Some insurance companies are shying away issuing homeowner’s (or renter’s) insurance for the owners of some dog breeds. Unfortunately, some dogs are statistically more likely to bite or behave violently, and if you own one of these breeds, you may need to shop around for insurance.
It might feel unfair, but insurance companies are big, faceless companies that only look at hard, cold facts. And because some dog breeds are more susceptible to become violent, the insurance companies make the blanket decision to reject any home where those breeds live.
If you own a breed that has a poor reputation, don’t let your insurance policy lapse. Although it’s unlikely that you dog will bite or snap, one simple act could put your squarely in front of a judge, facing thousands of dollars of medical bills for the bite-victim.
In addition, take the time to consult with a personal injury lawyer about preventing dog bite lawsuits. Bring your insurance policy for him or her to review. In just one hour with a lawyer, you can get several important tips for avoiding lawsuits and saving the life of your pet.Read More
Perhaps the neighbor’s dog barks when you’re on your own lawn. Maybe the dog has a habit of chasing cars on the street. Or perhaps, the dog stands and growls at people walking by the house. If you feel your neighbor has a dangerous animal, there are several steps you can take to avoid problems while documenting the issues for future legal action.
Personal injury cases depend on someone’s negligence. Homeowners, business owners, pet owners… someone needs to be responsible — or the injury is just an accident. If you think your neighbor is ignoring the fact that his or her animal is dangerous, then you have the start of a personal injury case.
Typically, evidence of negligence has to collected after the accident has already occurred. For example, if you trip and fall because of a loose step on the front door of a business, then you would have to document the problem after the accident. But in many cases, the person responsible for the accident quickly fixes such a problem.
With an animal, you might have time to observe and document problems before they turn into injuries. Photographs of the dog on the street without a leash, copies of police records indicating the dog’s threatening behavior, notes from any conversations about the animal… these are examples of documentation you and your lawyer can use if the animal eventually bites or hurts someone.
Of course, by talking to the neighbor or contacting the police prior to a problem you could significantly reduce the likelihood of an incident. If you think you have a dangerous animal in the neighborhood, start communicating with the police immediately and document every step you take. Any evidence you have will be invaluable if the dog causes an injury.Read More
If you hit a dog or cat on the street with your car, the pet’s owner probably won’t win if they try to sue you. (But it doesn’t mean the owner won’t try.) And if you own the pet that’s been hit, in general the courts will determine that you should have had full control over the animal if it was on public property.
There are some exceptions — such as someone deliberately trying to injure your pet or an injury happening on private land. These exceptions, however, are rare and would likely end with the courts still insisting that animal owners should control their animals.
There isn’t much to recover in these cases anyway. Pets are considered property, and the fair market price for an animal is generally lower than $500. Medical bills and pain and suffering aren’t considered recoverable damages by the courts in property cases.
Lastly, injury TO animals is not covered in auto or home insurance policies. Because the vast majority of injury cases are settled by well-endowed insurance companies, an animal injury case comes without the kind of financial backing that attracts most plaintiffs.
If you have been injured BY an animal, contact a lawyer immediately. Similarly, if your pet has injured someone, you will need a lawyer to guide you through personal injury court proceedings.Read More
If your dog bites someone but has not been vaccinated for rabies, you might have to put the animal in supervised quarantine. Your dog is not likely to be put down (destroyed) simply because he or she bit someone.
Generally, you will have to pay a veterinarian to quarantine and supervise your dog for ten days after he or she bites someone. If the animal does not display any signs of unusual behavior after ten days, then the dog does not have rabies.
However, if the animal is at risk for having rabies (frequent contact with wild animals or other dogs) then the bite victim might have to go through preventive care while your dog is in quarantine. And as the owner of the dog, you’re probably going to have to pay for the victim’s medical treatments while the dog is under supervision.
In addition, the dog’s overall behavior will come under scrutiny (as will yours) to determine the general safety of the dog. Regardless of rabies, a dog that is prone to biting could be sentenced to death by a judge. A first time offence will probably not mean a death sentence for the dog, but once the dog is known for violence, as the owner you should take some preventative steps to help keep your dog alive.
Because a dog bite can mean expensive medical bills, quarantine, fear of rabies, and future scrutiny, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to give you direction as to how to proceed. In addition, your lawyer can go through your home or renters insurance policy to see if some or all of these associated costs will be covered with the policy’s liability clause.Read More
The animals you visit at horse farms and petting zoos are not legally considered to be wild or vicious animals. Donkeys, horses, goats, and mules are generally considered to be gentle enough for interaction with supervised children.
However, animals bite. And when provoked, any of these gentle animals could easily draw blood or remove a child’s finger. Luckily, these kinds of incidents are rare and most petting zoos carry sufficient insurance to cover any kind of unfortunate incident between your child and an animal.
If your child was injured at a horse farm or petting zoo, contact a lawyer to get help navigating the complexity of filing an insurance claim. Don’t let the insurance company talk you out of using a lawyer.
You can expect that your lawyer will get sufficient money to cover any medical expenses — including trauma treatment for your child. Because petting zoo animals are not considered to be dangerous or wild, it is unlikely that the animal will be destroyed. However, the animal is likely to be removed from the general population to deter further incidents.Read More
Dog parks are not a liability-free zone. While dog parks may be a place where the city suspends its leash laws, the laws that govern liability for human or animal injury still apply. In addition, dog parks are not the place for un-neutered male dogs, aggressive dogs, or un-socialized puppies. Dog parks exist so that dogs and owners can relax and play in a free, open space. Any dogs likely to cause trouble are not welcome and any trouble a dog causes is still the owner’s responsibility.
Some dog parks post warning signs that limit liability. However, the signs mostly release the city from liability for any injuries that occur. The dog owners can still be held responsible if their dogs bite or injury anyone. While there is very little law that directly applies to dog park injuries, most courts will side with the predominant opinions that point to laying the burden on the owner of the aggressive dog.
If you or your dog was attacked at a dog park, the law is on your side. You have to contact a lawyer immediately so that you and the lawyer can begin to collect sufficient evidence to bring suit against the other dog owner. You will to locate eye-witnesses and get medical records from your doctor and your veterinarian. The sooner you ask a lawyer for help, the more likely the case will settle in your favor.Read More