Dogs have earned the title of “man’s best friend,” but there can also be a negative side to owning or interacting with dogs. Unfortunately, some dogs have vicious tendencies and have a propensity for attacking innocent victims.
And even if a dog doesn’t have that tendency normally, under certain circumstances, almost any dog can bite someone. If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a dog attack, consult with Platte River Injury Law.
Dog Bite Liability in Wyoming
Every state has different laws regarding dog bites. Many states operate under strict liability.
This means that if a dog bites you, its owner is held liable for your injuries regardless of whether that animal has a history of biting people. Wyoming, on the other hand, has no “laws” regarding dog bites.
Instead, Wyoming dog bite cases are handled under common law. Wyoming operates under the “one bite rule.” Under the one-bite rule, a dog’s owner is held liable for their dog’s actions if:
- The dog was the case of your injuries; and
- You can prove the owner knew or should reasonably have known their dog was dangerous.
Victims can use proof that the dog has previously bitten someone or acted viciously. Other evidence can also be used to satisfy these elements of a dog bite case.
The one-bite rule often presents a challenge for dog bite victims. Therefore, it is wise to seek the help of a dog bite attorney.
While the one bite rule can present an obstacle, negligence law may apply. For a dog owner to be found negligent, the victim must prove:
- The owner owed the victim a duty of care to restrain the dog;
- The owner breached this duty; and
- That this breach resulted in the victim’s injuries.
Depending on where the dog bite incident occurred, the dog’s owner may have had a clear duty to keep the dog on a leash. If they failed to keep the dog restrained, the victim may be able to file a dog bite lawsuit.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can range in severity and may result in serious injury. Some of the most common dog bite injuries include:
- Cuts and lacerations;
- Puncture wounds;
- Broken bones;
- Head and neck injuries, and
- Nerve damage.
In the most serious cases, injuries may result in permanent scarring. You must seek medical care as soon as possible after a dog bite incident to avoid further complications.
What to Do Immediately Following a Dog Bite Incident
The actions you take after a dog bite can have an impact on your case.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Right after the dog attack, be sure to get medical treatment. Whether you call emergency services, visit an ER, or go see your primary care physician, you must have a healthcare provider examine the site of the dog bite.
When left untreated, some dog bites can worsen and become infected. If you allow this to happen, the owner may claim that your own negligence led to the worsening of your injury.
If possible, start gathering evidence right away. This can include:
- Photos and video;
- Details about the dog; and
- Witness information.
If the dog’s owner or caretaker is around, talk to them and make them aware of the situation. They may be able to provide important information about the dog that can affect your injuries and treatment. If the dog does not appear to have an owner, call the police or animal control.
Discuss Your Case with a Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bite cases can be tricky to handle. As soon as you are ready, contact a dog bite lawyer in Wyoming. Your attorney will ask questions, review the details of your case, and help you determine what your next steps should be. A lawyer can give you a chance at seeking the recovery you need after a dog bite.
There is Limited Time to File Your Lawsuit
If you decide you’d like to pursue your dog bite lawsuit, it is important to note there is a limited amount of time to do so. Statutes of limitations impose a time restriction on your ability to file a claim.
In Wyoming, the statute of limitations for dog bite cases is four years from the date of the incident. If you fail to file your lawsuit within four years, you are unlikely to be able to recover any compensation for your injuries.
Let a Wyoming Dog Bite Lawyer Help You
Platte River Injury Law understands the difficulties that come with an unexpected injury. We offer clients the care and compassion they need during a trying time, while also providing the highest-quality legal representation.
Our firm’s founder, Jeremy Hugus, is a knowledgeable and experienced injury attorney who goes the extra mile for his clients. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.