If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, help is available at the Morris Bart law firm. Our New Orleans dog bite attorney will guide you through the process of pursuing justice and financial compensation from the owner of the dog or another responsible party. We are passionate about helping dog bite victims move forward from these traumatic events.
In Louisiana, most pet owners are held financially responsible for injuries inflicted by their dogs. If you have a serious injury or other losses related to a dog attack, we can help you build a dog bite injury case and seek the results that you deserve from the owner’s insurance provider. Contact us today to request a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
How a Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, a New Orleans personal injury lawyer can provide valuable legal advice and assistance tailored to your unique situation. You can trust an attorney to protect your best interests throughout the legal process. Your lawyer can take over insurance settlement negotiations to ensure that you are treated fairly and fight for maximum compensation while you concentrate on healing from serious injuries.
During your dog bite lawsuit, a lawyer will have connections to resources, such as highly qualified experts, to strengthen your case against a dog owner or another party. A law firm can send investigators to the scene of the incident, interview witnesses, obtain records and documents, and take other steps to collect evidence to build your case. Your dog bite attorney will advocate for you tirelessly to hold someone responsible for your injuries and losses.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
What to Do After a Dog Bite in New Orleans
If you get attacked by a dog in New Orleans, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about what to do to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. If possible, here are the steps that you should take to protect yourself after violent dog bites:
- Seek medical attention. Dog bite injuries come with a high risk of infection and other complications. Have your wound inspected and cleaned by a medical professional right away.
- Document the incident. Write down the name of the dog owner, the dog’s breed and vaccination information, eyewitness contact information, and other details about the attack.
- Report the dog bite incident. Report all animal attacks to your local animal control authority to document them for the city records.
- Obtain records. If you reported the attack to the police, request a copy of your police report. Obtain copies of your medical records and other relevant documents, as well.
- Take photographs. Take pictures of your dog bites on the date of the incident and as you heal to document your recovery. This can help with a future dog bite injury claim.
- Report the bite to insurance. If the dog owner has a homeowners insurance policy, report the bite to the company and file a claim. Don’t accept a settlement until you’ve spoken to an attorney.
If you are considering legal action or need assistance obtaining fair compensation for your medical bills and lost wages, consult with a dog bite injury attorney in New Orleans at Morris Bart. Our attorneys can help you understand liability and advise you on how to proceed.
What Happens After You Report a Dog Attack?
When a Louisiana animal control facility receives notification of a dog attack or bite incident, they will impose an animal quarantine period for a minimum of 10 days to check for rabies and other diseases. This quarantine can occur at a dog shelter or in the pet owner’s home, as long as the animal is confined. If the animal is deemed too vicious to keep under observation, it may be humanely euthanized. The dog may also be euthanized if it inflicts bites on a victim’s head or neck (to expedite rabies testing).
During an investigation of the attack, animal control personnel or the police will determine if the dog should be given a “dangerous dog” designation. In Louisiana, a dog can be deemed dangerous under Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 14:102.13 if, on two separate occasions within three years, it engages in any behavior that requires defensive action by a person to prevent bodily injury. If the dog is established as dangerous, the pet owner will be required to comply with certain conditions as provided by law, such as restraining the dog correctly.
If a dangerous dog subsequently attacks another individual and causes serious injury, the courts may declare it to be vicious. A vicious dog may be ordered by the courts to be humanely euthanized for the safety of the public. The owner of the dog may appeal the determination of a dog to be dangerous or vicious. Common reasons for appeals include the victim provoking the dog to attack, teasing or tormenting the dog, or trespassing on private property at the time of the bite incident.
Are Pet Owners Liable for Dog Bite Injuries in Louisiana?
In the State of Louisiana, there is a strict liability dog bite law. Louisiana Civil Code 2321 states that dog owners can be held strictly liable, or legally responsible, for damages caused by their dogs. Unlike strict liability laws in many other states, however, Louisiana’s state law requires victims to show the following:
- The pet owner knew (or should have known through the exercise of reasonable care) that the animal’s behavior would cause damage.
- The damage caused by the dog could most likely have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care.
- The pet owner failed to exercise such reasonable care as was necessary to prevent the dog bite attack and the damage caused.
If these elements are met, the owner of a dog will be held liable for damages and injuries caused to victims or property. Louisiana’s strict liability dog bite statute is similar to a one-bite law in that it requires proof that the pet owner knew the dog had a history of vicious behaviors and failed to prevent a foreseeable attack.
Common Injuries Suffered by Dog Bite Victims
Dog attacks can be extremely violent and traumatic for victims. When a dog attacks or bites, its jaws, claws and teeth can inflict immense damage. Many dog bite survivors are never the same after the event and suffer from both physical and emotional scarring. At the law office of Morris Bart, our personal injury lawyers have represented clients with many different types of injuries.
We can help if you or a loved one suffered any of the following dog bite injuries:
- Bone fractures
- Bruising or contusions
- Crush injuries
- Eye injuries
- Facial injuries
- Nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Puncture wounds
- Rabies and other dog-borne diseases
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Soft-tissue damage
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Sadly, many victims do not survive dog attacks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that from 2011 to 2021, 468 victims lost their lives from dog attacks (an average of 43 per year). Young children and the elderly are the most at-risk groups for fatal dog bite injuries. Our attorneys offer representation to grieving family members during wrongful death claims in Louisiana.
Compensation Available for Dog Bite Victims in New Orleans
Holding someone accountable for a dog attack in New Orleans can help a victim in multiple ways. It can hold a pet owner responsible for failing to prevent a foreseeable attack, potentially protecting others in the community in the future. It can also provide a sense of justice and closure to the victim and his or her family members. Finally, it can result in financial compensation to help the victim pay for related damage.
Available compensation could include:
- Medical expenses: reimbursement for the necessary medical costs after a dog attack, such as surgeries, skin grafts, intensive care, follow-up appointments, physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: compensation for income, earnings and employment benefits lost while in recovery from a dog attack, as well as any lost future capacity to earn due to a long-term disability.
- Pain and suffering: intangible harm suffered, such as physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, loss of enjoyment of life and a new phobia of dogs.
- Permanent disfigurement: additional payment for significant scarring or disfigurement caused by a dog attack. This can encompass compensation for reconstructive surgery as well as pain and suffering.
- Property damage: the costs of repairing or replacing property that was damaged or destroyed by the dog in the attack.
In a case of wrongful death due to a fatal dog attack, family members may also be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial costs, lost earnings and benefits, and survivors’ grief and anguish. Our injury attorneys can review your dog bite claim to help you understand its potential value. Then, we can work relentlessly on your behalf to secure fair and full compensation for your losses.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury That Occurs at Work?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19 employees in Louisiana died from “injuries by persons or animals” in 2021. If a dog attack occurs at work in New Orleans, you may have legal options other than a claim against the pet owner. For example, if you were working on someone else’s property when a dog bit you (e.g., at a construction site on private property), you may be able to file a claim against the dog owner or property owner as well as a workers’ compensation claim.
A workers’ comp claim could potentially result in payment for your medical bills and partial lost wages, as well as disability pay. These benefits are made available to eligible injured employees in Louisiana without requiring proof of negligence if the employer has this type of insurance. If your employer was negligent – such as by failing to protect workers from a known dangerous dog on the premises – you may be able to file a personal injury claim directly against the company.
In most dog bite cases, dog owners in New Orleans are held legally responsible for bites, attacks and other injuries caused by their dogs. Their homeowners insurance companies will often cover dog bite claims. If this insurance is not available, a renter’s insurance company may have to pay for a dog bite victim’s injuries. The victim may also have health insurance and other coverage to help pay for an injury. Consult with our attorneys to explore your financial recovery options.
Time Limits on Filing a Dog Bite Injury Claim in Louisiana
There are statutes of limitations in all 50 states. These laws place deadlines on the right to file a personal injury claim. In Louisiana, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of the injury, in most cases. This means you have no more than one year from a dog attack in New Orleans to take legal action to pursue financial compensation. If you wait too long and attempt to bring a claim after a year or more has passed from the date of injury, the courts will most likely bar you from seeking a financial recovery.
There are exceptions to the rule in special cases. If the injured party is a child under the age of 18, for instance, the statute of limitations may be tolled (paused) until the date the child turns 18. This would give the child until age 19 to file a dog bite injury claim. If there is a police investigation into a crime connected to the incident, the deadline may also be tolled until the criminal case is completed. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss your filing deadline.
Contact Our New Orleans Dog Bite Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog in or around New Orleans, the personal injury lawyers at Morris Bart can help you rebuild your life as much as possible. We understand how Louisiana’s dog bite laws work under the Civil Code and can guide you through the legal process of holding a pet owner or another party responsible.
Our attorneys have years of experience handling serious and catastrophic injury cases, including wrongful death lawsuits, and can help you seek fair compensation for your injuries and losses after a traumatic dog attack. Learn more about your legal rights and options when you request a free consultation with our New Orleans dog bite attorneys.
Call Morris Bart today at (800) 537-8185 or message us online through our contact form anytime for a free dog bite case review.
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