Have you suffered an injury at the hands of someone else’s dog? There are rules in place to ensure you can get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical treatment, and pain and suffering.
Animal control issues are a constant companion to humanity. Ever since the first cave-dwelling human extended the paw of friendship to the first packs of dogs, we have suffered animal bites. Even before then, animal attacks were no uncommon feat.
Modern America sees animal attacks which cost the economy around $ 1 billion per year. This startling figure includes the likelihood of fatality from an animal attack, which sits at around four hundred deaths per year. Animal attacks are more frequent than you think, and dogs are, unfortunately, the main culprit.
When an animal attack happens, you need to know what you can do to protect yourself. Part of protecting yourself is filing a lawsuit and raising a case against the animal’s owner, provided that the owner’s negligence led to your attack.
Who is to Blame When Dogs and Animals Attack?
Ideally, the owner is the one you blame for an animal attack. If the animal is out of control, it may well suffer extermination on the spot. This does not resolve your injuries or your medical bills, but it does stop the animal from repeating the process. However, if the attack was milder, the animal will not suffer extermination, but the owner is still liable.
There is confusion surrounding the liability of animal attacks because Illinois introduced the ‘one free bite’ law. This was a law that protected the owner from prosecution for that first bite. This was a concession made based on the principle that you do not know how aggressive a dog is when you first get them. If they then bite another, second person, the owner was liable.
However, the Animal Control Act upended this law, making all animal attacks a case of owner liability. If it happens to you, dog bite and animal attack injury lawyers could help. Let us not forget that dogs are not the only animal that can attack you. Exotic pets, snakes, lizards, cats, and other animals can all cause you an injury through negligent ownership.
How to Prove the Owner was Negligent?
Not all out-of-control animals are the result of negligence. If the animal’s owner has taken all due care to prevent an injury, yet it still occurs, then no negligence took place. For example, if you asked if you could pet the animal and the owner told you no – but you petted it anyway, then this is not a case of negligence. On the other hand, if the owner allowed you to pet the animal knowing it was aggressive, that would be negligent behavior.
To prove an owner was negligent, you must prove that they own the animal, and then that they did not take all necessary precautions for having that animal in a public place. You further must prove that the negligence caused you harm. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to work through the legal hoops needed to prove guilt. Otherwise, you could lose out on the compensation you deserve.