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St. Tammany Parish Dog Bite Lawyer

Americans love their dogs, and the residents of St. Tammany Parish are no exception. In many cases, dogs are well-loved family members, but sometimes a dog can turn vicious and cause harm and even death. If you were attacked and bitten or injured by a dog, it may be wise to contact a St. Tammany Parish dog bite lawyer to discover whether you might be able to recover damages from the negligent dog owner.

You have one year from the date of the attack to file a dog bite claim in Louisiana. It is essential to know that if you file a lawsuit after the one-year statute of limitations expires, it is likely that the judge will deny it, and your injury claim will likely be completely thrown out. A dedicated personal injury lawyer could help you protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Types of Claims After a Canine Attack in St. Tammany Parish

Dogs can do more than bite someone to cause injury. A large dog may jump on a child or older adult, knocking them to the ground and causing sprains, broken bones, and abrasions. A St. Tammany Parish animal attack attorney could explain the types of actions that could be undertaken depending on the injured person’s circumstances. Civil suits could be filed as strict liability, negligence, and intentional tort. In some instances, the state may also file criminal charges.

Strict Liability

Louisiana’s civil code s that dog owners are liable for damages their dog’s cause. However, this is not as simple as it seems because a plaintiff must show that the dog owner knew or reasonably should have known the dog could cause that degree of harm. This means that if the owner could have prevented the damage, the owner will be accountable. It is also essential that the plaintiff did not provoke the dog before the attack.

Negligence

Negligence actions against a dog owner are proved by satisfying five conditions that the plaintiff must show:

  • The defendant had a duty to control the dog, making the environment safe for others
  • The defendant breached that duty
  • The injury would not have occurred but for the defendant’s actions
  • The defendant’s actions or negligence caused a real injury

Intentional Tort and Criminal Action

Louisiana criminal codes impose a monetary fine on dog owners who do not adequately leash or restrain their dangerous dogs. If an unleashed dog attacks a person and causes severe injury, both a fine and jail time may apply. In extreme cases, a dog owner may intentionally unleash a vicious dog upon a person. The dog owner may face harsh criminal charges brought by the state. The victim may also file a civil lawsuit for an intentional tort, which is more serious than negligence.

People severely injured by vicious dogs that were let loose upon them can ask the court for punitive damages. These damages awarded when the court decides a defendant’s actions are heinous and the perpetrator should be punished to prevent future incidents of the same type. A St. Tammany dog attack lawyer could assess the evidence in a case and help determine whether asking for punitive damages is appropriate.

How a St. Tammany Parish Dog Bite Lawyer Could Help

Being attacked by any dog is a harrowing encounter, but it could be made worse if the dog belongs to a family member or friend from whom you must seek compensation. While you are recovering from your physical and emotional injuries, the last thing you may want to do is deal with legal issues resulting from this incident. Consult a knowledgeable St. Tammany Parish dog bite lawyer for a consultation and to learn more about your legal options.