We all know the adage that dogs are a man’s best friend, and in most cases, we can live in harmony with our furry friends, safe in the knowledge that they can protect our property, provide company, and become beloved family members.
It is always important to remember, however, that dogs are animals and subject to the changes, whims, and unpredictability of all creatures. Whether a dog bite comes totally out of the blue or is something you have been fearing, it can be frightening and come with severe consequences. Knowing your rights is a vital part of helping you achieve justice and ensure that you receive the treatment and outcome you deserve. In case you have been bitten by a dog contact our Salt Lake City Personal Injury Attorney.
What Damage Can Be Incurred from a Dog Bite?
Dogs are powerful animals, and even small creatures have the potential to do tremendous damage with their jaws. Victims may suffer injuries including:
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of limbs
- Damage to muscles and ligaments
- Permanent disability or impairment of body parts
- Damage to eyesight or loss of vision
Dogs can attack quickly and without warning, leaving their victims with little or no chance to defend themselves.
Who is Responsible if I am Bitten?
Utah law says that if a dog escapes from their home or yard and causes injuries to another party, the dog owners are strictly liable. This means that they are held responsible for the actions of their dog – even if there is no prior history of violence or aggression from the animal.
The law states that:
“Every person owning or keeping a dog shall be liable in damages for injury committed by such dog, and it shall not be necessary in any action brought therefor to allege or prove that such dog was of a vicious or mischievous disposition, or that the owner or keeper thereof knew that it was vicious or mischievous.”
Essentially, this means that one bite or injury is all you need – the dog does not need to have a prior record or any previous incidents. Also, any injury will count – the damage does not necessarily have to be a physical bite.
Once you have proven that the owner is liable, you will be in a position to pursue damages and compensation. This financial assistance can be invaluable in helping to cover the cost of medical treatment. For dog bites, this can be extensive and may include reconstructive or plastic surgery, or surgery to reduce visible scars and scar tissue. Any loss of earnings can also be compensated – including both at the time of the injury and any future loss of earnings or reduced earning capacity. Damages and compensation can also be used to help cover any lasting emotional and psychological distress suffered by the victim as a result of the incident.