Dog Bite Lawyer Louisiana
Dog Bite Injury Law Firm in Shreveport, Bossier City and Mansfield, Louisiana
Every year, millions of people, including children, suffer serious injuries from dog bites or other animal attacks. This may occur on either enclosed or unenclosed land. Not only can these attacks result in severe injuries and extensive medical bills, it can also lead to permanent disfigurement and emotional trauma. If this is the case, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the damages you suffered from your injuries. If you were bitten by a dog in Louisiana, call the Shreveport personal injury law firm of Gordon & Gordon to speak with an animal attack attorney today.
Louisiana Legal Definition of Dangerous Dogs
Under Louisiana RS 14:102:14, a dangerous dog is defined as one that:
- Required a person to defend themselves from bodily harm on two separate occasions within the last 3 years while not on the dog owner’s property;
- Bit and injured a person without first being provoked;
- Injured or killed another domestic animal at least twice within three years while not present at the dog owner’s home or property.
The only dogs that are exempt from these rules are those that are trained to help in search and rescue missions and those who are employed by state or local law enforcement.
Louisiana Dog Leash Laws
If you own a pet that meets the above criteria, you may be asking yourself: what are the specific Louisiana laws for dangerous dogs? To begin, it’s illegal for a person to own a dangerous dog without properly restraining it on a leash. Owners must also keep their dogs inside, in a dog pen, or in a fenced yard while on private property. If the dog happens to leave the owner’s home, the owner must keep it on a leash at all times in order to prevent dog attacks. Lastly, an owner must have appropriate signage on their property or their fenced yard that indicate an aggressive dog lives there, such as “Beware of Dog” or “Dangerous Dog.”
Louisiana Dog Bite Liability
Dog owners may be liable for any injuries that their pet directly caused and may be required to compensate victims if:
- They knew that their dog was capable of attacks or violence;
- The attack could have been prevented by following specific laws and by being a responsible pet owner;
- They failed to follow Louisiana laws and they failed to take appropriate measures to prevent the attack;
- The victim didn’t provoke the animal in any way.
There are only two circumstances in which a victim is liable instead of the owner. If they trespass upon enclosed or unenclosed lands at the time of the attack or they provoked the animal, then liability belongs to the victim. But if the court can’t prove that either of these situations occurred, then the owner will likely be at fault.
Dog Bite Injury FAQs
Why Do Dogs Bite or Attack?
- Sensing a stressful situation;
- Feeling ill from an injury or illness;
- Attempting to play through nipping and biting;
- Feeling threatened or afraid;
- Attempting to protect its food, toys, property, offspring, owners, etc.
What are the Most Common Types of Dogs That Engage in Attacks?
It’s important to remember that while specific dog breeds are sometimes associated with violence more than others, that doesn’t mean that the dog breed is inherently more dangerous than another breed. It also doesn’t mean that a breed that’s not listed won’t still attack. Dogs bite and attack based on their personal behavior and history. Based on dog attack data compiled by the AVMA between 1979 and 1998, the dog breeds that have typically engaged in the most violence are:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Doberman Pinschers
- Chow Chows
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
- Wolf-Dog Hybrids
Who are the Most Common Victims of Dog Attacks?
What Should I Do if a Dog Bites Me?
If you suffer dog or animal bites, your main priority should always be to take care of yourself first. This includes both immediately addressing your injuries and calling for help, as well as taking the necessary steps to protect your future personal injury claim. As such, following an animal attack, you should:
- Call 911.
- Take note of the dog owner’s name and phone number if you can.
- Gather evidence by taking pictures and videos of the dog, your injuries caused by the dog, and the scene of the attack.
- Go to the ER as soon as you can to have your dog bites examined and cared for. Untreated dog bites can lead to infection and permanent disfigurement. It’s important to seek immediate medical care, even if you feel your injuries are minor. In addition to taking the necessary safety precautions, you also need to create a record of the event.
- Call an animal attack attorney at the law offices of Gordon & Gordon. This is when you will give us details surrounding your claim and explore your potential legal options. Once an attorney-client relationship is established, we will ask you to provide us with all of your evidence, including your police and medical reports. We will handle everything from there.
What are the Penalties for a Dog Attack in Louisiana?
What Damages Can Be Recovered from Dog Bites or Attacks?
- All medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative treatment
- Emotional distress
- Counseling or therapy for psychological distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Permanent physical disfigurement or scarring
How to Prevent Dog Attacks
Knowing when you should and shouldn’t approach a dog is crucial in preventing injury and legal trouble. As a rule of thumb, you should try to avoid animals in the following situations:
- The dog isn’t on a leash;
- You can’t find the dog’s owner;
- The owner doesn’t give you permission to touch their dog;
- A dog is eating, sleeping, injured, or sick;
- If a dog is with its puppies and acts very protective over them;
- If a dog is behind a fence on someone’s property (don’t try to pet them through the fence);
- A dog is barking, growling, hiding, or acting aggressively;
- You see a loose dog on enclosed or unenclosed land.
Louisiana Statute of Limitations for Animal Attacks
Animal attacks fall under the personal injury category in Louisiana’s statute of limitations. So victims bitten by animals due to the negligent actions of that animal’s owner can file a lawsuit no later than one year from the day of their attack. If a victim tries to file a lawsuit after one year, a court will certainly dismiss their case.
How to Win a Louisiana Dog Bite Lawsuit
Louisiana dog laws are different from many other state dog laws in that they are based on negligence alone. In other words, the only way to win a Louisiana dog bite lawsuit and receive appropriate compensation is to prove that the owner of the animal was negligent and that negligence directly led to you or your loved one’s injury.
Basically, dog bite victims have to prove the four elements of negligence which are listed below:
- Duty of Care: Owners of dogs owe the general public a specific duty of care by protecting them from their potentially dangerous animal.
- Breach of Duty of Care: The owner’s failure to take necessary care by not properly restraining the animal, not keeping the animal inside, allowing the animal to trespass upon enclosed or unenclosed lands, etc. ultimately led to the victim’s injury.
- Causation: The victim suffered injuries as a result of the owner’s breached duty of care.
- Damages: Compensation can cover the monetary losses and injuries caused by the attack.
Call an Animal Attack Attorney at Gordon & Gordon
If you or someone you love has suffered severe injuries from animals in Louisiana, you may be entitled to damages caused by the negligence of the dog owner. In this case, you’ll need the experienced Shreveport personal injury attorneys from Gordon & Gordon to fight for you in court. We prioritize every attorney-client relationship while fighting to make sure our clients receive justice. For more information on how our attorneys can help you, call 318-716-HELP today for a free case evaluation.