In many American households, dogs are considered part of the family. While they may accompany you on vacation or pose with you in family photos, your lovable dog may is still an animal. As such, it’s essential to understand that dog attacks can and do happen. If you are attacked by a dog, know the steps to take to recover the compensation you’re entitled to with the assistance of committed personal injury attorneys in Baltimore County. Keep reading to discover what you should know and how to proceed if you are the victim of a dog attack.
Who Can Face Liability for a Dog Attack in Maryland?
When it comes to dog attacks, Maryland is a strict liability state. Essentially, this means the dog’s owner will be held liable for the injuries inflicted, even if they were unaware that their dog was or could be dangerous. If you adopt or purchase a dog, you must essentially assume your dog is violent and assume responsibility if your dog attacks another person. This varies from other states referred to as “one-bite” states, which essentially gives a dog owner a free pass to avoid liability other than medical expenses if their dog becomes violent and attacks someone.
If you are attacked by a dog, you can pursue compensation under the strict liability statute or negligence statutes. To prove negligence, you must demonstrate that the owner failed to mitigate damages which led to the dog attacking you.
The only exception to this statute is if the victim was trespassing, trying to harm the dog’s owner, or the victim was teasing, abusing, or provoking the dog. Additionally, because Maryland is a contributory negligence state, victims of personal injuries are barred from recovering compensation if they had any blame for the accident. As such, if the owner can prove, for example, that you startled their dog leading to the attack, you may be prohibited from recovering the compensation you deserve.
What Compensation Can I Recover?
When injured in a dog attack, the most important thing to do is immediately seek medical treatment for the wounds you’ve sustained. This includes cleaning out any bites inflicted by the animal. Additionally, you may need to receive a rabies vaccination if the dog is not up to date on its shots.
Under Maryland’s strict liability laws, the owner will be liable for the injuries and damages inflicted by their dog. This includes the cost of medical expenses, medication, and lost wages while you take time off work to heal. You can also fight for non-economic damages, like disfigurement and scarring, pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Unfortunately, dog attacks can impact victims for the rest of their lives. As such, it’s critical to recover the compensation you deserve. At the Law Offices of Markey & Orsi, our team is dedicated to fighting for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through these challenging times.