The majority of dogs are docile family pets. They offer companionship and security. Often, they are considered part of the family.

In return, dog owners assume responsibility for ensuring that their animals do not cause injury or harm to others. When that doesn’t happen and a dog bites someone, the victim may be entitled to receive damages for his or her injuries.

Pikeville Lawyer Billy JohnsonBilly Johnson, the founder of the Johnson Law Firm, invites dog bite victims to discuss their set of circumstances with him. He is personally involved in every case and is committed to getting clients the compensation they deserve. He has been named a Super Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report as well as an American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 trial lawyer.

Since 1998, he has been helping victims and their families put their lives back together, and he is ready to help you. For a free consultation with a knowledgeable Eastern KY dog bite attorney, call toll-free at 606-433-0682 or fill out this contact form. You’ll quickly understand why the Johnson Law Firm is known as the “nicest place in town.”

Dog Attacks are Both Common and Serious

Regardless of its breed, size, or temperament, any dog is capable of biting. Even a seemingly friendly dog may become aggressive if put into a situation where it feels provoked, threatened, or scared. There are also some dogs who have not had regular, positive interaction with people and, therefore, may be more likely to behave in ways intended to protect themselves.

Unfortunately, dog bites occur more frequently than most people realize – an average of over 4 million every year, with about 900,000 serious enough to require medical treatment.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that almost 27,000 reconstructive procedures were performed in 2013 to repair injuries caused by dog bites. Statistics from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control show that in the period from 2003 to 2012, dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1-4, 9th for ages 5-9, and 10th for ages 10-14.

Compensable injuries often caused by dog bites include obvious bodily injuries such as lacerations, tears, and scars, as well as less obvious injuries such as crush injuries, nerve damage, sprain and strain of muscles, infections, and emotional damage (pain and suffering). The type, extent, and frequency of past medical treatment and the need for future treatment are important considerations. Also significant are lost wages and loss of earning potential.

Kentucky Holds Dog Owners Liable

Under Kentucky’s dog bite law, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries or bites that their dogs inflict. Owners are liable even if the dog has never bitten anyone before or acted aggressive in the past. Since more than half of dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property, many times it is insurance companies who pay for the injuries. In 2013, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out and cost more than $483 million. That same year, the average cost paid out for dog bite claims nationwide was $27,862. Dog owners who rent may have renters’ insurance that may cover dog bites and, depending on the terms of the lease, may also be personally responsible.

If you are a dog owner and are concerned about your liability, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) recently published a comprehensive study of dog bite-related fatalities. Based on an analysis of fatalities known to have occurred over a ten-year period, the researchers found that many involved controllable factors such as:

  • No able-bodied person being present to intervene (87.1 percent)
  • The victim having no familiar relationship with the dog(s) (85.2 percent)
  • The dog owner failing to neuter/spay the dog (84.4 percent)
  • The victim’s compromised ability, whether based on age or physical condition, to manage their interactions with the dog (77.4 percent)
  • The owner’s keeping the dog as a resident dog rather than as a family pet (76.2 percent)
  • The owner’s prior mismanagement of the dog (37.5 percent)
  • The owner’s abuse or neglect of dog (21.1 percent).

Four or more of these factors were present in 80.5 percent of the cases.

You can help protect yourself and others by reducing or eliminating these factors in your home.

This is also useful information for anyone interested in proactively protecting themselves from dog bites.

We help Victims of Vicious Dogs in Kentucky

Although we are based in the seat of Pike County, our Pikeville KY dog attack attorneys are pleased to assist clients in communities across Kentucky. If you have been bitten by a dog belonging to another individual, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Since adult dog bite victims have one year from the date of the bite to settle or file a claim, the best way to protect your rights is to seek the advice of a qualified attorney as soon after the bite as possible. Call 606-433-0682 or use this form to begin the process of holding the dog’s owner responsible for the actions of his or her pet.