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Being bitten by a dog is no laughing matter. Dogs can be perfect companions, but they are still animals and their behavior can be unpredictable. When dogs attack, resulting traumatic physical and emotional injuries may be severe, painful, and disfiguring, cause permanent nerve impairments, or even lead to death.
If someone else’s dog attacked you or your loved one, you might be entitled to compensation for your costs, injuries, and the suffering you endured through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. However, Kansas laws regarding dog bite cases are complicated, insurance companies and their attorneys will attempt to get you to settle for less than your case is worth, and dog owners may try to avoid paying by attempting to blame you for the attack.
The experienced Topeka dog bite lawyers at Palmer Law Group are dedicated to assisting those who have suffered harm due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct of others, and are here to help. We know how the laws and the system operate and are fully prepared to fight for justice and the settlement you deserve. In addition, if a dog can attack and injure people, you will be satisfied knowing that others won’t be similarly injured in the future.
At this difficult time, when you are trying to recover from the attack, let us take the burden off you by handling all legal hurdles involved with getting you justice and fair compensation.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best way to move forward, so call Palmer Law Group today at (785) 233-1836 to get started.
There are many attorneys out there, and you should look for one you not only feel comfortable with but who has the experience and the resources to properly investigate and handle your case. Here are some reasons why we feel the Palmer Law Group is your best choice:
When you retain our Palmer Law legal team, we will immediately start working on your behalf. We will:
Our attorneys understand the complications of dog bite cases, and are fully committed to getting the best settlement possible for our clients. Call us today at (785) 233-1836 to get started while evidence is available and witnesses can be found.
Dog bite cases in Kansas are governed by the state’s common law “one bite” rule or general negligence laws.
One bite rule – Under the “one bite” rule, you and your attorney must prove that the dog’s owner knew or had reason to know that the dog would bite. In theory, if a dog has bitten once, it is likely to bite again, so our attorneys would look for evidence that the dog has bitten someone else or another animal or acted aggressively in the past. If the dog has a record or has been known to exhibit behaviors like growling at people, fighting with other dogs, and aggravated barking, this may be used as evidence that the dog is likely to bite.
Negligence – The other law governing dog bite claims in Kansas is general negligence law. To win your dog bite case under general negligence laws, you need to prove the legal elements of negligence:
All dog owners owe a duty to act reasonably to prevent a bite or attack. Failing to use reasonable care may be failing to have the dog on a leash or control the dog even though it was on a leash, or failure to keep a dog in a fenced area or post warning signs about the dog. In addition, Kansas makes a dog owner responsible for injuries caused by “dog fright,” such as when an aggressive dog causes a victim to lose control and fall from a bicycle.
Various Kansas municipalities have laws regarding “dangerous dogs.” In Topeka, municipal law (6.15.170) states that it is unlawful for any person to possess a dangerous dog or violate provisions that require the dog to be registered, microchipped, and confined within a secure enclosure.
A dog bite can cause traumatic physical and emotional injuries and lead to multiple surgeries and the need for long-term rehabilitation. There may be nerve damage that can cause permanent impairments, and scarring and disfigurement can lead to emotional distress, mental anguish, PTSD, and painful plastic surgeries. Costs of treatment and care can be extremely expensive, and work, social, and family life may be affected.
Every dog bite case is different, but our attorneys will fight for a damage award that covers all your damages — your economic or monetary losses from the attack, as well as your non-economic damages that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life. Damages may include:
Our Topeka dog bite attorneys will fight for compensation for all your damages.
After a tragic dog bite attack, it is natural to have questions and concerns. While these are best addressed at your free consultation, to get you started, here are some answers to questions our attorneys are frequently asked:
Are there deadlines for filing a dog bite case?
Yes, Kansas has a statute of limitations, a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit that is generally two years from the date of the attack, and dog-bite cases are included in this rule. However, there are exceptions to the rule, so consult with your dog bite attorney to see how it applies to you.
Who can be held liable for a dog bite?
Usually, a dog’s owner will be liable for dog bites, and damages. However, other parties, such as a dog walker, keeper, or caretaker could be liable if they failed to restrain a dog, or a property owner or landlord could be liable for having a dangerous dog on their property. Our attorneys will seek to identify all potentially liable parties as they all may have insurance or assets that can go towards a settlement.
Should I talk to insurance companies?
No, the less you say to insurance companies the better, as they will try to get you to accept a lowball offer for less than your case is worth or trick you into saying something that indicates you contributed to the dog attack. Tell insurance companies to speak to your attorney and let Palmer Law handle all negotiations and communications.
What if I did something that contributed to the attack?
If you did something to contribute to the attack, such as trespassing on the property or provoking the dog, you might still receive compensation but it will be reduced. Kansas uses a modified comparative fault system (KS 60-258a) where a victim’s compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault they are found to have, and if your percentage exceeds 50 percent, you cannot get any compensation.
How much does it cost to hire a Topeka dog bite attorney?
The good news is that at Palmer Law, our attorneys work on a contingency basis so you pay nothing upfront. Your initial consultation is free and there are no costs to you unless and until we win your case. At that time, any legal fees are taken out of the settlement you receive.
When you have an attorney from Palmer Law Group fighting for you, we will always be available to answer your questions and keep you informed. Call us today at (785) 233-1836.
At Palmer Law Group, we understand just how traumatic it can be to be a victim of a dog bite attack. Our legal team is ready to work on your behalf to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries and to fight for the compensation that will make life easier for you and your family. Over the years, we have helped thousands of people navigate their personal injury cases in the state of Kansas and have secured substantial results for our clients, and we can do the same for you.
Our firm has been doing business in Topeka for more than thirty years and we are nationally recognized as some of the top lawyers in the state.
We don’t get paid until we win your case, so call us today to get started at (785) 233-1836.
”Dustin always responded quickly and thoroughly to my questions and did an amazing job handling my case. Should the unfortunate ever happen again, Dustin is my first phone call!” – A.W. (Google Review)
LJ Leatherman passionately believes in fair and dedicated representation for individuals who have been affected by automobile negligence, electrical injuries, firearm litigation, wrongful death, and third-party claims against insurance companies and all other areas of personal injury litigation. [Read More]