency, call 911. Then, if you can, here’s what to do:
- Seek medical attention without delay. Go to the nearest hospital or your doctor to treat the bite injury. Dog bite injuries are prone to infection and often require professional medical care. Documenting your injuries with medical records is crucial for building a strong legal case.
- Gather information. Identify the dog and its owner, if possible. Write down the pet owner’s information, including property insurance details. Collect contact information from the pet owner and any witnesses.
- Report the dog bite to authorities. Any dog that bites a human must be reported to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria’s Animal Services. Animal Control will assess the animal for rabies and may deem the dog dangerous in serious cases.
- Preserve evidence. Keep copies of your medical records and police reports and take photos of your injuries as you heal. Also consider maintaining an injury journal, where you write down how you feel each day. This can help you prove how the attack has impacted your life.
- File an insurance claim. Contact the pet owner’s insurance company to file a claim for your medical bills, property damage and other losses you may have suffered. Before engaging with an insurance claims adjuster, however, consult with an attorney.
- Contact a dog bite attorney in Alexandria. Do not accept a fast insurance settlement before speaking to a dog bite accident lawyer. Your lawyer will know how Louisiana’s dog bite laws work and how to navigate them to your greatest possible advantage.
It is important to act quickly if you wish to file a dog bite injury case in Louisiana. The state has a statute of limitations, or filing deadline, of just one year from the date of the injury. If you do not file within one year, you will most likely lose the right to seek compensation.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite victims can suffer severe injuries in attacks. A dog’s teeth and claws can deal immense damage to many parts of a victim’s body. In addition to initial injuries, dog bite victims face the possibility of developing infections or diseases due to bacteria present in the dog’s mouth. This is why it is critical to get professional medical care for a dog bite injury right away.
Common bite injuries include:
- Avulsion (the tearing away of skin)
- Bone fractures
- Bruising and contusions
- Crush injuries
- Dog-borne diseases, such as rabies
- Eye injuries
- Facial injuries
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Muscle and soft-tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Puncture wounds
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Wrongful death
Dog bites are devastating injuries that can have permanent ramifications on a victim physically and emotionally. A victim can also suffer injuries if the dog causes him or her to fall, such as broken bones or a hip fracture. At Morris Bart, our dog bite injury lawyers can help victims with all types of injuries from these events.
Contact the Morris Bart Law Firm for a Free Dog Bite Injury Case Consultation
If you were involved in a recent dog attack that resulted in physical injuries, scarring, emotional damage or expensive medical bills, do not hesitate to contact Morris Bart for a free case consultation. You may be eligible for financial compensation to help you move forward. Our dog bite attorneys in Alexandria can listen to your story and help you understand your legal options. Call (318) 416-0089 today.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.