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New Orleans Dog Bite Claim FAQs

Posted in Dog Bites on December 18, 2019

A Snarling Dog

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every five dog bite survivors will receive medical attention for dog bites. Dog bites can cause severe injuries, disability, and even disfigurement.

Dog bite cases in New Orleans fall specifically under Louisiana’s dog bite statutes found in Louisiana Civil Code § 2321. Dog bite cases can sometimes be overwhelming, especially while trying to recover from your injuries. Hiring a skilled New Orleans dog bite lawyer can help you receive payment for your damages. Read on to get answers to your most pressing legal questions about dog bites and then be sure to schedule a legal consultation.

How Long Do You Have to File a Dog Bite Case in New Orleans?

Dog bite lawsuits have the same statute of limitations that all other personal injury cases have in this state. The deadline for filing a claim is one year from the date of the injury. If your lawsuit is not filed within this given timeframe, it is almost guaranteed that it will be dismissed from court. It is imperative to your success that you connect with a dog bite attorney in New Orleans as soon as possible after your dog big to get your case started.

Is the Dog’s Owner Liable for the Damages They Cause?

In general, a dog’s owner is liable for the damages their dog caused to you when you suffered a dog bite. Dog bite laws in this state are unique in that they are entirely based on negligence laws, which apply to other personal injury cases such as car accidents are slip and fall cases. Under Louisiana Civil Code § 2321, dog owners are liable for the damages their dog causes if:

  • The owner knew or should have known the dog’s behavior would cause harm
  • The damage could have been prevented if the owner took reasonable care
  • The owner failed to take reasonable care to prevent the damage
  • The injured person did not provoke or tease the dog before the bite

Generally, to win damages in a dog bite case, the injured person or their dog bite lawyer in New Orleans will need to prove or have the evidence to prove that the dog’s owner did not take reasonable care to control or restrain their dog to prevent an injury. You must also show that their failure led to your injuries.

Do Dog Bite Laws Apply to Other Injuries or Animals?

Louisiana’s dog bite laws apply not only to dog bites but also to other injuries caused by animal behavior. For example, if you are gardening in your front yard, and the neighbor’s dog jumps up on you and knocks you down, you could seek recovery for your damages under the dog bite statutes. Other examples of when this law might apply include:

  • Being scratched by a cat
  • Being trampled by a horse

What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Dog Bite Case?

Lousiana dog bite victims can claim both economic and non-economic damages in a lawsuit. Economic damages refer to financial losses the injured individual suffers, such as property damage, lost wages, and medical expenses. Non-economic damages can be more challenging to prove due to their subjectivity. They might include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of function or disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish

Your New Orleans dog bite lawyer can help you determine which damages apply in your case and how much compensation is fair. Your damages will be taken into consideration during settlement negotiations or by a jury if your case goes to trial.

In some dog bite cases, plaintiffs can ask for punitive damages. Instead of compensating them for their losses like economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are awarded as a punishment so to speak by a judge or a jury to prevent future similar behavior from the defendant

Should You Hire a New Orleans Dog Bite Attorney?

You might be wondering if you should hire an attorney, handle your case on your own, or simply get medical attention and hope you recover. Unless you provoked the dog to bite, their owner likely owes you compensation for your damages under Louisiana’s civil laws.

Having a seasoned attorney on your side is essential as it not only helps reduce your stress during this time of uncertainty, but plaintiffs who hire an attorney generally receive more compensation for their damages.

Your attorney and their team can help by:

  • Gathering evidence in your case
  • Writing a demand letter
  • Attempting settlement negotiations
  • Tracking your medical bills and other expenses
  • Calculating your damages
  • Guiding you through your case, including taking steps to protect your legal rights
  • Determining what insurance policies can be used in your case

What Should You Do After Receiving a Dog Bite?

The most important thing you should do after sustaining a dog bite is to seek medical attention. Dog bites can lead to serious complications, including scarring and infections. The sooner you seek medical care, the better the chances of a positive outcome for your health and for your claim. You should also attempt to determine who the dog’s owner is and get the contact information for anyone who witnessed your injuries. Then you will want to reach out to an attorney to discuss your case so that it can be filed before the statute of limitations expires.

Call a Seasoned Dog Bite Attorney in New Orleans Today

After you are bitten by a dog, you need not only professional medical attention but also the services of a lawyer who understands how to apply Louisiana’s dog bite laws in your case. No matter how simple or complex your dog bite case is, we are here to help. We will address your questions and concerns compassionately and assist you in every step of the litigation process.

Schedule your dog bite or animal injury consultation today with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. Call (504) 500-5000 to reach the Law Office of John W. Redmann, L.L.C., or use our convenient online contact form.