Were you attacked or bitten by a dog in Lafayette, Louisiana? The dog’s owner may be financially responsible for your medical bills, lost income, and emotional trauma. However, you’ll need evidence to prove your case and get the compensation you deserve.
An experienced Lafayette dog bite lawyer at Kenny Habetz Injury Law is here to help. With over a decade of experience and millions recovered for our clients, we have the knowledge and resources to handle the toughest personal injury claims.
To learn more about your legal options after experiencing a dog attack in Lafayette, LA, reach out to our law office. We offer a free consultation to discuss your injuries and determine the best path forward, Contact us at (337) 399-9000 or contact us online.
How Can Kenny Habetz Injury Law Help After a Dog Attack in Lafayette, LA?
Many dog attack victims are unsure how to pursue compensation for their damages. What should you do first? What evidence do you need? What if the dog’s owner claims that you provoked the attack?
It’s even more challenging to address these questions when you’re suffering from painful injuries and stressing over expenses. The legal team at Kenny Habetz Injury Law will take on your legal battle while you focus on healing.
Hiring our Lafayette personal injury lawyer to handle your dog bite case means you’ll have an advocate to:
- Listen to your story and explain the available sources of compensation, including an insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit
- Investigate the dog attack and gather evidence proving the elements of your claim
- Evaluate whether there have been past complaints about the dog’s behavior, such as unprovoked aggression
- Protect you against unfair accusations that you share fault for causing your injuries
- Negotiate with the dog owner, insurance company, or other involved parties for a fair settlement
- Fight for you in court if we do not reach a favorable agreement
We’ll ensure that you understand the legal process and keep you informed throughout your case. Contact us for a free initial consultation to learn more and get the help you need.
How Common Are Dog Bites in Louisiana?
Approximately 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs annually, with over 800,000 seeking medical attention for their wounds.
Unfortunately, many victims of dog bites are children, who often don’t respect an animal’s boundaries or recognize when they’re startled.
Louisiana’s Dog Bite Law – Who Is Liable for Dog Bite Injuries?
Lafayette dog owners can be held financially responsible for the damages caused by their animals, whether their dog bites someone, knocks someone down, or otherwise injures another person.
Louisiana law holds owners strictly liable if the plaintiff (dog bite victim) can prove the following:
- The owner could’ve prevented the injuries or damage caused by their dog; and
- The victim didn’t provoke the dog.
However, the statute also allows animal attack victims to bring a cause of action based on negligence if they can prove the following elements:
- The owner knew or should’ve known that their dog would cause an injury;
- The owner could’ve prevented the injuries if they had exercised reasonable care; and
- The owner failed to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to the victim.
For example, if the canine has been classified as a “dangerous dog,” the owner has a duty to adequately restrain or confine the dog. If they fail to do so (for example, they violate local leash laws) and the dog bites or injures you, they’ll likely be liable for your damages.
Dog bite victims in Lafayette can usually recover compensation from the dog owner’s renters insurance, homeowners insurance, or through a personal injury claim. A Lafayette personal injury attorney from Kenny Habetz Injury Law will identify the potential sources of compensation in your case.
How Much Is My Lafayette Dog Bite Claim Worth?
The value of your Lafayette dog bite case will depend on several considerations, as all animal attack victims are unique and suffer different types of injuries. For example, if a large dog attacks a child or older person, they’ll likely suffer more severe injuries than others.
Accordingly, we’ll examine multiple factors to value your dog attack case, including:
- The types of injuries the victim sustained and their severity
- The impact of the injuries on the victim’s quality of life and ability to earn a living
- The healthcare expenses, lost income, and out-of-pocket costs incurred
- The level of psychological damage, pain, and suffering resulting from the attack
- Whether the victim shares any blame for their dog bite injuries
- The available insurance coverage and limits
- Whether the victim has suffered any permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disabilities
Dog-related injury claims can be costly. The Insurance Information Institute reported that the national average amount paid out for dog bites in 2021 was over $49,000. However, your case may be worth more or less, depending on the circumstances.
What Compensation Is Available To Dog Bite Victims in Lafayette, Louisiana?
Lafayette dog bite victims can seek compensation for the monetary losses they’ve incurred (economic damages) and their personal losses (non-economic damages).
Economic damages after a dog attack could include:
- Medical expenses, such as an ER visit, wound treatment, and ongoing care
- Future medical treatment, such as pain management or scar treatment
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel expenses to and from your healthcare facility
- Lost wages and benefits
- Diminished earning potential if the victim can’t return to work in the same capacity
Non-economic damages after a dog attack could include:
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- PTSD or anxiety
We’ll help you identify and calculate the full range of losses you or your child have experienced.
Common Injuries Suffered After Dog Attacks
Dog attacks can cause different types of injuries, depending on whether the dog bit the victim, jumped on them, or tripped them. The injuries also significantly depend on the victim’s size, age, and health.
Some common dog attack injuries include but are not limited to:
- Puncture wounds, lacerations, abrasions, and bruises
- Infections caused by bites
- Fractured and broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ injuries and bleeding
- Soft tissue injuries
- Injuries to the face, eyes, and ears
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Head trauma and brain injuries
Contact our personal injury law firm in Lafayette to discuss your injuries and how they’ve affected your life. We’ll work to prove your damages and get you the compensation you need.
Can I Recover Compensation If I’m Blamed for My Louisiana Dog Bite Injuries?
One of the most common defenses raised in a Louisiana dog bite case is that the victim somehow provoked the animal. If the defendant successfully proves these allegations, the amount of compensation you can recover will be affected.
Louisiana operates under a pure comparative fault law. Under this principle, your compensation is reduced in proportion to your allocated fault. For example, if the court assigns you 50% of the blame for a dog attack, you’ll only be entitled to 50% of your awarded compensation.
It’s essential to get the help of an experienced Lafayette dog bite attorney if you’re being blamed for contributing to your injuries. We’ll protect you and ensure that the defendant doesn’t take advantage of you by offering less than you deserve.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in Louisiana?
You typically have one year from the date of the dog bite to file a claim against the owner or another liable party. If the dog attack resulted in the death of your loved one, you must file a wrongful death case within one year of their date of death (which may differ from the date of the attack).
Louisiana’s statute of limitations doesn’t allow victims much time to take legal action. It’s essential to contact a dog bite attorney in Lafayette as soon as possible to preserve your rights and build a strong case against the at-fault individual.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Dog Bite Attorney in Lafayette Parish?
Most dog bite lawyers throughout Louisiana work under a contingency fee agreement. You won’t owe any fees upfront when you enter into an attorney-client relationship, and you’ll only pay your lawyer if they obtain a favorable result in your dog bite case.
The amount your dog attack lawyer charges will depend on several factors, such as the complexity of your claim, how long it takes to resolve, and whether it goes to trial. However, most contingency fees range from 33 to 40%. We’ll ensure that you understand our fees and what to expect.
Contact a Lafayette Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Case Assessment
If you’re suffering from injuries after a dog attack in Lafayette, LA, you may be able to hold the owner responsible for your economic and non-economic damages. An experienced attorney at Kenny Habetz Injury Law can help.
Contact our personal injury law firm to speak with a dog bite lawyer in Lafayette. We’ll explain your rights, review your options, and help you pursue a fair financial recovery. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so there’s no risk in reaching out to us for help after a dog attack.
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