Seeking Compensation For Dog Bite Victims In Kentucky
In Kentucky, pet owners are responsible for injuries caused by their pets. As the victim of a dog bite injury, you do not have to prove that the dog’s owner was careless or negligent. As long as you were not unlawfully on the premises and did not provoke the dog, the owner is responsible.
The attorneys at Satterley & Kelley, PLLC, in Louisville, are here to help you get the compensation you deserve to recover from a dog bite injury.
Were you bitten by the dog of a friend or relative? It is important to remember that filing a personal injury claim is about obtaining compensation for the victim — not blaming the dog’s owners. Homeowners’ insurance typically pays for damages.
Dog Attacks are a Bigger Issue Than Most Realize
- Homeowners’ insurers paid $882 million in liability claims due to dog bites and other injuries in 2021
- Every day, about a thousand people are treated in hospital emergency departments for nonfatal dog bite injuries
- The average cost of a dog attack-related hospital stay was $18,200 in 2008, about 50% more than the average injury-related hospital treatment
- In 2008, there were four times as many dog attack-related hospital emergency department visits and three times as many hospital admissions in rural than in urban areas
- Children from birth to two years old were 26% of all dog bite fatality victims from 2005 to 2019 (though they’re only about 2% of the country’s overall population)
An estimated 78 million dogs are in the US, or about one for every four people. Maybe what’s truly surprising is this problem isn’t worse.
Kentucky Law Makes Owners Responsible for Their Dogs
A dog owner is strictly liable for injuries their dog causes if one bites you. You need only show what dog attacked you, who owned it, and the harm done to be awarded compensation.
This is unlike most personal injury cases where you need to prove the other party was negligent by making a mistake. Unlike Kentucky, some states will make owners liable only after they’ve bitten someone before, putting them on notice their dog’s dangerous.
Kentucky follows comparative negligence law when it comes to your compensation. If you’re seen as partially at fault for the attack, your share of the blame will be deducted from your award.
In addition to filing a claim with the dog owner’s insurance policy or filing a lawsuit, you can file a complaint with the local district court charging the owner with harboring a vicious dog. You won’t receive compensation, but you may prevent another attack if the court orders the dog to be securely confined or destroyed.
Children May Be In More Danger
People who dogs bite may experience permanent scarring and or nerve damage. A dog attack can be especially harmful, traumatic, and potentially fatal to a child.
While anyone could become the victim of a dog bite, curious or unaware children may be especially susceptible. They do not always know the proper conduct for canine interactions and may not be as likely to read the warning signs of potential danger. Misreading cues can result in children having to deal with the repercussions for years.
Even Familiar Dogs Can Prove Dangerous
People must behave properly when handling animals, as dangerous catalysts can lead to trouble around familiar and strange dogs alike:
- Playing near the animal
- Handling food in the area
- Moving around their mouth
These circumstances could lead to startling a dog or inciting aggressive behavior. When an animal does strike, the bites could cause severe damage to anyone.
Since children are shorter than adults and less able to defend themselves, they’re more likely to be bitten on the face or neck, possibly causing severe bleeding. They could suffer significant consequences:
- Greater damage to smaller extremities
- Development of a life-long fear of animals
- Less resistance to any potential illnesses
- Inability to communicate pains and ailments
The compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and how long it takes you to recover.
Harm May Last Longer Than Legal Limitations
You have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit for harm caused by a dog bite. Our lawyers will help you obtain compensation for all of the damages you or your family member suffered, including:
- Past and future medical care
- Future cosmetic surgery
- Lost wages if you missed work as a result of your injuries
- Counseling to overcome the fear of dog attacks
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering
After a dog bites a child, doctors may not perform procedures to minimize scarring until the child is grown. Your medical insurance may not cover these procedures, so it is essential to recover compensation for your child’s future needs. A dog attack is a traumatic event, especially for a child. The emotional and psychological impact may remain long after physical injuries heal.
Ensure Your Settlement Is Fair
In many dog bite cases, catastrophic injuries require multiple surgeries, extended stays in the hospital, psychological visits, and reconstructive surgery. This can add up, leaving insurance companies on the defensive and unwilling to provide maximum compensation.
If you are worried you have gotten a lowball offer, talk to our team of attorneys. We can review your settlement offer to determine if it’s fair or fails to meet your present and future financial needs.
Speak To a Dog Bite Attorney About Your Case
For more information about your rights after a dog bite injury, call our office in Louisville at 502-589-5600 or toll-free at 855-385-9532. You may also schedule your free initial consultation by completing our contact form.