Altoona Dog Bite Lawyer | Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Altoona, Iowa
Animal attacks are usually catastrophic events that result in physical, as well as emotional trauma. The aftermath of a dog bite is not at all pleasant as they are often extremely painful, require extensive medical care, and leave behind ugly scarring and disfigurement.
Often, one will see that in many dog bite cases, renters and homeowners will have an insurance policy in place for the dog and can provide coverage for the injuries caused by that dog should there be an attack.
Dog bite victims, therefore, may have significant recourse in seeking compensation for their losses. Thus, anyone who has fallen victim to a dog attack and has sustained serious injuries as a result, should consult with an Altoona dog bite lawyer to discuss their available legal options.
Tom Fowler Law is an experienced personal injury lawyer firm that can assess a victim's unfortunate situation and provide them with the most effective course of action for their personal injury case.
Common Injuries That Result from Dog Bites
Often, dog bites will require some sort of medical treatment, some dog bites may even be so severe that they require reconstructive surgery, and concerning the nature of a reconstruction after a dog bite, victims may need multiple surgeries over a period of time. These types of surgeries and medical treatments are invasive, making recovery a painful process for the dog bite victim.
What's more, is that scarring and disfigurement can also result if the victim suffered from deep wounds after being attacked. A deep dog bite injury may cause nerve damage, resulting in a drastic impairment to the movement and functioning of some parts of the body.
Dog bite injuries are also prone to infection, causing further complications and lengthening the recovery process. Common dog bite injuries are namely:
Bruising and puncture wounds
Nerve damage and broken bones
Eye and face injuries
Scars and disfigurement
Altoona Dog Bite Claims - Type of Personal Injury Lawsuit
Under Iowa law, a personal injury plaintiff can seek compensation if they can prove that the dog's owner acted negligently. To give an example, if an Altoona dog bite lawyer can prove that the owner of the dog failed to follow the animal control laws put in place for dog owners, then they may be held liable for the attack.
Negligent actions that show a dog owner did not follow animal control laws are listed below:
The owner failed to keep their dog on a leash.
They failed to warn others that they had a dangerous dog, knowing that their dog was dangerous.
They did not attempt to restrain or keep their dog away from others while knowing that their dog may bite without provocation.
Plaintiffs in dog bite cases must be able to show that the dog owner knew or had knowledge prior to the dog bite that the dog may cause harm to others due to aggressive behavior seen in the past.
While injured individuals do not need to prove that the dangerous dog bit someone previously, any evidence of the dog displaying unprovoked aggression prior to their dog bite can support their personal injury claim for damages. Those wanting to seek fair compensation can seek the help of an Altoona dog bite lawyer.
Recovering Damages for a Dog Bite Injury
If a victim of a dog bite, with the help of their Des Moines dog bite attorneys, is able to prove that the defendant showed negligence in regard to handling their dog, then the plaintiff may recover damages. Monetary damages include lost wages, medical expenses, and also compensation for any pain and suffering.
The Legal Obligations of Dog Owners in Altoona, Iowa
Under state law, dogs can be classified as "dangerous dogs" if the following elements are proven:
The dog has done either of the following - inflicted severe injury on private or public property without provocation, has seriously injured or killed another domestic animal outside of the owner's property without provocation, has attacked a human without provocation, or was used to carry out a crime.
Has either or both of the following - a propensity to attack, without provocation, humans or animals, or has a history of attacking other domestic animals or humans without provocation.
The keeper or owner of the dog is the defendant.
Once a dog qualifies as a dangerous dog, the owner of the dog will need to meet certain statutory requirements, such as:
Presenting evidence of an enclosure where the dangerous dog is confined and having a warning sign that clearly warns others that there is a dangerous dog on the property.
Having the dog permanently identified by implanting a microchip.
Paying restitution to the victims of an attack if ordered by the court.
Spaying or neutering the dangerous dog, and
Obtaining an insurance policy or surety bond with a minimum of $50,000 in liability limits.
The aforementioned requirements will also apply to the new owner of the dangerous dog should the animal be sold to someone else.
The Role of Comparative Negligence in Dog Bite Cases
While Altoona dog owners may be found liable to pay the medical expenses of the victim their pet attacked, they may be able to avoid liability through comparative fault for any other additional damages.
If the defendant is able to prove that the plaintiff is partially to blame for the animal attack, then the court may either reduce the compensation recoverable by the plaintiff or prevent them from recovering anything altogether.
However, for the plaintiff to be considered partially responsible, they will have needed to have actively provoked the dog into attacking them or have been trespassing on the owner's property.
The Deadline for Filing a Dog Bite Claim
Since a dog bite claim falls under personal injury cases, the same deadline applies to a dog bite case as it would to any other civil case. Therefore, anyone seeking financial recovery for a dog bite injury as a result of an owner's negligence will have two years from the date of the attack to file suit.
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Call Altoona Dog Bite Lawyers for Legal Representation
All too often, there are instances of dog attacks that result in catastrophic injuries, which may necessitate the need for the victim to hire a good dog bite lawyer. If an individual is suffering from injuries resulting from a dog bite caused by a negligent owner, then they should contact Tom Fowler Law Firm immediately at (515) 203-8434. From here, they will discuss their case with experienced lawyers during a free consultation where they will give counsel and guidance.