Although dogs are unpredictable creatures, as the owner, you are responsible for everything they do. While that means you can take credit for your dog having the manners to comfort the elderly or severely ill, it also means you are responsible for injuries caused by your canine's actions. After an accident, the injured party may file a lawsuit in an effort to obtain compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. Court officials will review the case to make sure your dog holds full responsibility for the incident. Here are three injuries that are usually straightforward when it comes to fault.
In most areas, it's illegal to let your dog roam around off leash. Unfortunately, the leads themselves can cause injuries if they end up wrapped around the feet of people walking by. Furthermore, leads do not always keep dogs firmly attached to their owner's sides.
Two dogs ripped their leads out of their owner's hands and ended up tangling up a toddler in a recent incident. The toddler reportedly suffered severe head injuries, which required care at a local children's hospital. Officials must investigate to determine if the injuries match the claimed sequence of events to determine the amount of fault the dogs carry for this incident.
Dogs of any breed can inflict bite injuries on others when scared, insecure, frustrated or angry. Although pit bulls carry the brunt of the blame, and fear, Labrador retrievers lead in the number of bites inflicted on people. The reason for this is likely due to their popularity as a family dog.
Dogs may bite mail carriers, delivery people, friends of the family or anyone else these great protectors deem a threat to the family. Dog bites also happen if kids push the boundaries of the dog while ignoring the warning signs, like raised hackles or laid back ears.
Unfortunately, depending on where the bite is inflicted, the incident can turn deadly. Despite the dog's perception, court officials often rule that owners must take responsibility for not preventing the attack.
Dogs do not understand the danger of running in front of moving vehicles or jumping around wildly in the car. In fact, dogs often react instinctually without thinking about the repercussions of their actions.
For example, a pair of dogs recently broke loose from their owners' grasp and knocked over a man riding his bicycle. The man suffered serious injuries that resulted in his death not long after arriving at the hospital. The dog owners are facing additional trouble from failing to render air or call for emergency care after the accident happened.
In another incident, a dog riding in the passenger seat caused a brief distraction that resulted in his owner rear-ending a semi truck. Most states require dog owners to place their animals in pet carriers or buckled restraints during the ride. As a result, the owner will face negligent driving charges in addition to taking responsibility for damage and injuries caused by the crash.
Fighting The Claim
If your dog was blamed for fall, bite or crash injuries, you may need to hire a lawyer from a firm like Hardee and Hardee LLP to represent you in court. Lawyers use their skills and expertise to determine the amount of fault carried by each party. You'll be able to meet with your lawyer to discuss the details of the incident, potential outcomes and upcoming proceedings before your appearances in court.
During the trial, you will go through the fact-finding stage, which allows each side to present their perspective and evidence. Lawyers have the option to present motions after all of the court hears both sides of the case. At this point, either side can agree on a settlement amount in an effort to end the court proceedings without a ruling by the judge. If both sides cannot find common ground, the jury or judges' panel will make a final decision.