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Dog Bite Injuries: Do You Have a Case?

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. October 30, 2014

Getting bitten by a dog is never a particularly pleasant experience.

But not every dog bit incident will necessarily make for a successful dog bite injury lawsuit. From the extent of any possible injuries, to the circumstances surrounding the incident, there are many factors that a personal injury attorney will use in determining the potential merits of a lawsuit.

What makes for a good dog bite injury claim? Here are a few questions that you will likely be asked:

  • How serious were your injuries? The degree of your injuries may determine the amount of your potential recovery in a dog bite case. In addition to physical injuries, you may also be able to recover for lost wages and emotional distress caused by the incident.
  • Do you know who owns the dog? Any legal claim must be brought against the dog's owner. If you were bitten by a stray dog or a dog whose owner can't be found, you may not be able to bring a lawsuit.
  • Where did the incident occur? The laws for dog bite injury suits vary by state. In states with strict liability dog bite laws, you may only have to prove that you were bitten by a dog owned by another person without provocation.
  • Does the dog have vicious propensities? In states that don't have strict liability dog bite laws, you may have to prove that the animal had "vicious propensities" and that the owner knew or should have known that the animal was predisposed to bite.
  • Were you bitten while at work? If you were bitten by a dog while performing your job duties, in addition to a lawsuit against the owner you may also be eligible for worker's compensation.

Timothy E. Zerillo has been included in every edition of New England Super Lawyers since 2010, for his Super Lawyers page, go to http://www.superlawyers.com/maine/lawyer/Timothy-E-Zerillo/ab011be9-fc96-44e9-ad28-3956da48c1b4.html

Timothy E. Zerillo has a 10 out of 10 rating from AVVO.com - for his ratings page, go to http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/04112-me-timothy-zerillo-1844626.html

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