Experienced Maryland Lawyer Seeks Recovery for Victims of Dog Bites
Injury attorney provides skilled representation in the Rockville area when animals attack
Dog bites can occur without warning, causing severe physical and emotional damage. These attacks might even create a risk of disease or infection. Maryland used to go by the “one free bite” rule, which meant that owners were only responsible if the dog had bitten someone previously or displayed a propensity toward dangerous behavior. However, in 2014, the legislature passed a new law imposing limited strict liability. Now, victims have an easier time proving their case because once a dog attacks, the law presumes its owner knew, or should have known about their pet’s dangerous propensities. Law Office of Christopher J. Smith in Rockville treats dog bite cases seriously. If you have been injured, we are prepared to fight for fair compensation.
Knowledgeable adviser handles all kinds of cases involving harm caused by pets
Each year, about 35 Americans die from dog attacks. A majority of these deadly incidents involved pit bulls. Other dogs involved in fatal attacks included rottweilers, boxers, American cattle dogs, and German shepherds. Small children are especially vulnerable, because they are curious, haven’t learned how to behave around dogs and might be unable to escape or fight back when attacked. Children aged two and younger account for roughly 20 percent of dog bite fatalities.
Types of dog bite injuries
Common injuries associated with dog attacks include:
- Punctures of the skin, veins and arteries
- Torn muscles and ligaments
- Crush injuries
- Nerve damage
Large dogs can also injure bystanders by knocking them down, causing a variety of physical problems, including broken bones, compacted vertebrae and concussions. A dog attack is a traumatic event which can also trigger psychological symptoms, such as night terrors and agoraphobia. Whether physical or psychological, the harm from a dog attack can be severe and long-lasting.
What to do after a dog attack
The primary consideration in the wake of a dog attack is your personal safety. You should immediately seek medical care for your injuries. However, if you’re able, you should try to identify the dog and its owner. Cellphone photographs can be invaluable. If you are attacked by a stray dog, you should alert animal control and provide a description.
Determine advocate works to hold pet owners accountable As mentioned above, Maryland law holds owners responsible for unprovoked animal attacks even if the pet has shown no prior viciousness. In these cases, a defendant’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance often covers liability. Owners might bring one or more defenses to avoid liability. They may claim the victim provoked the animal or was trespassing at the time of the attack. Because injury claims can be complex, you should seek assistance from a knowledgeable attorney.
Law firm seeks full compensation for the harm caused by dog bites
For many years, my practice has helped clients obtain financial relief in personal injury and wrongful death claims triggered by dog bites. Depending on the specific circumstances of your injury, I can help you pursue:
- Reimbursement for past and future medical expenses
- Compensation for lost wages
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Payment for other expenses associated with the injury
I understand how overwhelming it can be to recover from the harm of a serious dog bite. I advocate for a resolution that addresses each aspect of that harm. When a pet owner's negligence results in your injury, I seek the maximum possible relief under the law.
Contact a Maryland personal injury attorney for a free consultation about your dog bite case
The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith, LLC assists victims of animal attacks in Maryland and the DC Metro area. Call 301-760-7460 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located at 17 West Jefferson Street, just off I-275, but we can come to your home or hospital if necessary.