Even though dogs are often friendly companions, they are still unpredictable by nature. Even “man’s best friend” can sometimes do serious damage. Dog attacks and bites can cause serious physical harm and mental distress.
Injuries from animal attacks can come with high medical costs and other expenses. Under Nebraska law, dog owners are legally responsible for their dog’s actions. If you or someone from your family suffered a dog bite, you could sue the owner for damages.
How much you could get in a settlement for a dog bite depends on several aspects unique to your case. Without a personal injury attorney, it would be hard to get the deserving compensation. But our Grand Island dog bite attorneys at Berry Law can help.
Understanding Nebraska Dog Bite Laws
Nebraska Revised Statute § 54-601 says that dog owners in the state are legally responsible for any damage their dog causes. Unlike the “one-bite rule” in some places, Nebraska’s law doesn’t require proof of a dog’s previous aggressive behavior to file a claim for damages caused by an attack.
But if the person attacked by the dog was trespassing on the owner’s property at the time, the person would have to prove that the dog had attacked another person or animal before.
Claims for damages could be dismissed if it can be proven that the person who was hurt provoked the dog to bite them. But the dog’s owner has to prove that the victim did something to make the dog attack. A landlord could be held responsible for an attack by a tenant’s dog if the landlord knew that the dog was aggressive.
Exceptions to Nebraska Dog Bite Laws
Nebraska’s dog bite law gives dog owners some protection if their pets hurt someone else while being playful. Because it’s hard to know what a dog thinks when it bites someone, this clause continues to confuse the law.
Suppose the victim was on private property without permission. In that case, the law might favor the dog’s owner and not hold them accountable for the attack. If a dog hurts a trespasser who entered the premises without permission, the trespasser has no legal way to get compensated for injuries.
People often say that the dog was just playing or that the victim was trespassing as a defense in dog bite cases. The dog’s owner and the insurance company will probably take one of these stances in response to your claim. To show that you were not trespassing and that these false claims, your dog bite injury lawyer must have a plan to show that the dog was dangerous.
How Much Is a Dog Bite Settlement Worth?
The specifics of each case will determine the size of the settlement and whether the case settles out of court or goes to trial. Get a legal assessment from a dog attack lawyer to know how much compensation could be awarded to you.
You may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses: Any hospital or medical bills you’ve incurred couildl be reimbursed as part of your compensation if you file a lawsuit.
- Loss of income: After a serious dog bite or attack, it might be hard for you to go about your daily life and do even the simplest tasks. If an accident has kept you from working, you may be able to collect money to make up for the money you lost.
- Pain and suffering: Dog bites can leave victims with mental scars that last a long time. After such an injury, it may be hard to return to your normal life after such an injury. If this is the case, you could get compensated for your suffering.
- Disability benefits: Animal instincts can quickly turn a friendly animal aggressive. If your injuries from the dog bite or attack have left you unable to work, your settlement may include disability compensation.
The true value of your case will depend on numerous factors, especially the severity of your injuries. Serious dog bite injuries to the face may even result in reconstructive surgery. Dog bite attacks on children which cause severe or permanent injuries might also result in an exceptionally high settlement value.
Your dog bite lawyer in Grand Island, NE, will calculate your losses to arrive at a fair settlement value.
Should You Accept an Insurance Settlement?
The insurance provider will assess the extent of the damage and provide you with a monetary value much lower than your injuries’ worth. Because they lack compassion, they might not fully comprehend how bad your injuries are and try to get you less compensation.
Your suffering is unique, and you deserve the right compensation that justifies your damage. Our dog bite lawyers serving Grand Island are compassionate and experienced in tackling personal injury lawsuits. You have the right to contact a lawyer for legal representation before agreeing to an insurance settlement.
Wrongful Death Claims in a Dog Bite Case
Dog attacks and bites seldom result in deaths, although they do occur on occasion. Children are more vulnerable to severe harm or even death in these situations. While dog bite injury lawsuits must be filed in Nebraska within four years of the date of the incident, there is a two-year deadline for filing wrongful death claims.
If the worst should happen and a dog kills your family member, our legal team can represent you in a wrongful death suit. These are the damages that may be covered in your case:
- Burial expenses
- Funeral costs
- Separation anxiety caused by a partner’s absence
- The cost of your loved one’s medical care in the months leading up to their death
- Reduced ability to support family’s financial needs
You may sue the dog’s owner in cases of personal harm or wrongful death caused by a dog attack. Most renter’s and homeowner’s insurance coverage will pay for damages caused by a dog’s owner. Therefore they will likely play a role in the legal proceedings.
Representation by Compassionate Dog Bite Injury Attorney in Grand Island, NE
Injuries sustained in a dog attack in Nebraska are covered under the state’s dog bite law, but it does not ensure financial compensation. Even if the insurance company makes a settlement offer, it may not be enough to pay your costs. Insurer claims adjusters and attorneys could discredit your claim and refuse to pay.
For this reason, if a dog has hurt you or a loved one, you should contact Berry Law Firm for legal representation today. A dog bite attorney will promptly launch an investigation and gather evidence to construct a strong claim on your behalf.