Almost everyone in Omaha and throughout Nebraska has had a dog or had a neighbor with a dog. Though our memories are full of fond recollections of the happy, loyal and friendly pets we, there are some dogs that become aggressive and bite. An Omaha dog bite lawyer helps you recover fair compensation.
Dogs become aggressive for various reasons and it usually isn’t their fault. They may have abusive and neglectful owners or have been actually trained to be aggressive. Poor dog training can lead to bites ranging from the very minor to life threatening. We have all seen the dog bite lawyers hold owners responsible for aggressive dogs news stories of aggressive dogs mauling children and the elderly. In Nebraska, when a dog bites someone, the owner is almost always legally responsible for compensating the victim. The owner is not only responsible for medical bills, but also for pain and suffering, lost employment, disfigurement and mental anguish. Moreover, the State of Nebraska or City of Omaha may punish the owner and place sanctions on the dog. Below is a discussion of civil lawsuit liability for damages and then a brief summary laws relating to dogs.
What will a dog bite lawyer consider during a case evaluation?
When evaluating a potential lawsuit, a lawyer will consider the following factors:
Who is the owner of the dog?
In Nebraska, the dog owner is responsible for a dog that injures someone. Often the identity of the owner is clear, but sometimes the identity is unknown or is complicated. In cases with an unknown owner, an investigation is necessary to see if it is reasonably possible to determine who the owner is. Often dogs have tags or micro-chips identifying their owner. Other times a dog bites someone when it is in the possession of a third party or when it is not clear who (among known people) actually owns the dog. In these cases determining the responsible person involves investigation of the facts as well as application of legal principles.
Was the injured party legally allowed to be at the location where the bite happened?
Trespassers generally cannot successfully sue owners for dog bites. If a person climbs a fence and ignores a warning sign before getting bit, it is unlikely that they will win a lawsuit. In contrast, a mailman walking to the door has a right to be on the property, if he is bitten he likely has a valid lawsuit. Dog bite cases often have complex facts relating to the location where the bite took place. Many times children are involved and are bitten while on the neighbor’s property. These cases usually lead to varying contentions as far as permission to be on the land. A lawyer will help you determine the likelihood of a valid case.
Did the injured party provoke the dog?
If a person provokes a dog and gets bitten, they probably aren’t going to win a lawsuit. Provocation can mean many things. If a child beats a sleeping dog with a stick and gets bitten, that is pretty clear evidence of provocation. However, if a victim accidentally steps on a dog or yells at the dog’s owner before getting bitten, a jury will likely have to decide whether the dog was provoked.