by | Jul 19, 2016 | Lawyers

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Every year, thousands of animal bites occur, and dogs are responsible for many of these incidents. In most cases, the victim of an animal bite has the legal right to recover economic damages from the at-fault party. Read on to learn what should be done in the event of an animal attack.

If an Animal Bites

The first thing the victim should do is to get immediate medical attention. If the bite is not treated, it can cause injury, infection or death in some cases. Once the medical evaluation is complete, the person should consider calling an animal attack lawyer in Lockport, who will be able to determine whether there’s a legal claim with the potential for damages.

The attorney will ask for information on the event and its circumstances. At the very least, the victim should provide the animal owner’s contact information. If it’s not available, witnesses may be able to provide it; the victim should get the witnesses’ information as well.

Owner Liability

In determining responsibility for an attack, the first step is to find the animal’s owner. Some areas have strict liability laws on dog attacks, in which the owner is liable regardless of the measures taken to protect others. In other jurisdictions, owners may be held liable for injuries only if they knew of the animal’s tendency to attack.

Potential Defenses

There are certain cases in which an animal’s owner may not be held liable. For instance, if the owner provided adequate warnings of the risk and they took steps to keep the dog away from others, they may not be sued if someone ignored their warnings. Here, the victim’s behavior is known as risk assumption or contributory negligence. An animal’s owner and the law office of Steven R. Smith can use the provocation defense to avoid liability in some dog bite cases.

Getting Legal Help

If a dog or other animal bites someone, they may be eligible to recover economic damages for their injuries. Understanding one’s legal rights can be a complex process and one may not know who should be sued. To ensure fair compensation, one should visit the website at Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell, P.C.

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