If you or your loved one was bitten by a dog on the owner’s property, you will likely be upset—and for good reason. Dog bites can cause serious physical damage often resulting in scarring and disfigurement. Your first thought may be to seek revenge on the owner and file a lawsuit. While your goal should be to recover sufficient compensation to pay for your damages, suing the owner should not be your first step.
If you were injured by a dog while at the owner’s house, the owner’s homeowners insurance will likely pay for your damages—as long as certain conditions are met.
Kentucky Dog Bite Law
Kentucky is considered a strict liability state. Under Section 258.235 of Kentucky Revised Statutes, the dog owner is liable for damage his or her dog causes to a person, livestock, pet or property. Any person can legally seize or kill a dog that is attacking a person or animal.
However, there are exceptions. If a person was negligent and did not keep his or her safety in mind when around the dog (for example teasing or provoking the dog), then he or she may not recover compensation. Trespassers also cannot recover compensation under the law—even infants and children.
You have two options when recovering compensation. You can either settle with the dog owner’s insurance company or file a lawsuit. There are advantages and disadvantages of each.
Your first step should be to try to settle with the insurance company. Be sure to consider all the damages you have suffered. This includes medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, disfigurement and disability. Don’t forget about future expenses as well. If you anticipate additional surgeries or physical therapy, or still have not returned to work yet, keep this in mind as you calculate your damages.
This is a good time to hire a lawyer to assess your case. A personal injury lawyer can help to determine the value of your damages, which can help you decide whether or not to take the settlement from the insurance company.
If you suffered serious injuries, going to trial may be ideal. You’ll likely receive more money for your injuries. There are no guarantees, though, so discuss the situation with your lawyer to see if going to trial is a good idea in your case.
Bit By a Dog in Kentucky?
A dog bite can be quite serious. Many cases involve scarring and disfigurement, which can mean substantial medical bills. You may require costly surgeries. How will you be able to afford all this?
The attorneys at Harville Law Offices, PLLC can value your dog bite case and help you recover compensation for your damages. If you have questions about your rights and would like to discuss your options, contact our Louisville office at (502) 245-2333 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.