Helping Victims Secure Fair Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. seeks medical attention for a dog bite. Most of these victims are children, who often sustain injuries on their faces. Dog bites can cause severe bruising, cuts, broken bones, and crush injuries, and may put a victim at risk of experiencing scarring or infection.
Fortunately, there are laws in place that protect dog bite victims and grant them the opportunity to seek financial compensation for medical bills and other losses caused by an attack. Ashcraft & Gerel represents victims of dog attacks in these matters, holding negligent dog owners accountable and pursuing fair monetary damage that can help our clients begin to put their lives back together. Our Rockville dog bite injury attorneys are here to assist you.
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Strict Liability vs. Negligence
In Maryland, the owner of a dog may be liable (legally responsible) for any harm inflicted by a dog that is running at large. The owner will not be considered liable, however, if the victim was trespassing, provoked the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime at the time of the attack.
There are two ways in which a dog owner may be liable for an attack:
- A dog owner may be held strictly liable, meaning specific negligence need not be proven, if the dog bit someone or showed aggressive tendencies in the past, under what is generally known as the “one bite rule.”
- A dog owner may be liable if it is proven that he or she was negligent in handling or keeping the dog, such as violating leash laws or failing to fence in a yard properly.
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Civil Penalties for Dog Bites in Rockville, MD
Because there is no specific law that allows for civil penalties in Maryland dog bite cases, victims must seek compensation under the common law of negligence. This is done by proving:
- The owner had aduty to take reasonable measures to protect the victim from harm.
- The owner acted or failed to act, and this resulted in a breach of this duty.
- The owner’s breach of duty was the proximatecause of the victim’s injuries.
- The victim suffered damages, quantifiable harm, as a result of the attack.
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Recovering Fair Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
If successful, a dog bite claim may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from:
- Lacerations and contusions
- Broken bones
- Amputation/loss of limb
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Brain or spinal cord injuries caused by a fall during an attack
- Emotional trauma related to the attack or resulting injuries/scarring
In Maryland, you have three years from the date of a dog bite injury to come forward with a case. A failure to come forward within that timeframe may interfere with one’s right to seek compensation.
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Call Our Rockville Dog Bite Lawyers
The prospect of coming forward with a dog bite claim may seem daunting, but Ashcraft & Gerel is here to guide you and protect your interests. With our extensive experience in personal injury law and dog bite claims, we can pursue the maximum compensation you need – and deserve.