According to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 38 percent of American households have one or more dogs as pets. This statistic shows that millions of Americans love or own dogs.
With so many dogs in our neighborhoods, it makes sense that dog bites are common. According to the reports made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 350,000 people seek emergency medical attention for a dog bite injury yearly.
Dogs are indeed unpredictable. Even a seemingly well-behaved dog can turn vicious or aggressive in an instant. Some dog bite victims were lucky enough to have sustained minor injuries. But some were unfortunate to have suffered more severe injuries, especially if the victim is a small child.
In Wyoming, dog bites are pretty quite often. So if you are a victim of a dog bite, you can potentially recover compensation for your damages by filing a suit against the dog owner. However, obtaining compensation from the dog owner is not an easy task. Anyone unfamiliar with Wyoming’s dog bite laws can easily get lost. So anyone who wishes to file a dog bite claim should consult with a Wyoming dog bite lawyer who is well-versed in dog bite laws.
If you need one, contact our Wyoming personal injury law firm to speak with one of our Wyoming dog bite attorneys for a free consultation protected by an attorney-client relationship.
In Wyoming, a dog bite injury victim can recover compensation for his damages under the doctrines of negligence, negligence per se, scienter, and intentional tort. There is no state dog bite statute in Wyoming, so it is a “one bite state.”
Under the “one-bite” rule, a victim must prove that the owner knew or should have known that their pet was vicious or dangerous for them to be liable for the injuries. A victim can also hold a dog owner liable if he can show that the owner acted negligently, leading to the injury.
If the dog owner knows that his canine has bitten a person without legal justification or has shown the desire to do so, the harborer or owner subsequently will be held liable if their dog bites a person. This is referred to as “scienter,” or knowledge of the dog’s viciousness. It is also referred to as the “common law cause of action,” the restatement cause of action, and the one-bite rule.
The one-bite rule is the foundation of dog bite laws, and it exists in every state. Most US states have supplemented it with regulations that hold dog owners responsible for all bites, including the first one.
Dog bite statutes sometimes extend to people other than dog owners and injuries other than dog bites. Unfortunately, Wyoming does not pass a dog bite statute.
Several critics have stated that not having a dog bite statute is at odds with modern American beliefs about personal responsibility because the one-bite rule protects dog owners from liability each time their dogs bite a person for the first time unless it can be shown that dog owners knew that their dog had the tendency to bite people without justification. In the absence of a dog bite statute, a dog bite victim has more to prove indeed.
Wyoming allows dog bite victims to recover compensation from the dog owner on the ground of negligence. Negligence happens when a dog owner lacks the kind of care that a reasonably prudent person would do in a similar situation. An example would be a dog owner who does not leash his dog in a playpark where there are children.
The Wyoming Supreme Court emphasizes that the negligence cause of action does not need proof that the dog was dangerous or that the dog owner knew the dog was vicious. It would be contrary to law if a victim is required to prove the scienter element in the negligence claim.
Any dog owner disobeying an animal control law, such as a leash law, can be automatically deemed negligent, or this can be a ground of negligence. Wyoming recognizes it as a cause of action in a dog bite case.
We listed below crucial things you should do to secure your health, your rights, and your options for compensation after a Wyoming dog bite attack.
After a dog bite, especially for puncture dog bite wounds and serious injuries, it is essential to seek medical care ASAP! If possible, take some pictures of your wound before they get treated to document the harm done.
Speaking with a dog’s owner can potentially prevent any further aggressive acts of their dog. Additionally, you should obtain any information about the dog, such as immunization status and health records, to seek proper treatment. If you can’t find the dog owner, you should contact your animal control office or local police.
Suppose you’re injured in a Wyoming dog bite attack. In that case, our experienced dog bite lawyer can protect your rights, seek compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and many more. Hiring a Wyoming dog bite lawyer to pursue a dog bite claim against an owner could help preserve your relationship with the dog owner, who could be your friend, family, or neighbor.
Dog bites come in different forms and lead to different injuries. If you suffered dog bite injuries and file a lawsuit against the dog owner, you need to know the type of dog bite injuries you have sustained, so you explain your situation better to the court. The following are the most common injuries in a dog bite attack:
Lacerations are deep tears or cuts in the skin and go into muscles, nerves, bones, and blood vessels. This type of wound is often marked by excessive bleeding and uneven, zig-zag patterns. To treat lacerations, you need medical care and stitches.
Abrasions are superficial injuries such as grazes and scrapes. These wounds do not cause too much bleeding. But, you might experience scarring in severe cases. These injuries are typical and can be treated at home.
Around 10-15% of dog bites lead to infections. Animal infections often come from the bacteria in the dog’s mouth. But they can also come from bacteria or germs on your skin. You must clean your wounds immediately. Common signs of infection are redness, pain, pus, and swelling. If these signs manifest, seek medical attention right away.
Punctures occur when the dog’s teeth pierce or puncture your skin. Even though these wounds could be pretty more minor than lacerations, they tend to be deep. That increases the risk of infection.
Usually, the worst infection you get from dog bites is rabies. Fifty thousand deaths per year are recorded due to rabies. After suffering a dog bite, determine if the dog has acquired a rabies shot. If the dog is not vaccinated, head immediately to the emergency room, where they can give you special treatment that prevents rabies from progressing.
These injuries commonly happen in attacks involving large dogs. They can potentially exert strong bite force with their jaws than could crush, break or fracture your bones, and injure your muscles and soft tissues.
Typically, tetanus doesn’t come from the dog’s saliva but rather from the victim’s skin flora or the environment.
These injuries happen when a dog rips the skin or tissue away from your body. These injuries are severe. They usually require some reconstructive surgery and can lead to permanent scarring.
You might have scarring if you have suffered a laceration, avulsion, or some deep abrasions. To reduce your chances of having permanent scarring, your doctor can do skin grafts or laser therapy.
Suppose the dog bite injuries extend into the nerves. You might experience nerve damage. Depending on the range of the injury, this usually could lead to temporary loss of function or permanent loss of ability in that particular part of your body.
Lastly, some dog bites can cause death. Between 1979 and 1994, there were 279 deaths due to dog attacks, with approximately 18 people dead annually.
Suppose you have dog bite injuries. In that case, you may recover compensation for damages you have sustained. Settlements in dog bite cases could include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are specific financial losses such as:
Non-economic damages are subjective personal losses such as:
Also, you can seek compensation for any property damage you had during the dog attack, like damaged clothing and a broken watch.
Wyoming’s comparative fault law allows victims to seek damages as long as they are less than 50% at fault for their dog bite injuries. Although you have contributed some actions that resulted in your dog bite attack, you can still be partially compensated. In Wyoming, personal injury cases have a four-year statute of limitations. So if you plan to file a dog bite claim, be sure to file your claim within four years from the date of your injury.
Whether seeking compensation through insurance or a lawsuit, make sure to do the following:
A Wyoming dog bite attorney can help you assist in gathering evidence, including witness statements and videos of the incident.
Taking care of your wounds should come first to your mind after a dog bite attack. Aside from washing your wounds thoroughly with soap and warm water, the CDC suggests taking the following measures immediately after sustaining dog bite injuries:
• Wash the bite area with soap & water. If the bite is bleeding, put a pressure on it using sterile gauze or a clean cloth;
• If the bleeding has stopped, put some antibiotic ointment on the bite area;
• Wrap the bite with a bandage or sterile gauze;
• You can take some pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen if you feel pain;
• Visit your healthcare provider immediately, especially for deeper wounds.
Get medical attention if:
• You were bitten by a wild and stay pet;
• The dog isn’t up-to-date on rabies shots;
• The dog has been acting strangely;
• The bite has ripped your skin (epidermis);
• The bite is on the face, neck, head, hand, foot, or any area near a joint;
• When the bite becomes red, swollen, hot, or more painful.
If you or your loved one is injured in a Wyoming dog bite attack, hire the Wyoming dog bite lawyer at Parker & McConkie to protect your legal rights.
Hiring a skillful Wyoming dog bite attorney could be the best approach to get the most money for your dog bite claim.
Trying to settle your case yourself might provide some insurance companies with a competitive advantage during your time of need.
We can assist you in the following ways:
Our Wyoming dog bite lawyers will investigate your dog bite incident. We will obtain a copy of the police report, review videos, and take witnesses’ statements.
After your recovery from a dog bite accident, our Wyoming dog attack lawyer will prepare detailed medical information about your injuries. And we will then file a dog bite claim against the dog owner and their insurance company.
Our Wyoming dog lawyer will write a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. After that, the negotiation process begins.
Most personal injury cases don’t go to court. However, if both parties don’t agree regarding the settlement, we are ready to take your case to trial. Our Wyoming dog bite lawyers are experienced litigators who thrive in court. We know how to present your case to a jury and convince them that you deserve compensation for your injuries.
When an unexpected dog bite accident happens, you can feel overwhelmed. Contact our Wyoming dog bite law firm for help. Our goal is to ease as much stress as we can from your life so you can focus on recovery. We can step into your shoes and immediately take a lot of your plate. We will not stop until you have been fairly compensated for everything you have been through.
Our legal team of personal injury lawyers has helped many victims recover compensation for their injuries throughout the state. Our team is 24/7 available to assist and support you.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our dog bite lawyers by calling (801) 509-9283.
Call 801-845-0440 to get in touch with a member of our firm after your accident. We can review your case for free!