Not every dog on the street is an attack dog. That doesn’t mean that a dog won’t bite if it feels unsafe, though. Many dogs suffering from histories of abuse or genetic dispositions toward fear can act irrationally around humans they don’t recognize. Unfortunately, this can result in an unintended injury for anyone who happens to get too close to an unsettled dog.
Should you come into contact with an out-of-control dog and endure related injuries, you have legal options. You can contact a dog bite attorney in West Valley City and discuss how a civil complaint might help you win the compensation you need to pay your post-bite bills. 1Law can connect you with the attorneys who can best represent your interests in these cases.
There are stipulations that influence what kind of legal action you can take against a dog owner after a dog bite accident. According to the “scienter” doctrine practiced in Utah – also known as the “one bite rule” – victims of dog bites can take legal action against an owner if the dog in question has:
You may also be entitled to legal action if the dog’s owner knew about their violent disposition ahead of time. More specifically, Utah Code Ann. § 18-1-1 notes that dog bite victims do not need to provide evidence of a dog’s mischievous or vicious nature if they want to take action after a bite. Instead, dog owners always hold liability for their dog’s actions.
There are exceptions to this rule, however. Police officers and their dogs may not face civil charges when acting in tandem to catch someone suspected of a crime. Similarly, dog owners are not liable for injuries that their dog inflicts on another dog so long as the violent encounter occurs on the dog owner’s fenced property.
Because your need for evidence varies from dog bite accident to dog bite accident, building a dog bite claim is a highly individualized process. Before you try and begin a claim on your own, it’s best to meet with a dog bite attorney in West Valley City, UT, to discuss what information your complaint should actually include.
In most dog bite cases, you will need to name the party you want to hold liable for your losses. You should also elaborate on the extent of your injury and the cost of treating it. If you endured pain and suffering and/or emotional distress, our team can apply a non-economic multiplier to the cost of your treatments and calculate your total possible compensation.
Dog bite complaints serve three purposes. They inform your local civil court that you believe someone’s done you wrong. The name that person – and in this case, their dog. Finally, they allow you to pursue compensation that meets or exceeds the economic value of your losses.
What should you expect from your dog bite accident complaint, then? You won’t receive a pay-out immediately upon submission. Instead, dog bite complaints allow you to begin the civil process. If a court approves your complaint, you’ll have the grounds to summon the party you named in said complaint forward for either settlement negotiations or a trial.
That said, you have the ability to “customize” your legal experience. If you’d prefer to keep your dog bite case out of court, you can work with an attorney to arrange out-of-court settlement negotiations. You can even pursue these negotiations while in the midst of a traditional trial. A dog bite attorney in West Valley City can work with you to custom-fit your case.
One of the distinct benefits of filing a dog bite complaint is the opportunity for you and your loved ones to pursue compensation for your accident losses. You can use a complaint to both detail the extent of your losses and defend your request for financial support. With that in mind, make sure you have evidence of your losses on hand when you go to file your complaint.
What losses, though, tend to appear in dog bite complaints? Most of the time, you can request that the party liable for your accident help you pay for your:
You can explore other possible avenues for compensation alongside an attorney.
To take action against a dog owner, you must submit your dog bite complaint within Utah’s personal injury statute of limitations. This statute of limitations is designed to keep cases moving through West Valley City’s civil courts.
According to Utah Code § 78-12-2, you may file a civil complaint regarding a dog bite injury within four years of the day that you’re bitten by the dog in question. If you’re not able to get your complaint submitted within this deadline, you risk losing the chance to pursue compensation for your losses.
No one wants to blame a dog for an accident. There are times, though, when mistreatment, poor training, and bad behavior can transform humanity’s best friend into an active danger. If you’re recovering from a dog bite, you have the right to take legal action against that dog’s owner. What’s more, 1Law’s West Valley City, UT, dog bite attorneys can help.
You can schedule a case consultation with our team to learn more about what a civil dog bite case looks like. Contact us today by phone or online, and we can get ready to go to work for you.