Animal attacks are frightening events that can cause severe injuries and lasting emotional trauma. When an animal causes harm to another person, their owner may be held legally responsible.
If you or a family member have been bitten by a dog or suffered non-bite injuries in a domestic animal attack, a skilled injury lawyer could help you claim damages from the animal’s owner. Take appropriate action and get the compensation you deserve with the help of a Portland dog bite lawyer.
Dogs Can Cause Severe Injuries
Many people suffer minor dog bites at some point in their lives, often when playing with their own pet. While these injuries may seem minor, dogs can also inflict severe harm, especially when they feel threatened or protective. An animal attack can result in disfiguring injuries to the face, extremities, and other body parts. Dog attacks can also seriously harm one’s mental health, causing someone to develop a debilitating fear and even PTSD.
People who suffer injuries from dog attacks may seek financial compensation for their losses with the help of a Portland attorney. Their damages could include all medical care for their physical and emotional injuries, lost income, and compensation for their pain, suffering, and other intangible effects of the attack.
Holding Owners Liable for Animal Attacks
Maine Revised Statutes §3955 holds an owner liable for animal attacks that are not provoked by the victim. The statute covers dog bites and any other injuries a person may suffer from a domestic animal.
Pet owners can be held strictly liable for animal attacks that do not occur on their property. The exception to this is if a victim is primarily at fault for the incident occurring. Both the state and the city of Portland have leash laws, so if the dog was running loose outside its owner’s property or not under its owner’s control, it would be difficult for an owner to prove a victim had primary responsibility for the attack.
When animal attacks occur on a pet owner’s property, the claimant must prove the owner’s negligence led to the attack. A Portland dog bite attorney could present evidence showing the owner failed to warn that the dog was aggressive, mistreated or mishandled the animal, or engaged in conduct that made an attack possible. Failing to restrain an attacking animal also could be considered evidence of negligence.
Steps to Preserve Your Rights After an Animal Attack
Keeping a clear head during an animal attack can be challenging. The critical first step is to get the victim immediate medical attention. Even if visible damage is minor, a check by a medical professional could uncover injuries that are not immediately apparent. It is also important to locate the animal’s owners and take down their information. Making a prompt report of the incident to animal control and the police can help protect your right to compensation in the long run.
It is crucial to call a local injury lawyer as soon as possible after a dog bite. A Portland animal attack attorney could contact the owner’s insurance company and begin negotiations to reach a fair settlement to compensate for the injuries. Starting the process as quickly as possible after the attack ensures that relevant evidence is available, and witnesses’ memories are fresh.
Reach Out to a Portland Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in an animal attack, you may need time to heal. In addition to your physical injuries, dog bites and other encounters with aggressive animals could lead to persistent psychological trauma.
While you focus on recovering, a Portland dog bite lawyer could gather evidence and pursue the responsible parties to hold them accountable. An experienced legal professional could help you pursue the fair and prompt compensation you need to make things right. Call today to get started.