Idaho Dog Bite Attorney
If you recently sustained a serious dog bite injury, you are in the right place. At Hansen Injury Law, we are the experts on dog bite injuries and Idaho dog bite injury law. We interact with and assist real victims every day, and know that the time after a dangerous attack can be mentally taxing and financially uncertain. We are here to help.
Dog bites generally occur when you least expect, but can be very painful and traumatic for the victims. For both children and adults, dog bite injuries can produce physical and emotional scarring, costly medical treatment, and lost wages because of time out of work. However, you do not have to confront these obstacles alone. An Idaho dog bite attorney here at Hansen Injury Law can help you answer difficult questions and file a successful personal injury claim to possibly compensate you for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost earnings and future earnings
- Disfigurement and/or disability
- Pain and suffering
Though we cannot provide personal, in depth legal advice outside of an official consultation, the information provided here can help answer some questions you may have.
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Dog Bite Statistics
With countless dogs being kept as domestic pets in the U.S., dog bite attacks are bound to occur, and do so on a frequent basis.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, and over 800,000 of those victims need some form of medical care.
Some other important statistics regarding dog bites include:
- 1 in 5 dog bite victims need medical treatment
- Children are bitten most frequently and are more likely to need medical care
- Senior citizens are the second most at-risk demographic for dog bites
- 60% of dog bites occur in the owner’s home
- 77% of bite victims are family members or close friends of the dog’s owner
Dog bites take place daily, and can impact the lives of children and adults alike. If you become a victim of such an attack, an Idaho dog bite attorney can assist you in determining who is liable for your injuries.
What Kinds of Dogs Usually Attack?
A typical misconception is that only certain breeds of naturally aggressive dogs like Pitbulls and Rottweilers inflict serious bite injuries. This is simply not true. While such breeds do have the tendency to attack more often, all dogs have the potential to attack at any time.
Dogs attack for a variety of reasons. Though some breeds are more naturally aggressive than others, all dogs can and will attack they feel provoked or threatened. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control strongly urge that you do not:
- Try to approach or touch an unfamiliar or stray dog
- Disturb a dog while it is eating, sleeping, or nurturing puppies
- Aggressively play with any dog, especially a large one
- Leave a young child unsupervised with any breed of dog
Any dog can attack. This includes seemingly innocent, well-behaved dogs that belong to people close to you. However, just because the dog does not have a history of being dangerous doesn’t exclude the owner from liability if a bite occurs. If you have sustained a bite from ANY breed of dog and were injured, we advise you to talk to an Idaho dog bite attorney to review your options.
Suggestions courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
8 Steps To Take When You Have Been Bitten
If you are the victim of a serious dog bite attack, you are likely eligible for personal injury compensation if the dog’s owner was at-fault. This compensation may be crucial for your recovery, helping you pay costly medical bills and feel more at ease while you are unable to work. With that in mind, we recommend taking these steps immediately following your dog bite accident to avoid compromising your potential personal injury claim.
1. Seek immediate medical care
- Our primary concern is that you are ok. Get to a hospital immediately after a serious dog bite to receive care for your injuries.
2. Get the contact information of the dog’s owner and any eye witnesses
- This information is very important for your case because witnesses can help prove who was responsible for the bite. You also need to be in close contact with the owner so we can work with them directly.
3. Alert the police
- The authorities can officially document that the attack took place, which will provide valuable validity to your case. Such a report can also help prove the liability of the dog’s owner. Though you may be worried that something bad will happen to the owner or the dog by reporting the incident to the police, not doing so could compromise your case.
4. Take pictures of your injuries soon after the incident
- If you have been seriously injured due to a dog bite accident, you should photograph your injuries immediately following the incident and continually during your treatment. If you can visually prove that your injuries were severe and/or debilitating, the compensation you receive from your case could increase significantly.
5. DO NOT provide the insurance companies with a statement
- Until you have spoken with an Idaho dog bite attorney, do not provide the liable party’s insurance company with any type of statement. Depending on the information you give them, they may try to decrease the amount of compensation or deny your claim altogether.
6. Record everything
- Do not depend completely on memory to make your case. Because any given case could take months to settle, you should document everything during the process. This may include pictures of your injuries, medical records, correspondence with insurance companies, contact information, police reports, and anything else that may be relevant. In any case, if you think it might be useful, keep it.
7. DO NOT agree to a hasty settlement from the insurance company
- The liable party’s insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible. Consequently, they will try to offer a quick settlement shortly after your accident occurs. While this can seem generous at first, it is probably much less than you may be entitled to. These hasty settlements almost never take possible future medical expenses or lost wages into account.
8. Talk to an Idaho dog bite attorney
- To protect you from settling too quickly with the liable insurance company, we strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced Idaho dog bite attorney to review your case. Though the insurance company will almost certainly persuade you not to hire an attorney, doing so may increase your injury compensation significantly.
Image courtesy of Hansen Injury Law Firm.
Filing a Claim: How Long Do I Have?
The timetable to file a dog bite injury claim is called the statute of limitations, which is different in each state. In Idaho, a dog bite victim has 2 years from the time of the accident to settle or file a claim. For children who are bitten, this time frame only begins when they turn 18 years old.
Though 2 years may seem like plenty of time, we encourage you to talk with an Idaho dog bite attorney immediately following your injury to begin the process. Although we can typically resolve a case within a year, our number one priority is your recovery. Medical bills will come quickly, and we want to make sure you get the compensation you need and deserve as fast as possible.
Proving Liability: How Do I Do It?
Fortunately, it is much easier for dog bite victims in Idaho to prove liability and be compensated for their injuries than it is in some other states. However, there are a few important details to be aware of when proving liability for your injuries.
1.“One bite” Rule
- This Idaho law is extremely important for your dog bite case. While most states give dogs and owners one “free bite” so to speak, Idaho law holds the owner responsible for any and all injuries that may occur from even the first bite. This is beneficial because you will not have to prove that the dog has a record of other attacks or history of aggressive behavior. One bite is all it takes.
2. Verify that the dog’s owner has homeowners or renters insurance
- If the dog’s owner has one of these types of insurance, filing a case becomes a lot easier and less personal. This is particularly helpful if the dog belongs to a close friend or family member. If they have renters or homeowners insurance, you are not required to file a case against them personally; only against the insurance company.
3. Prove You Are Not Liable
- With any accident, a crucial part of your case is proving that you were not at fault. In the case of a dog bite accident, if you purposefully provoke the dog by hitting, kicking, or taunting it, you will likely be held responsible for your injuries, not the dog’s owner. If that occurs, you will not be eligible to file a personal injury claim. If you wish to file a claim, you will need to provide proof that the accident was not your fault.
What Can a Personal Injury Claim Compensate You For?
As previously mentioned, insurance companies will almost always try to minimize your settlement, and even totally reject it. Though their settlement offer may seem generous, this amount is likely inadequate to meet your needs.
The first settlement offer from the insurance company might be sufficient to cover some immediate medical costs. However, it typically does not factor in expenses for any future medical care you may need. Although they will persuade you not to speak to an Idaho dog bite attorney, we strongly urge you to do so. A successful personal injury claim can potentially compensate you for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages from missing work
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent complications such as disability and/or disfigurement
Do not allow the insurance companies to trick you into accepting a quick settlement. Talking to an experienced Idaho dog bite attorney can significantly increase your injury compensation, facilitate your recovery process, and take care of the hard, stressful work for you.
Image courtesy of Hansen Injury Law.
Talk To an Idaho Dog Bite Attorney Today
At Hansen Injury Law, we interact with real accident victims every day who have suffered traumatic experiences, just as you have. Unfortunately, dog bites are very common, and can leave victims like you with painful injuries that force you out of work and with costly medical bills that you can’t afford. We can help.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a local dog bite incident, contact an Idaho dog bite attorney at Hansen Injury Law today and set up a free consultation at our Meridian or Boise location (See addresses at end of page). Let us fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve while you focus on recovering physically and financially.