Dog bites can be painful, traumatic, and, even worse, fatal. You may recover financial compensation for your dog bite injuries since dog owners are legally obligated to prevent their dogs from attacking people and causing injuries. But first, seeking legal advice from a qualified dog bite lawyer to explore your legal options is advisable.
At Pinder Plotkin, our knowledgeable Maryland dog bite lawyers will guide you through the legal process and aggressively fight to help you secure the best possible compensation. We have a proven track record of handling dog bite cases and representing injured victims and their families. Our Maryland law firm offers free legal consultations without any obligations. We are ready to conduct thorough investigations into your case and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions or failure to act.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 4.5 million individuals are bitten by dogs yearly, with more than 800,000 receiving medical attention. Dog bites are common, and kids are, unfortunately, the victims who suffer the most injuries. The injuries that dog bite victims may suffer include:
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma and post-trauma-stress-disorder (PTSD)
- Nerve damage
- Head injury
- Bacterial infections, including rabies, sepsis, and tetanus
What To Do After a Dog Bite in Maryland
Your actions after a dog bite can affect your ability to collect damage. After a dog bites you, here’s what to do:
- Get the contact information and identification of the dog owner
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
- Seek immediate medical treatment
- Take pictures and videos of your injuries
- Report the incident to animal control authorities
- Start a journal of your symptoms
- Consult a qualified Maryland dog bite lawyer
At Pinder Plotkin, our legal team is ready to guide you every step of the way. Let our personal injury lawyers help you as you rest and recover.
Proving a Dog Bite Case in Maryland
Dog bites can be vicious, leaving victims with physical and emotional scars. Without the legal help and guidance of a skilled dog bite attorney, proving a dog bite case may not be straightforward. In Maryland, there are different approaches that one may take to prove their dog bite case, including:
You will have to prove that the dog’s owner is negligent if their dog was not running at large — was on a leash — when it bit you. You can prove negligence by showing that the dog owner owed you a duty of care to keep their dog from biting you and that this duty was breached when the dog bit you, causing catastrophic injuries that warrant compensation.
Strict liability is any liability where negligence or fault need not be proven. You may sue a dog owner on a strict liability basis if they allowed their dog to run at large and the dog bit you, causing your injuries. If a dog owner allows it to run loose and it bites you while you are not trespassing, provoking it, or attempting a crime, the owner will have to compensate you for your injuries.
Maryland Dog Bite Laws
Maryland dog bite laws dictate that dog owners are legally responsible for any damage, injury, or death their dog may cause while running at large. The law presumes that dog owners knew or should have known their dog was dangerous. Dog owners are only exempt from being responsible for the injuries their dog causes if the injured person was doing any of the following:
- Provoking, teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog.
- Attempting to commit or committing a criminal offense against any individual.
- Attempting to commit or committing a trespass or any other offense on the dog owner’s property.
While all dog owners in Maryland have a standard set of responsibilities, some counties have breed-specific laws. Working with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney is best after sustaining a dog bite. Pinder Plotkin can help.
Dog Bite Injury Compensation in Maryland
You may be able to recover compensation for your dog bite injuries. Working with our Maryland dog bite attorneys can help you pursue the maximum possible compensation for your injury case. Our legal team will do everything to prove that the dog owner is liable for your injuries.
The compensation you may recover after a successful claim includes the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Maryland is a contributory negligence state, meaning you cannot recover compensation for your injuries if you are partly at fault for the incident. Even if you only contributed 1% to the fault, you will not be able to receive compensation for your dog bite injuries. For example, if the dog bites you while you are trespassing on the owner’s property, you may lose your right to receive compensation since you were partly to blame for the incident.
Dog Bite Settlement: How Much Is My Claim Worth?
No dog bite case is the same, so the amount of settlement you receive will depend on different factors, such as the severity of your injuries and whether the owner let their dog intentionally attack you. Our attorneys have handled complex dog bite cases and helped clients receive the maximum settlement for their injuries. Let us review your case and establish how much your claim may be worth.
Who Pays the Settlement After a Dog Bite Injury?
Typically, when you sue a dog owner for the injuries their dog inflicted upon you, their insurance company covers the settlement. In Maryland, some renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies may cover negligence and strict liability in dog bite cases.
Should I Hire a Dog Bite Attorney?
Dog bite injuries are often severe, and the case may be complex to navigate without sound legal guidance. It would be best to consult a knowledgeable and experienced dog bite injury lawyer after your accident to learn about your legal options. The attorneys at Pinder Plotkin are versed in Maryland dog bite laws, have successfully handled complex cases, and are ready to fight to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
Time Limit for Filing a Claim in Maryland
Individuals who suffer dog bites in Maryland generally have three years from when the incident happened to file their lawsuit. This time limit applies to civil cases, and not filing a suit within this period will result in the case’s dismissal.
Contact Our Maryland Dog Bite Lawyers for Legal Representation
Dog bites can cause serious injuries, and victims may suffer physical and psychological trauma, making the recovery journey difficult. As a victim, the last thing you want to do while recovering from your injuries is to immerse yourself in a stressful and complicated claims process, trying to recover compensation.
At Pinder Plotkin, we have handled many challenging injury cases in Maryland, helping our clients get the justice they deserve. This is why you need an attorney to help you win your case. Contact our Maryland dog bite lawyers today at 410-661-9440, and let us work tirelessly to help you build a strong injury case.