Dogs may be “man’s best friend,” but that doesn’t mean that they are always on their best behavior. As domesticated as dogs may be, they are still animals prone to unpredictable or violent acts, including biting, scratching or jumping on people. When that happens, serious injuries often result, and if the dog is particularly large, strong, or aggressive, those injuries could be fatal.
It is estimated that 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, resulting in thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of thousands of visits to emergency rooms. Lacerations, temporary or permanent disfigurement, infection and disease, and other injuries from dog bites or attacks lead to costly and painful reconstructive surgery, physical rehabilitation, and treatment of psychological trauma.
When someone is hurt or killed in a car accident, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. If someone is hurt or killed by a defective or dangerous product, they can file a products liability suit seeking compensation from the manufacturer. And if a dog attacks and injures someone, the victim can file suit and seek compensation from the dog’s owner under certain circumstances.
The Patrick Yancey Law Firm represents people who have been bitten or injured by dogs or other pets. We hold pet owners accountable if their negligence or other behavior allowed their dog to attack an innocent victim, and seek compensation for the injuries, pain, and damages their pet caused.
Louisiana law contains a statute that addresses dog bites and other injuries or damages caused by animals. But the statute establishes two different standards for liability, one which applies to all animals including dogs, and one which applies solely to dogs. An injured plaintiff can seek to hold a dog owner liable under either standard.
Specifically, Section 2321 of the Louisiana Civil Code provides that the owner of an animal is answerable for the damage caused by the animal if the injured person can show that:
- The owner knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that his animal’s behavior would cause damage;
- The damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care;
- The owner failed to exercise such reasonable care; and
- The victim did not provoke the animal.
The foregoing is a negligence standard, meaning that a victim of a dog’s behavior must prove that the animal’s owner failed to exercise reasonable care in preventing the attack.
However, dog owners can also be held responsible under a strict liability standard, meaning that they can be liable for injuries or damages their dog causes if:
- The injuries could have been prevented by the owner
- The injuries did not result from the injured person’s provocation of the dog
- The dog presented an unreasonable risk of harm.
Under either standard, obtaining compensation for dog bites and other injuries caused by animals requires attorneys who understand the law regarding animal attacks and have the courtroom skills to prove all requirements under that law.
At the Patrick Yancey Law Firm in Houma, we provide much-needed help for victims of dog bites or animal attacks. We work closely with our clients to hold dog owners responsible for their pet’s preventable actions and help dog bite victims to get the compensation and resources that can aid in their recovery.
To arrange for your free initial case evaluation to discuss your dog bite or animal attack claims, please call us today. We look forward to the privilege of serving you.