Dog Bites

Upper Marlboro Dog Bite Attorneys

Call Our Firm If a Dog Bit You

If you or someone you love has suffered a dog bite, you may be able to file a dog bite injury claim to demand compensation for your injuries. Let Farmer & Klopfer and our dog bite attorneys in Upper Marlboro help you from start to finish, so you don’t get lost in the legal processes ahead. Dog bites can leave lasting physical and emotional scars, so it’s understandable if you are feeling low on energy. By putting our lawyers in your corner, you can find a way to hold the negligent dog owner accountable for what happened without adding any more stress to your life.

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Call our Upper Marlboro dog bite lawyers at (301) 265-2220 and ask for a free consultation.

Maryland Dog Bite Law

Maryland uses a strict liability rule for dog bites and similar animal attacks. Under this rule, it is possible to hold a dog owner liable for injuries caused by their pet in most situations, even for the first time the dog bites or shows aggression toward someone. In other words, Maryland does not have a “one bite law” that other states use.

Only a few situations may give the dog owner reduced liability, including if the injured person was:

  • On the property illegally or trespassing;
  • Committing a crime when they were bitten; or,
  • Provoking or hurting the dog.

How to Report a Dog Bite in Maryland

To report a dog bite in Maryland, you should contact the local or regional Animal Services Division. In Upper Marlboro, which is part of Prince George’s County, the Animal Services Division hotline is 301-780-7200.

When you call the Animal Services Division to report the dog bite, try to provide this information:

  • Your name, address, and phone number
  • Address where you were attacked
  • Animal’s health (such as signs of rabies)
  • Type of animal
  • Basic animal description

By reporting the dog bite to the Animal Services Division, you can create strong evidence to use in your case later. The official government report can be used to verify that the attack happened and possibly why.

Evidence to Preserve for a Dog Bite Case

Other than the official report from the Animal Services Division, several other types of evidence could be useful for your dog bite claim. To succeed in a lawsuit against a dog owner, you will want to present as many concrete forms of evidence as possible. Our Upper Marlboro dog bite attorneys can handle the process of finding and using evidence to support your argument, so you don’t have to worry about those details.

Evidence that should be preserved or located in a dog bite case can include:

  • Medical records: Obtain copies of all medical records associated with the dog bite, including any surgeries, prescriptions, or physical therapy treatments. These records can help demonstrate the severity of the injury and the extent of the damages sustained.
  • Photographs and video footage: Take photographs and video footage of the area where the attack occurred, right after the incident, and document as much as possible the injuries sustained during the attack.
  • Witness statements: Collect statements from witnesses who saw the attack and ask for their names and contact information. These statements can be invaluable in establishing that you were doing nothing wrong when the dog bite occurred.
  • Insurance information: Find out if the dog owner has liability insurance, including homeowner’s, renter’s, or liability insurance policies. Such policies might be applicable for the damages caused by their pets, including if they attack someone.

Common Dog Attack Injuries

Dog bites can result in severe physical and psychological injuries that can impact your life in many ways.

Common types of dog bite injuries include:

  • Lacerations: Dog teeth can tear through skin and cause deep cuts that can lead to significant blood loss and scarring.
  • Broken bones: Severe bites can cause bone fractures, particularly in the hands, arms, and legs.
  • Soft tissue damage: Dogs can cause damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which can cause long-term pain and impair range of motion.
  • Permanent scarring: Many dog bite injuries leave behind permanent scars and disfigurements that can be emotionally devastating to victims.
  • Emotional trauma or PTSD: The trauma of a dog attack can lead to emotional injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can cause persistent fears and anxiety years after the attack.

It's essential to seek medical attention after a dog bite, no matter how minor an injury may appear. Even minor injuries can lead to long-lasting complications, and it's crucial to document the injury to help build a case for compensation.

Damages for a Dog Bite Lawsuit

When a dog bites someone, the owner may be liable for the damages resulting from the attack. Maryland law holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries caused by their animals. That means the owner can be held responsible for paying for the damages regardless of whether they were negligent or knew the dog had a propensity to bite.

You might be able to file a claim for compensation that helps pay for:

  • Economic damages: These are the calculable losses that result from the injury and are usually associated with monetary expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs.
  • Non-economic damages: This refers to intangible losses that do not have a fixed dollar value. Some examples are emotional distress, pain and suffering, and limitations on the claimant's quality of life.

Can You File a Claim If You Were on the Dog Owner’s Property?

Yes, even if you were on the dog owner's property when you were bitten, you may be able to file a dog bite claim in Maryland. Maryland follows a strict liability standard in dog bite cases, which means that the dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their animal regardless of whether the victim was on their property or not. However, there are some exceptions to this rule if the injury occurred while the victim was trespassing or committing another unlawful act.

For Experienced Counsel, Contact Our Firm Now

Our experienced dog bite attorneys in Upper Marlboro can help you navigate the legal process and pursue compensation after someone else’s dog attacked you.  Even if the dog had never bitten anyone before, you could still have a strong claim to file. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you during this difficult time.

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