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Baton Rouge Dog Bite Attorney

Baton Rouge dog bite lawyerThe canine species has been called “man’s best friend” for good reason. Dogs bring joy to our lives and carry out many important tasks better than any human could. But dogs are also powerful animals. And when something goes wrong, a person can suffer severe injuries that require emergency medical treatment, reconstructive surgery, and perhaps years of healing and therapy.

If you, your child, or another family member was the victim of a dog bite injury, you may have legal standing to hold the canine’s owner liable through a dog bite claim.

Dog owners have a legal responsibility to keep others safe from an animal attack. If a negligent dog owner allowed such an attack to happen to a neighbor, friend, stranger, or child playing nearby, there are legal options to rectify the injustice suffered by the victim.

At the law firm of Bianca | Matkins, our Louisiana injury lawyers are experienced and compassionate advocates for injury victims. We devote an area of our practice to handling complex Baton Rouge dog bite cases. Call or complete our one-step online form to schedule a free consultation with a dog bite attorney from Bianca | Matkins.

What Should I Do After a Dog Bite Injury?

As the victim of a dog bite—or parent of a dog bite victim—there are steps you can take to protect yourself and preserve the integrity of your dog bite case.

Contact the Dog’s Owner

If you can identify the animal owner, notify them immediately of the attack. Take down their name and contact information and ask for a copy of the dog’s vaccination records. Make sure to get the dog owner’s homeowners insurance information, as dog bite claims are typically filed through this type of insurance policy.

Take Pictures

If possible, capture photos or video footage of the injuries, the dog, where the attack occurred, and any property damage or other evidence. Be sure to take pictures of fences, pens, enclosures, or leashes (or a lack of any restraint measures) that show where and how the dog was kept prior to the attack.

Seek Medical Attention

There are few dog bite injuries so minor that they do not warrant medical attention. Even a small scrape can quickly become infected and lead to a number of serious illnesses. If you do not go to the emergency room, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and notify them that you have been the victim of an animal bite.

Contact a Baton Rouge Dog Bite Lawyer

Just as it’s best to see a doctor for your physical injuries, it’s important to speak with a dog bite lawyer to determine the best course of action for financial recovery following a canine attack. The medical bills, lost wages, and other damages associated with a dog attack should be covered by the responsible party’s insurance carrier.

The injury lawyers from Bianca | Matkins can handle the legal matters of your personal injury claim and ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Our dog bite lawyers take no legal fees unless we win your case. We're ready to sit down with you for a free consultation. Contact us today to discuss your rights and options with a qualified legal advocate. Our ASL-fluent staff are equipped to represent clients from the Deaf community in filing dog bite claims.
Call us at 225-925-2877 or fill out this form.

Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite Injury in Louisiana?

Negligent dog owners can be held liable for damages caused by an attack. But determining a dog owner’s negligence in a Baton Rouge dog bite case can be complicated. Dog attack laws vary from state to state. While many states follow the “one bite rule” (meaning a dog gets a free pass if they’ve never bitten anyone before), Louisiana is a “strict liability” state.

Louisiana Dog Bite Laws

Baton Rouge and the rest of our state follows strict liability laws when it comes to dog bite injury claims. According to Louisiana state law, the owner of an animal is responsible for damage and personal injury caused by the animal as long as there was a failure to exercise reasonable care in foreseeing and preventing the attack.

Under this dog bite law, if you are attacked by an unprovoked dog while legally on a property, the dog owner may be held liable for the dog’s aggressive behavior. However, if there was no way the owner could have anticipated or prevented the attack, even with reasonable care, the victim will likely not have legal grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if the animal was provoked or the victim was trespassing, the injured party may not be entitled to file for financial compensation.

Dog owners have a responsibility to:

  • License the dog with animal control
  • Fit the dog with a collar and license tags (except hunting, stock, and show dogs)
  • Control dogs inside a fence or on a leash no more than six feet in length
  • Within 24 hours, report any Baton Rouge dog bite to the police or animal control officers at the Animal Control & Rescue Center

There are also specific requirements for owners of what are considered “dangerous dogs.” If the owner of a dangerous dog violates any of these requirements, they may be held legally responsible for any resulting harm to others.

How Louisiana State Law Defines a Dangerous Dog

In Baton Rouge, it is illegal for anyone to own a dangerous dog without properly restraining or confining the dog. This includes keeping the dog indoors or in a fenced yard or other enclosure while on the owner’s property, and securely leashing or confining the dog whenever it is off the owner’s property. Signs with the words “Beware of Dog” or “Dangerous Dog” must also be posted near the animal’s enclosure.

Louisiana state law RS 14:102.14 defines a dangerous dog as one which:

  • Has twice tried to attack another person, unprovoked, in the past 36 months, or
  • Has ever bitten a person to the point of injury, unprovoked, or
  • Has twice in the past 36 months killed, seriously bitten, injured, or in any way caused injury to any other animals outside of the owner’s property, unprovoked

Do I Need an Attorney After a Dog Attack?

Dog attack cases are complicated, time consuming, and can be costly to litigate. You have no legal duty to hire an attorney. But working with an experienced legal representative will benefit you in several ways. A Baton Rouge dog bite lawyer from Bianca | Matkins can:

  • Interpret and apply the laws relevant to your case
  • File your claim within the statute of limitations
  • Communicate with the insurance company for you
  • Gather evidence to support your claim
  • Prepare paperwork and documentation accurately
  • Take care of legal matters while you recover
  • Communicate with you at every step
  • Provide understanding emotional support during a difficult period

Remember, in Louisiana, you only have one year from the date of the attack to take legal action. Considering how long it takes to build a strong claim, this is a short period of time. Getting in touch with an experienced attorney right away will give you the best chance of getting fair compensation for the losses you’ve suffered.

Serious Injuries Resulting From Dog Bites

A dog attack can result in severe injuries, infection, physical and emotional trauma, disease, and even wrongful death in severe cases, especially those involving children.

Some of the most common injuries seen in dog bite cases include:

  • Facial disfigurement
  • Permanent scarring
  • Loss of sight after eye damage
  • Torn muscles and tissue
  • Ruptured blood vessels
  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Loss of fingers or hands
  • Infections and diseases like rabies
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other forms of mental trauma

These and other injuries can create overwhelming medical expenses. A Baton Rouge dog bite lawyer can help you recover these expenses through a legal claim.

Who Is Most Vulnerable to a Dog Attack?

A pediatric dog bite study published in 2019 in the Injury Prevention journal found that young children were more likely than other groups to require urgent trauma care for dog bite injuries. A fatality was common in many of these instances, and researchers even concluded that dog bites were a significant source of morbidity for children.

Female children aged 6 to 12 faced a particularly high risk of canine attack (34% of cases), although infants and toddlers aged 0-2 suffered dog attacks at nearly the same level of frequency (30%). Many of these dog attacks targeted the child’s face and neck.

Almost 39% of U.S. households own a dog—that’s roughly 48,255,413 households with one or more dogs. Because most children are attacked by dogs they know, it’s imperative that your child learns early on how to be safe around animals.

Protecting Children From Dog Bites

Whether or not you are a dog owner, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your children from dog bites:

  • Educate your children on how to safely interact with animals
  • Learn and teach your children the signs of aggression in dogs
  • Socialize your dog from a young age
  • Follow all leash laws
  • Never approach a strange dog
  • Do not leave young children alone with dogs

Dog Bite Facts and Statistics

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) has provided the following facts and statistics about dog attacks in the United States:

  • Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year
  • Over 800,000 people each year receive medical treatment for a canine attack
  • Roughly one in five injuries caused by a dog bite requires professional medical care
  • Children are the most common victims of dog bites
  • Most child victims are attacked by dogs they know or live with
  • Dog breeds do not determine likelihood to attack—it is factors such as temperament, behavior, ownership, training, and individual history that can make for a potentially dangerous dog

Justice for Dog Bite Victims in Baton Rouge

Our dog bite lawyers believe strongly that both animals and humans deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion, and fairness. We know that many of the dogs who attack are simply reacting from a place of fear and insecurity.

It’s the duty of every pet owner to make sure their animal has safe, stable relationships with those around them. And if their animal harms another person, it’s their legal duty to bear financial responsibility for the damages caused.

A dog bite attorney from Bianca | Matkins is ready to guide you through the legal process of recovery with understanding and expertise. Contact our Baton Rouge law office for a free case evaluation.

Free Case Review

Call us or fill out the form below to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation where we’ll hear your story and help you understand your legal options, advising you on what steps you can take next. If we can help with the next steps required, we will be happy to do so.

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