Dog Bite Lawyers

When dogs bite or attack people, they can cause serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. Some victims may need multiple surgeries to repair fractures and deep gashes. After the wounds heal, victims may continue to suffer from mental trauma.

If you suffered a dog bite injury due to the owner’s negligence, you might be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. These cases are complicated, so you should seek a knowledgeable attorney who can manage your case and protect your best interests.

At Galloway Jefcoat, we have extensive knowledge of dog bite laws in Louisiana. We have been representing injured victims for more than 25 years and have a history of securing favorable results for our clients.

Founding partner, John Jefcoat, is a Lafayette Parish native and a National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 member. Our experienced Louisiana dog bite attorneys are prepared to discuss your legal options.

Turning Wrong Into Right. Call today for a free consultation at (337) 984 8020.

What Steps Should I Take After a Louisiana Dog Bite?

After a dog bite incident, many victims may feel frantic and unsure of what to do. The first step is to get away from the dog to lower the risk of further injury. Your second priority is to get medical treatment for your injuries.

While you are at the scene, you may be able to gather information to help your lawyer build a claim. For example, you may be able to find the owner and exchange information. You may also be able to get a picture of the dog.

However, gathering information at the scene is not entirely necessary, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible to stabilize your injuries. Some dogs may carry infectious illnesses like rabies. A doctor can treat your injuries and run tests to determine if there are any diseases that could have a lasting impact to your health.

Dog bite victims in Louisiana should report the incident to animal control. This helps to create an official record of the attack and could also help prevent the dog from attacking others in the future. Animal control can also tell you if the dog has bitten anyone before.

Once your injuries have been stabilized, you may want to write down what you remember about the incident. You could also record a video on your smartphone. You would be amazed at how quickly injured victims can forget important details about what happened.

Our Louisiana dog bite lawyers can tell you what else you can do to help build a case. While you are not required to seek legal help, those who do often secure more compensation than those who do not.

Why Should I Seek Legal Help After a Dog Bite Injury?

By pursuing legal actions, you can help prevent other incidents from occurring. Your case can be used as evidence to determine if a dog needs to be classified as a dangerous dog.

Dog bite laws are complex. An experienced attorney can assist you in seeking the compensation that you need to recover mentally and physically.

What Is Considered a Dangerous Dog in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, a dangerous dog is one that:

  • Was involved in two separate incidents within a 36-month period that caused a person to engage in defensive action to prevent injury. These incidents must have been unprovoked and must have happened off the property of the owner.
  • Bit someone and causes an injury, assuming the dog was not provoked.
  • Killed, seriously bit, or injured a domestic animal off the property of the dog owner twice within the past 36 months.

Louisiana Title 14 section 102-6 also states that dogs employed for fighting are considered dangerous, vicious, and a threat to public health.

When Can Dog Owners in Louisiana Be Held Liable For Bites?

In Louisiana, dog owners can be held strictly liable for damages for injury to people or property caused by their dogs, if the owner could have prevented the attack and the attack was not provoked. Owners need to take steps to prevent an attack if the dog presents an unreasonable risk of harm.

For example, a dangerous dog presents an unreasonable risk of harm. Owners should take extra precautions to prevent the dog from leaving the property, such as putting up a sign that says “Beware of Dog” or installing a fence around the property.

Owners should also keep a dangerous dog on a leash if they go off the property with the dog.

Even if a dog has not been declared dangerous, owners who are aware of their dog’s excessive aggression should take additional steps to prevent the dog from harming other people while off the property.

If the victim provoked the animal, the owner may have partial liability or may not be liable at all. Here are some actions that can provoke a dog into reacting in an aggressive manner:

  • Pulling on a dog’s tail
  • Yanking at a dog’s ear
  • Throwing an object, such as a rock at a dog
  • Startling the animal

How Much Could My Dog Bite Injury Case Be Worth?

Dog bite settlements can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the owner’s level of neglect. If a dog owner is held liable for a dog bite incident, he or she may be obligated to cover expenses for medical treatment, loss wages, pain and suffering, and more.

At Galloway Jefcoat, our goal is to secure full compensation for all your damages, including ongoing medical costs. We want you to have the compensation you need to make the best recovery possible. We are also committed to holding negligent parties accountable for their failure to protect others from injury.

Although some injuries are not reversible, recovering compensation can be an important step in the recovery process.

What Are the Most Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries?

The most common types of dog bite injuries are those that cause scarring, puncture wounds, and cuts. Some physical injuries could be permanent, and in some rare cases, dog bites can lead to death.

Dog bites can potentially break your skin, leading to bruising and scarring. The severity of a dog bite can be classified in levels:

  • Level one: No skin contact by teeth
  • Level two: Skin contact made but no punctures
  • Level three: One puncture from a single bite (usually from pulling the dog or victim away)
  • Level four: A deep puncture from a single bite (dog could have held or shaken a victim’s body part)
  • Level five: Multiple bites at a level three an up
  • Level six: Victim death

Some dog bites can cause muscle and nerve damage. Bites to the face and neck can cause serious damage, especially if the dog bite ruptures a major blood vessel.

One thing to watch for after a dog bite is signs of infection, which can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Oozing from the wound
  • Redness that expands out from the wound
  • Fever
  • Red streaks coming from the wound
  • Losing use of an arm or leg

Dig bites often cause an infection with Pasteurella bacteria. This bacteria can cause a local infection, but sometimes it can cause severe swelling and pain in your joints.

However, the most dangerous infections from dog bites are rabies and tetanus.

What Are the Signs of PTSD After a Dog Bite?

No matter how a dog bite incident occurs, it can be a traumatic experience that leaves lasting emotional scars. Some victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder, which can result in:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Flashbacks
  • Avoiding everything that triggers memories of the incident, such as other dogs
  • Mood swings (anxiety or depression)
  • Lack of interest in hobbies
  • Becoming easily startled or frightened
  • Having difficulty staying focused

Psychologically recovering from a dog bite can take months or years depending on the individual. Seeking emotional support from family, friends, or a mental health professional can be vital.

Our lawyers want to help you get the compensation you need to get all the medical care you need. Our goal is to help you get your life back after this traumatic incident.

How To Handle a Dog Bite Case With a Family Member

If you are hesitating about seeking legal help for a dog bite incident involving a family member, it is best to remember that your case will involve the insurance company and your lawyer. In most cases, dog owners have homeowners’ insurance or renter’s insurance, and they are not paying for compensation out of their pockets.

Contact a Louisiana Dog Bite Attorney After a Dog Bite

Trying to handle your dog bite injury case without legal help may leave you without the full compensation you need. At Galloway Jefcoat, we have been representing clients for decades. During that time, we have recovered millions in compensation for their damages.

We have representatives available to take your call 24/7. You can visit our firm if you would like to speak to one of our lawyers in person. We are located approximately 15 minutes away from Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center.

Our firm does not charge upfront fees to determine if you have a case. We also do not charge upfront costs while we work on your case and only get paid after you receive compensation.

Galloway Jefcoat. Turning Wrong Into Right. Call our firm today: 337-984-8020.