Dogs are commonly known as “man’s best friend” due to their friendly, gentle, loving, and loyal nature. However, it’s important to note that any dog has the potential to bite when provoked or in response to certain stimuli. Dog bites can occur when a dog feels scared, startled, unwell, playing, or protecting their food, toys, or owner(s)/house from perceived dangers.
Annually, over 4.5 million people in the United States experience dog bites, with approximately 800,000 (almost 1 in 5) requiring medical attention. Children make up half of the victims, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Dog bites can range from minor injuries to severe cases that necessitate hospitalization, surgery, or leave permanent scarring and disfigurement. Furthermore, many individuals who have suffered from dog attacks endure psychological trauma and develop an enduring fear of dogs.
Can I Take Legal Action for a Dog Bites?
If you have been bitten by a dog in Kentucky, you may be wondering about your legal options. Fortunately, Kentucky follows the legal doctrine of strict liability when it comes to dog bites, which means that dog owners can be held responsible for injuries caused by their pets.
Unlike in some other states, there is no “one bite rule” in Kentucky. This means that you don’t have to show that the owner failed to take reasonable measures to control their dog. Instead, you just need to demonstrate that you were bitten or attacked by the dog and that you suffered an injury as a result.
Sometimes, the dog involved in the incident belongs to a family member or a friend. For instance, you might have been visiting a friend’s house when their dog attacked you. In such situations, people may hesitate to pursue a lawsuit against someone they know, fearing that it could strain the relationship.
It’s important to note that when you file a dog bite lawsuit, you are generally not suing your friend or family member personally. Instead, you are seeking compensation from their insurance company. The insurance company will be responsible for paying any damages awarded, relieving your friend or family member from having to pay out of pocket.
If you have been bitten by a dog and have suffered an injury, it’s crucial to understand your rights and legal options. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate the process and seek the compensation you deserve from the appropriate insurance company.
Kentucky Dog Bite Laws
Kentucky has unique regulations when it comes to handling dog bite cases, setting it apart from many other states. Unlike other states, in Kentucky, you are not required to prove negligence or lack of proper control by the dog owner. Your main focus should be on providing evidence that the dog bit you and caused injuries.
Under the Kentucky statute governing dog bites, you have the right to seek compensation for any injuries caused by a dog, even if it didn’t physically bite you. For instance, if a dog jumped on you, causing you to fall and sustain a head injury, you still have grounds to claim compensation for the resulting damages.
Furthermore, Kentucky law allows you to seek compensation for damages to your property or injuries to your livestock caused by a dog. These provisions ensure that you have legal recourse in various dog-related incidents in the state of Kentucky.
Compensation for Dog Bites in Kentucky
When you pursue a dog bite claim in Kentucky, you are seeking compensation from the insurance company to aid in your recovery from the injuries sustained. The compensation you may be entitled to includes:
- Current and Future Medical Expenses: The compensation covers all medical costs associated with treating dog bite injuries, including ongoing treatments and rehabilitation.
- Lost Wages: If the injuries resulted in missed workdays, the compensation covers the wages lost during the recovery period.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: In cases where the injuries have long-lasting effects that impact your ability to work and earn a living, the compensation can account for the reduced earning capacity.
- Current and Future Pain and Suffering: Dog bite victims may receive compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress endured as a result of the incident, both in the present and anticipated in the future.
- Disfigurement: Dog bites can sometimes result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. Compensation may be awarded to address the physical and psychological impact of such disfigurement.
- Punitive Damages: In cases where the owner’s conduct is deemed extremely reckless, victims may be eligible for punitive damages. These damages serve as a form of punishment for the owner’s behavior rather than directly compensating the victim.
How Long Do You Have To File A Claim?
If you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog in Kentucky, you must file a personal injury claim within one year. Failure to meet this deadline, known as the statute of limitations, will likely result in no compensation. Speaking to an attorney immediately after the incident is crucial due to the statute of limitations. The attorney will gather evidence and prepare your case, taking into account Kentucky’s strict liability laws on dog bites. Remember, the sooner you consult a lawyer, the better your chances for a favorable outcome.
If a dog bite victim lacks legal representation, their insurance company will often provide them with a significantly lower settlement amount than they deserve. A skilled dog bite lawyer is familiar with gathering all pertinent evidence and negotiating fair compensation for the victim. In the majority of instances, approximately 96% of personal injury cases, including dog bites, are resolved through settlements, eliminating the need for a trial.
We’re Here to Assist You!
If you or your child have been a victim of a dog attack, don’t wait to seek treatment and representation. The attorneys at Kaiman & Crahan are here to support you. Give us a call at (502) 771-0741 or easily schedule a free consultation online.