Dog bite injuries and other animal attacks often result in serious harm to the victim, such as infection, facial scarring, torn ligaments, loss of limbs, loss of fingers or toes, and traumatic stress.
The long-term recovery of a victim is often affected by how soon he or she receives high-quality treatment and therapy. Our Omaha dog bite attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, understand the psychological and physical impact these bites can have on our clients.
Animals, no matter how domesticated, loyal and well-behaved, are ruled by instincts. Many have strong jaws and sharp teeth and can sometimes be unpredictable. This combination can result in serious personal injuries, emotional trauma, and even death.
Why You Need a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
The victim of a dog bite or animal attack often requires treatment for psychological problems, plastic surgery, physical therapy, and even rabies treatment.
The cost of medical bills, plastic surgery, psychological counseling for emotional damages and lost wages can be significant. The dog bite lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop regularly work with insurance companies to get the best results for our clients. Our team of lawyers devotes its maximum effort and time to those clients who have suffered serious injuries due to a dog or animal bite.
The Omaha attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop have been handling animal bite cases for more than 20 years. We will collect the necessary evidence to establish owner liability and will be with you every step of the way in your case.
We have provided legal guidance to many dog bite and animal attack victims. We have fought for the compensation our clients deserve to cover major expenses resulting from these injuries.
Why Dog Attacks Happen
While they are often referred to as “man’s best friend,” dogs are indeed animals with instincts, and if they feel threatened, they can cause tremendous harm. Nearly four and a half million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year. Of those four and a half million, one-fifth of them will end up requiring medical attention to treat their injuries.
Sadly, many dog bite victims are children under the age of thirteen. These children are more likely to be bitten by a dog because they are smaller in stature and they tend to be less aware of how to act properly around unfamiliar dogs. Many people are bitten by a dog are left wondering why it happened to them. According to dog behavior experts, the majority of dog bites occur because of one or more of the following reasons:
Someone Has Threatened the Dog’s Possessions
Dogs happen to be naturally possessive. They can be protective of things such as their toys, food, beds and their owners. These tendencies are especially common in guard dog and herding breeds. It is important to teach your children to avoid invading a dog’s space while it is eating, sleeping or playing with its toys. A harmless dog can quickly turn dangerous if it feels as though someone is threatening its possessions.
The Dog is Fearful
Many dogs are fearful when they encounter situations with strangers. It’s important that you never approach an unfamiliar dog and it’s important that you teach your children to do the same. A dog can bite out of fear when it is startled, so it is important to teach your children to never sneak up on a sleeping dog.
The Dog is in Pain
Some dogs have been known to bite because they are in pain or not feeling well. Biting is common when the dog is indicating that they want to be left completely alone. If you see an unfamiliar dog that is visibly in pain, you should avoid it and teach your children to do the same.
The Dog is Playing
Dogs also tend to bite while they are playing. Even though nipping can seem harmless here and there, dogs can get carried away, and nips can break the skin. It’s advisable for people (especially children) to avoid wrestling with a dog. Although these activities can be fun, one misstep or misinterpretation by the dog could lead to a bite.
Dogs can be triggered by runners and cyclists. Chase situations often happen in neighborhoods where dogs are left unleashed or unattended in the front yard. It is important for runners and cyclists always to remain aware of their surroundings. If you ever find yourself being chased by a dog:
- Stop immediately and stand still.
- Face the dog but do not look into its eyes as this can be seen as a challenge.
- If the dog knocks you to the ground or lunges at you, curl up and protect your face and neck. Try and remain still until the dog moves on.
Steps to Take After a Dog Attack
Nothing can adequately prepare you for being bitten by a dog. However, knowing what to do if it does happen can only benefit your well-being and also help your legal case moving forward. A dog bite can be detrimental to your health and finances if you do not take the following steps in the aftermath of your attack:
- You need to seek medical attention for your injuries. If you are losing blood, call emergency help immediately. Your health should be your number one priority. Dog bite puncture wounds can cause infection due to the bacteria present in the dog’s mouth. Also, stitches may be required if the wounds are serious enough. You may even need cosmetic surgeries to repair any significant damage.
- If your injuries do not prohibit you from doing so, attempt to find out which and whose animal bit you. Rabies is uncommon in most dogs nowadays, but you should always make sure that the animal in question is up to date on their vaccinations. Also, knowing what animal bit you will allow for easier determination of fault.
- Talk to and obtain the contact information of all present witnesses.
- Collect the contact and insurance information of the dog’s owner.
- After seeing the doctor, be sure to follow their orders. Take the medication that you are given as directed. Be sure to tell the doctor about all of the complications you may be having due to the attack as these claims can help your case for compensation.
- Do not discuss anything about the attack with the dog’s owner or any insurance representatives until you have first spoken with one of our experienced dog bite lawyers in Omaha.
Compensation for Dog Bite Victims
A victim of a dog bite in Nebraska is entitled to recover compensation for their injuries. Dog owners in Nebraska are liable for any and all damages to any victim of their dog except for trespassers. There is one limitation that exists in Nebraska for dog bites: if the bite was caused by accident through playfulness or mischievousness, the statute does not apply.
Nebraska follows a strict liability law governing dog bites which means that the victim of a dog bite would need to prove the following to receive compensation for their damages:
- The defendant owned the dog in question.
- The bite happened on public property or while the victim was lawfully present on the property of the owner.
No-Cost Initial Consultation with an Experienced Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
When you need an Omaha personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member or friend who has suffered serious physical and psychological trauma from a dog bite, contact us for a free initial consultation.
We will listen to your story, ask pertinent questions and give you an honest assessment of your case. If it merits legal action, we will represent you at no cost, collecting a fee only if you win your case. Our attorneys are zealous advocates for people who have been injured because of the negligence or carelessness of other individuals or organizations, and we will represent your best interests with passion and purpose.
Contact us for a free initial consultation. There will be no attorney fee unless your case succeeds.
For your convenience, we offer home, hospital, and nursing home visits. Our team of personal injury professionals at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop will provide you with the experience, strategy, and commitment that protect your rights and claims.