What should I do if someone’s animal bites me or my pet?
As an experienced accident attorney in Kentucky, I’ve handled numerous cases where an innocent person or their pet has suffered due to a dog bite or other animal attack. Understanding your rights and the law in such situations is essential to protecting yourself and securing any potential compensation.
Understanding Dog Owner Liability Insurance
When a dog or other pet causes injury, the pet owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance usually covers the associated costs. Such policies often include liability coverage for incidents like dog bites, providing for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages. This coverage is the first line of compensation for victims of dog bites.
Civil Liability For Dog Bite Injuries
Under Kentucky state law, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their pets. This means the dog owner is responsible for damages, regardless of whether the dog has bitten someone before or whether the owner was aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. If a dog bites you or your pet in Louisville or anywhere in Kentucky, you have the right to pursue a civil claim for damages.
Criminal Liability for Dog Bite Injuries
While criminal liability for dog bites is less common, it can occur if the dog owner knowingly allows a dangerous or aggressive dog to run free, leading to an attack. Kentucky statutes define a dangerous dog as one that, without provocation, has inflicted severe injury on a person or has killed a domestic animal.
Kentucky State Dog Bite Laws and Louisville Laws
Kentucky dog bite law (KRS 258.235(4)) clearly states that dog owners are responsible for all damages resulting from a dog attack. Louisville, as part of Jefferson County, adheres to the same statewide regulations but has additional local ordinances in place, such as leash laws and requirements for owners of dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs.
Kentucky Dog Bite Statute of Limitations
If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Kentucky, you have one year from the date of the bite to file a lawsuit (Kentucky Revised Statutes section 413.140(1)(a)). Missing this deadline could result in the loss of your right to compensation, making it crucial to act promptly.
Legal Actions Against a Dog Owner for a Bite
After a dog bite, you can pursue a civil lawsuit against the owner for damages. Compensation may cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In certain cases, where the owner’s negligence was egregious or intentional, punitive damages may also be awarded.
Consulting a Dog Bite Lawyer After a Dog Bite
Engaging an experienced dog bite lawyer is important after a dog bite. They can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal system, and advocate for your best interests. A lawyer can ensure that the statute of limitations doesn’t expire on your claim, compile supporting evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
In conclusion, Kentucky law affords victims of dog bites several avenues for seeking compensation. If you or your pet have been bitten by a dog, remember to act promptly, ensure that all injuries are treated appropriately, and consult with a skilled dog bite attorney.