Experienced Dog Bite Injury Attorneys in St George, Utah

At Swenson & Shelley Law, our St. George personal injury lawyers know that Utah residents are more than just dog owners; most are dog lovers. According to the latest statistics, 36.2% of Utah residents own dogs. With just over 3.4 million people calling Utah home, that is approximately 1.2 million dogs.

Last year, an article in The Salt Lake City Tribune was headlined, “Utah dog owners are more likely to save their dogs’ lives than any other state.” The article focuses on Utah dog owners moving forward with life-saving veterinary procedures despite the significant expenditure associated with them.

Unfortunately, not all are the well-behaved animals their owners believe them to be, which means they can lash out unprovoked, biting guests, visitors, neighbors, and even children, causing severe injuries that require extensive medical care.

The American Veterinary Medical Association states about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, most of them children.

Around 1 in 5 dog bite victims — or 885,000 people per year — require medical attention, with the face, neck, and head the leading body parts affected in about two-thirds of dog bites. In a typical year, plastic surgeons perform around 30,000 reconstructive procedures on dog bite victims.

These startling statistics often lead to an important question. Who will pay for the damages associated with dog bites in Utah? Our Washington County dog, bite injury lawyers, have answers and can help provide the legal guidance you need today during a free consultation.

St. George Dog Bite Laws

What are Utah’s Dog Bite Laws?

Utah has a strict liability law for dog bites, which means that dog owners are automatically liable for injuries caused by their dogs. This law applies even if the dog has never bitten before, is well-trained, or is scared.

Who is Liable for the Damages Resulting from Dog Bites in Utah?

Since the dog’s owner is strictly liable for the dog bite and its resulting injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and scarring and disfigurement, the victim would pursue their property insurance coverage for their complete damages. This may include homeowners’, renters’, or liability insurance carried by property and business owners.

This is important because dog bite injuries can lead to substantial expenses that the victim should not be responsible for paying out of pocket. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost per dog bite injury claim increased 31.7% last year to $64,555 from $49,025 the previous year.

The average price per claim nationally has risen 131.7% in the past decade due to increased medical costs, and the size of settlements, judgments, and jury awards given to plaintiffs is trending upwards.

If you have been bitten by a dog in Utah and are unsure how to proceed with an insurance claim, we can help. Contact our St. George dog bite attorneys today to discuss your claim during a free consultation.

What Can I Do If the Utah Dog Owner is a Family Member or Close Friend?

Nearly 75% of all dog bites in the United States are caused by a dog the victim knows. This means dogs owned by a friend, family member, or neighbor are often the ones causing harm. This makes pursuing the person challenging since you do not want to damage your relationship by filing a claim against them.

This is where our St. George dog bite attorneys can help. Our personal injury lawyers in Washington County remove our Utah clients from the claim equation, so they are not involved. This means we will pursue the dog owner’s insurance coverage directly, allowing the parties to keep their personal relationship. At the same time, we enforce our Utah dog bite liability laws with the insurer and negotiate a settlement on our client’s behalf.

Nearly 95% of all personal injury claims in the United States are resolved during negotiations. Swenson & Shelley’s skilled St. George dog bite attorneys will pursue the best outcome for your unique claim during negotiations so you and the dog’s owner can put this incident behind you.

What Happens If a Utah Dog Attack Results in Death?

Fatal dog attacks are statistically uncommon in Utah, but they do happen. Just last year, a 63-year-old Taylorsville, UT, woman succumbed to her dog bite injuries a week after being attacked by pit bulls.

More often, it is children or aging individuals who are unable to survive an attack because of their size, weight, and ability to get away from the attacking dog. No matter the scenario, these cases are tragic and often end with the dog(s) being euthanized.

Like non-fatal dog bites, under Utah law, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs, including fatal injuries resulting from dog attacks. As a result, the dog owner could be held financially responsible for the damages resulting from the death, regardless of whether they were aware of their dog’s dangerous propensities.

The surviving family members of the deceased may choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the dog owner or any other party deemed responsible for the attack. A wrongful death claim allows surviving family members to seek compensation for various damages, including funeral and burial expenses, medical bills related to the victim’s final injuries, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.

We can help you understand your rights and eligibility to file a wrongful death claim during a free consultation.

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Contact Our Skilled Dog Bite Injury Attorneys in St. George, Utah for Help Today

If you have been bitten by a dog or tragically lost a loved one to a dog attack in Utah, call our experienced personal injury lawyers in St. George at Swenson & Shelley Law today at (435)-228-7647 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation where you can learn immediately whether your claim is eligible to move forward with legal action.

We do not charge any fees upfront for our services. Instead, you pay us only if we secure payment for you. That makes getting legal help accessible and allows you to focus on your recovery. Contact us now to learn more.