What Happens When I Get Bitten By A Dog In Louisiana?
Millions of people suffer bites by dogs annually in the US. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 800,000 people a year receive medical attention for dog bites. In 2019 alone, the average cost of a dog bite claim in Louisiana was $39,654.
Additionally, almost half of those bitten are children. However, most dog attacks and bites are easily preventable. Our New Orleans dog bite attorney wants you to be familiar with the laws regarding dog bites in the Big Easy.
Who Do Dogs Bite More?
Evidence shows that children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog, as they are generally less aware of potential dangers. When children receive injuries, their injuries can be more severe than adults. Among adults, men are more likely than women to be bitten by a dog.
Additionally, over half of dog bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar to us. Also, the odds of being bitten increases with more dogs living in an area. For instance, households with two or more dogs create five times the danger of dog bites.
In Louisiana, specific laws apply to dog bites and other injuries caused by dogs. At Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, we are well versed in these laws. We will make it a priority to help you understand everything that a dog bite injury can entail.
Louisiana Dog Bite Statute
Concerning dog bites, Louisiana is one of many states that have adopted a strict liability statute which places greater liability on the owner of animals and offers more protection and compensation for victims of Louisiana dog attacks. This law outlines specific rules to follow in cases concerning dog bites.
Section 2321 of the Louisiana Civil Code covers Louisiana’s dog bite statute. The defendant (the owner of the dog) is held liable when certain events occur. This law states that the owner of a dog or other animal is liable for damages if:
- The owner had prior knowledge (or should have known) that the animal’s behavior would cause damage,
- Reasonable care could have prevented the damage,
- The owner did not take reasonable care to prevent the damage, and
- No provocation of the animal from the injured party happened.
Louisiana’s statute covers both injuries caused by animal bites and injuries from other animal behavior.
For instance, suppose a child is playing in their backyard when a neighbor’s dog jumps the fence, knocks them down, and causes injuries. The parent’s of the child may seek damages under Louisiana’s dog bite statute, despite the fact that the injury was not caused by a bite.
Similarly, a person who is trampled by a horse or is severely scratched by a cat or rabbit may seek damages from the owner of the animal, whether or not the animal bit the person.
Statute of Limitations on Louisiana Dog Bite Cases
As with any personal injury, like those from car accidents, cases of dog bites are subject to a time limit, also called a statute of limitations, for filing their claims. When a dog (or animal) causes injury, the injured person has exactly one year from the date of the incident to start legal action, specifically bringing it to court. If the case isn’t filed within one year of the injury, the court will almost certainly dismiss the case as being time-barred.
Furthermore, Louisiana’s statute is unusual among the dog bite laws in the United States because it is only based in negligence law. In order to win damages in a Louisiana dog-related injury case, the bitten party must show the owner had failed to take reasonable care to prevent a foreseeable injury, failed to prevent an injury, and that the failure to take reasonable care actually caused the scenario for an injury. How someone proves, in court, the scenarios depends on the facts of each case. With Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, we will help you determine if you have a viable case.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips
Whether you are a dog owner looking to avoid time in court or simply someone that wants to avoid becoming a chew toy, taking steps towards prevention is in the best interests of all. Especially since animal attacks, particularly dog bites, are preventable for the most part.
The first and best step towards preventing dog bites is to ensure that you and your family are knowledgeable about how to, or even if you should, approach a dog. Since dogs lack the ability to speak words, canines communicate almost exclusively through body language and cues. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to educate yourself and your children on how to interpret dog body language.
Additionally, dogs are animals which means that it’s not always possible to predict what they are thinking. However, you can learn what clues to watch for to alert you to an uncomfortable, stressed, or threatened canine.
It is also good to note that even though you can learn how to approach a dog, it is equally as important to know when to avoid interacting with a dog. You and your family should avoid interacting with a dog if the dog:
- Doesn’t appear to have an owner in the immediate area or the owner hasn’t granted permission to pet the dog.
- Is currently eating, sleeping, or playing
- Appears to be injured or in pain.
- Growls upon your approach.
- Has recently given birth to puppies or appears as so.
Dog Bite – What Should You Do Right After
After a dog bite injury, it is important that you do the following:
- Check injuries of anyone bit and seek/call for medical assistance immediately.
- Contact the local authorities.
- Exchange and collect information. Get the dog owner’s contact information, any witnesses’ contact information, and take photographs. (The more pictures, the better.)
- Contact a personal injury lawyer at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys.
Get a New Orleans Dog Bite Attorney on Your Side
At Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, we have a New Orleans dog bite attorney waiting to help you through your case. We have the experience and knowledge to ensure that we handle your Louisiana dog bite case properly. Our team will pursue the maximum compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, reconstructive surgery, pain and suffering, and more.
In fact, we are your 24/7 injury attorneys! There’s no risk to calling us as our fees are contingent upon the success of your case. Also, there are no up-front fees or out-of-pocket costs as you pay nothing unless we win your case.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.