Utah Dog Bite Lawyers
The experienced Utah dog bite lawyers at Swenson & Shelley can help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries. In the United States, so many people consider dogs as a man’s best friend. When a dog bites you, it’s likely that you won’t share that sentiment. Odds are you didn’t walk away with a little impact bruise from the dog bite. When a vicious animal attacks you, there is a lot of damage they can do and if you are a victim of this, you deserve compensation for what happened to you. We are here to guide you through every step of your dog bite case. Please call our Utah dog bite lawyer today to set up a free consultation.
How to Get Full Compensation
When you ask for compensation, you may be hesitant to bring a dog bite claim. There is a common misconception about these cases. It’s likely that you were at someone’s house that you know when you were attacked by their dog. What you should know is that you are not really going to be bringing your dog bite claim against your friend. You are bringing the claim against their insurance company.
In Utah, there is a shared fault rule that you we follow. What that means is that if you are 50% or more at fault, you will be barred from getting compensation. If you are less than 50%, your compensation will be reduced by what percent you are found to be at fault for. Our job is to make sure you get the most compensation possible.
Utah Dog Laws
In Utah, there are specific rules in place that require dog owners to act responsibly to protect others. When these rules are not followed, the owners can and should be penalized for acting irresponsibly with their dog.
Properly Restraining Dogs
Owners are required to always have restrained control of their animals. When at home, pets should be in a fenced-in area, on a secure lead, or in the house. Pets should never be allowed to roam around, especially if they are not supervised. Most dog bites occur when a dog is unrestrained, so it is important for all owners to adhere to dog restraint laws.
Veterinary Care Laws for Dogs
All dogs in the state of Utah must be up to date on vaccinations and have regular vet care. The most important vaccine for a dog to have in case of a bite is the rabies vaccine. This is because rabies can be transferred from dogs to humans and can be deadly if not treated in time. If a dog bites and the owner cannot provide proof that the dog has current vaccinations, serious legal action can be taken.
Stopping a Dog Attack
If a dog is attacking a person or other animal, the victim has every right to stop the dog from attacking. It is within the victim’s legal rights to use every force necessary, including injuring or killing the dog, to stop the attack. The owners of the aggressing dog have no legal standing to seek action against anyone who hurts or kills their dog in the effort to stop an attack.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
As mentioned, these dog attacks can result in vicious outcomes. Your health is the most important thing after an incident. The possible types of dog bite injuries include:
- Nerve, tendon, and tissue damage
- Cuts and lacerations
- Fear of dogs
It is possible that these injuries are more than physical. Fear of dogs would be considered a damage, especially in children who were attacked. It would change their life forever if they had a permanent fear of dogs. Considering there is a dog in so many peoples’ homes, that would be a huge deal.
Avoiding Insurance Adjusters
Be warned that the insurance company for the dog owner is not your friend. They have a job to do and that involves reducing the amount of compensation they owe you or eliminating your claim altogether. Very soon after the attack, the insurance adjuster will reach out to you and ask you for a statement that will be recorded. You should never give them one as to avoid getting blamed for the incident. Instead, tell them that your lawyer will take over all communication.
Types of Dog Bite Claims
There are two different ways to handle dog bite cases in the court of law. The way the case will be handled varies greatly depending on the individual situation. No matter which of the two types of claims are being pursued, victims will have the best chance of acting against the dog’s owner by having a talented attorney in their corner.
If the victim can prove that the owner intentionally meant for their dog to attack, the victim would have a case for intentional tort. This includes owners “siccing” their dog on someone else or using their dog for the specific purpose of inflicting injury on another. While these cases are rare, they are taken very seriously and should be tried to the fullest extent.
The best route to take is to claim strict liability. This does not require proof that the dog has bitten before or is dangerous. Under strict liability, there are no second chances. The victim of the dog bite is owed compensation from the owners of the dog.
What to Do After You Are Bit
There are several extremely important things that you need to take into consideration after you have been bit by a dog. The top priority is your well-being. Do not delay getting to a doctor as there may be a chance of infection. You also run the risk of having any of your injuries get worse if you do not see a doctor in a timely manner. You may not need to get on an ambulance or go to the emergency room, but you should be planning on at least heading to an urgent care or getting in with your primary physician right away.
What is also important at the scene of the incident is to collect as much evidence as possible to ensure you have a strong case. Having the police come get record makes everything more certain, so that is a good idea to have them come and file a report. You can also do your own evidence collection. That can be photos and videos of the scene and the surrounding area. Perhaps you can take a photo of a broken gate that the dog got out of. You should also ask the owner of the dog or whoever is handling the animal if it is up to date on its vaccinations.
Frequently Asked Dog Bite Questions
Do I have a valid dog bite claim?
People often wonder, after they’ve been bitten by a dog, whether or not they have a case in the state of Utah. The laws on dog bites vary from state to state, and some states allow dog owners “one free bite” before they’re held responsible for any subsequent bites. That’s not the case in the state of Utah. In Utah, dog owners are responsible for every bite, including the first bite. If you have been bitten by a dog, we recommend that you seek the medical care that you need and document any of the damages with pictures and video. We recommend that you hire an attorney that’s experienced in dog bites and that is a trial attorney that is willing to take a dog bite case to a jury verdict.
How do I choose the best attorney for my dog bite claim?
If you’ve been bitten or injured by a dog, you may be looking for an attorney. You need somebody who has experience in dealing with the dog bite statute and successfully handling those cases. You need somebody who does that on a regular basis and focuses on personal injury, including dog bites. The third thing you’re going to want is a trial attorney. If you’re preparing the case, you should prepare it right from the beginning as if you were going to go to trial, increase the settlement value, and let an insurance company know that if you have to, you’re willing to go to trial, and that you know what you’re doing.
Should I give a recorded statement to an insurance company?
If you’ve been bit by a dog in the state of Utah, you’ll almost certainly get a call from the homeowner’s insurance company wanting to take your recorded statement. I recommend that you not do that. What they want to do is get the information that helps their case, and hurts your case, and they will use it against you. Instead, I would contact an attorney, talk to them about it, and then get the attorney involved before making a recorded statement.
Is anyone else besides the dog owner responsible?
In the state of Utah, if you’re bitten by a dog, it comes under a dog bite statute and the person who is in charge of that dog at the time of the bite can be responsible. You need to look at who has control of the dog, or should have had control of the dog, and they could be a party to any claim for a dog bite in the state of Utah.
Will my insurance cover a dog bite injury?
I speak with a lot of people who come in and have been bitten by dogs, and they want to know if a homeowner’s policy really covers the damages caused by a dog bite. Some homeowner’s policies will exclude certain breeds of dogs that are known as dangerous breeds. If you were bit by a dog that is one of those breeds, the homeowner’s policy has the opportunity to not cover and not pay the damages. There are a number of other possible exclusions, as well, that an experienced dog bite attorney can help you understand.
What if the dog owner doesn’t have insurance?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog and the owner of that dog doesn’t have insurance, you still have a claim against the owner of the dog. We recommend that first you seek any medical care that you need to heal from the injuries. Then we recommend talking with a dog bite injury attorney that can help you understand what possible avenues of compensation there could be in your particular case.
How much is my dog bite injury case worth?
People ask me regularly, “What’s the value of a case for somebody who’s been bitten by a dog?” That’s a very tough question, initially, to answer. If somebody calls and says, “I was just bitten by a dog,” It’s hard to know the value of a case initially. Part of the reason is that a dog bite is unique in that it usually creates a lot of scarring. If the scarring is on the face or arm, it changes things. It also depends on the medical treatment that’s received and how well that works, and how long you’re going to have to deal with that, and what the limitations are going to be from the dog bite. In this area, if you’ve been bitten by a dog and want to talk about the value of the case and some of those issues, it’s a good idea to call an experienced personal injury attorney.
Call Our Utah Dog Bite Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
When you or a loved one is bit by a dog, do not hesitate to give our office a call. Our experienced Utah dog bite lawyer will be there for you to guide you through your injury claim and help you get the fullest and fairest amount of compensation. You deserve to be fully reimbursed for all of the damages this incident has cost you. Remember, you are not bringing a claim against the person who owns the dog. If they are your friend, don’t feel guilty about pursuing this claim. Their insurance is going to be compensated you for the hurt you have had to endure. You owe it to yourself to seek what is fair and just. Please call our office today to set up a free initial consultation and see what your next steps should be. We are happy to take your call and get the ball rolling for you.