Paintsville & Ashland Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bite personal injury cases are prevalent across the country. In fact, according to the CDC, more than 4.7 million dog bite accidents happen each year. Roughly 800,000 of these cases end up needing medical attention, and on rare occasion death. People tend to blame the breed of the dog, but the truth is, any dog can bite. Whether or not those circumstances occurred because of an act you committed will determine whether or not you will be held liable.
Speak With an Attorney as Soon as Possible
Kentucky has specific laws that govern how dog bite cases are handled. For example, the state has a one year statute of limitations on dog bite cases. The longer you wait, the more your case loses its strength. If you wait too long, you will not be able to seek compensation. Speak with a Kentucky personal injury attorney as soon as you get medical treatment for a dog bite.
When a Dog Owner Is Liable: Strict Liability
Different states handle dog bite liability in different ways. Kentucky is a strict liability state. This means the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries it caused, regardless of its past. Even if the dog was not previously known to be aggressive, the owner will still be held liable. The law does not specify what type of injuries the dog is liable for, so you can claim damages even if the dog did not bite you. For example, if a dog jumped on you and knocked you down, causing injury and/or property damage, you can still hold the owner liable.
Comparative Negligence and Strict Liability in Kentucky
If you bring a civil suit against a dog owner, chances are he or she will hire a defense attorney. The defense attorney will try to take the blame off of the dog owner by proving you were responsible for the dog’s behavior. In many states, you will not receive compensation if you are found to have been partially at fault. For example, if you somehow provoked the dog or were found to be trespassing, you would not receive compensation.
In Kentucky, however, you can still receive compensation under the comparative negligence clause. Comparative negligence means that you were partially at fault, and you will be eligible for the remaining amount of compensation. For example, imagine you are going to visit a friend’s house, and he or she has a dog outside in the yard. The friend did not know you were stopping by, and when you arrive, the dog becomes agitated and bites you.
Technically, you were trespassing on private property (because the friend did not know you were coming). You might be considered partially at fault because you went on your friend’s property without permission, which “provoked” the dog, but the dog still bit you. The comparative negligence clause will assign you and your friend a fault percentage. In this case, you might be 40% at fault, while the dog’s owner is 60% at fault. You would then receive the remaining 60% of total damages. If your medical bills and other damages totaled $100,000, you would receive $60,000.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Kentucky
Speak with a personal injury attorney to find out if your case is eligible for compensation. You may be able to claim damages like medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. The Salyer Law Office is experienced in Kentucky personal injury cases, including dog bite law suits. We will work to get you the most compensation possible to help offset the cost of your physical and financial damages. We serve Paintsville, Kentucky, and surrounding areas.