As cherished as dogs may be, they are still animals whose behavior is unpredictable and whose natural physical abilities put people at risk. If you have been bitten by a dog, the owner of that dog bears some of the responsibility.
Rather than blaming yourself, contact a Springfield dog bite lawyer, and investigate the possibility of filing suit against the negligent dog owner who put you and others at risk.
Dog Bite Laws in Kentucky
The best strategy is to contact a Springfield dog bite attorney as soon as possible after being bitten by a dog. The more time that goes into the development of a personal injury case, the more chance it must lead to a financial settlement.
If a plaintiff is unaware of their rights or elects to wait to file suit, they have a deadline of up to one year after the incident occurred. After that, it will be difficult or even impossible to seek justice.
In the state of Kentucky, dog bite laws fall into the category of strict liability. That means even if a dog has never shown violent tendencies and the owner takes reasonable steps to protect people from injury, that owner can still be held responsible if an incident occurs.
That is a good thing for plaintiffs, but it does not mean that every case guarantees a financial settlement. A dog bite lawyer in Springfield can create a compelling case that puts the interests of the plaintiff first.
Defining a Dog Bite Injury
The definition of a dog bite injury is often broader than many people realize. In addition to injuries directly caused by the dog, indirect injuries like being hurt in a fall after being knocked over by a dog also qualify.
Kentucky dog bite laws also apply when another animal such as a second dog or livestock are hurt or killed by a dog. The best way to determine if an incident is covered under Kentucky law is to contact a Springfield dog bite attorney.
Kentucky dog bite laws are even stricter than most because they do not provide immediate exemptions for the owner if someone is injured after provoking a dog or trespassing on a piece of property. These kinds of exemptions exist in other states and offer an easy out to defendants.
However, Kentucky does practice a concept called comparative negligence. This concept may hold the person injured by the dog at least partly responsible if they somehow provoked or exacerbated the attack. The damages they are ultimately awarded will be reduced by the percentage of their personal responsibility.
For example, a small child goes into a neighbor’s yard and begins playing roughly with a chained-up dog. The dog goes on to injure the child, leading to a personal injury suit. The jury awards $10,000 in damages but determines that the child was 30 percent responsible for the accident. As a result of comparative negligence, the amount actually paid out totals $7,000.
Talk to a Dog Bite Attorney Today
A dog bite can have painful and long lasting consequences. The dog may be forgiven, but the person who cares for that dog should be held responsible. Contact a Springfield dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to begin your case.