Maryland Dog Bite Lawyers
If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, you know that the physical and emotional damage from the attack is extensive and long-lasting. At CHASENBOSCOLO, we make it our mission to protect your rights when you have suffered a dog bite injury. We focus our efforts on helping you to obtain all of the compensation you deserve, including reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and physical and mental pain and suffering.
The empathetic Maryland dog bite attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO are available to assist you in holding the responsible dog owner accountable for your injuries. If you are suffering from dog bite injuries, contact us today at (301) 220-0050 for a free consultation to help you get started on the road to recovery.
Do I Need a Dog Bite Attorney?
Dog bites can cause serious injuries that require prompt medical attention. Immediately after you have received the medical treatment you need, it is wise to contact a lawyer who has experience with dog bite cases. Maryland law surrounding dog bite cases changed in 2014. One change provides that when a dog is “running at large,” the dog owner can be liable for injuries from the dog biting other individuals without being proven negligent. In order to obtain the best possible recovery in your case, you will want to seek out a dog bite lawyer who is familiar with the changes to the law and who has kept up with the current trends in this type of case.
An effective dog bite attorney will be able to evaluate your case, gather evidence, and make the best arguments based on the evidence that fit within the structure of the relatively new dog bite statute. While any lawyer may seem qualified to take your case, attorneys who routinely conduct dog bite cases understand the nuances of the law and are prepared to hire appropriate experts to prove your case. Furthermore, hiring a lawyer allows you to sit back and focus on your health and recovery, rather than the nuances of the law. With a lawyer on your side, you are likely to recover far more compensation than you would on your own, and with far less stress.
Why Choose CHASENBOSCOLO to Handle My Case?
After you are injured in a dog bite incident, you may find yourself preoccupied with your physical recovery. Injuries from a dog bite may have other ramifications as well, including to your mental and emotional well-being. The attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO genuinely care about your recovery and wish to see you become as close to whole again as possible.
CHASENBOSCOLO was founded over 30 years ago as a law practice dedicated to compassionately serving victims who have been injured through no fault of their own. We treat each client as if they were a part of our family. It is important to us to make you feel at home and ensure that we work as hard as possible to bring you the results you deserve. We are highly successful in obtaining settlements and verdicts on behalf of our injured clients. Over the years, we have secured over $750 million to compensate people like you.
When you decide to pursue your dog bite injury claim with us, we offer a free consultation to ensure that we can take your case with a reasonable chance of recovery for you. We also offer a No Fee Guarantee, which means that if we take on your case, we will not charge you any fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict in your favor. You can rest while we take on your case, and we will only take a percentage of your settlement or verdict once your case is resolved. This policy allows anyone, regardless of economic circumstances, to hire high-quality legal representation without risk.
Proving a Dog Bite Case
In Maryland, multiple routes can be taken to recover compensation for dog bite injuries, including:
- Strict liability: Strict liability refers to a kind of liability where no fault or negligence must be proven. If you were bitten and injured by a dog whose owner permitted the dog to be “running at large,” you may sue the owner on a strict liability basis. If the owner was allowing the animal to run loose and you were not provoking the dog, trespassing, or attempting to commit a crime at the time, the owner will be required to compensate you for all of your injuries.
- Negligence: In a case where the dog was not running at large (i.e., the dog was on a leash), your attorney will have to prove that the owner was negligent. To prove negligence, your attorney would need to show that the dog owner owed a duty to you to keep the dog from biting you, that this duty was breached, and that it caused you injuries serious enough to warrant compensation.
Under Maryland law, if you sue a dog owner for dog bite injuries, the dog bite alone creates a rebuttable presumption that the owner knew the dog was dangerous. A rebuttable presumption means that in a court case, the starting point would be to believe that something is true, but the other party could present evidence to show it is not true. This means that in Maryland, it is assumed that a dog owner whose dog bites someone is presumed to know the dog was dangerous. This makes it easier for your attorney to prove your case.
Compensation in a Dog Bite Matter
It may be tempting to work directly with an insurance company or the dog’s owner to receive some payment for your injuries as soon as possible. However, not all injuries are immediately apparent after a dog bite incident, and the mental effects of the incident could also take time to surface. If you accept a payment early on, it will prevent you from seeking damages later when you have a more complete view of the damages. An experienced Maryland dog bite attorney will help you pursue the most compensation available in your case.
Ordinarily, if you prove that the owner of the dog should be strictly liable or was negligent, you may recover for your medical expenses, time out of work, and for your physical and psychological pain and suffering. However, it is important to realize that there are several ways in which a dog owner in Maryland may defend themselves and avoid having to pay you compensation.
By statute, if you were in the process of committing a crime or trespassing, the owner does not owe the same duty to you to make sure their dog does not bite you. This could prevent you from recovering compensation. The statute also provides that provoking, teasing, tormenting, or abusing a dog will bar you from recovery. Additionally, Maryland follows a contributory fault rule, which requires that in an accident, you as the victim must not be at fault at all in order to recover. Even if you were only 1% at fault for the injury that occurred, you would be prevented from recovering damages from the dog owner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although every case is different, common questions come up in dog bite cases. Here are some answers to those questions:
What steps should I take after a dog bite injury?
After you have suffered a dog bite injury, the first priority is to obtain medical care as necessary. The proper medical care will prevent illness from spreading from wounds that have broken the skin and will assist you in recovering from any injuries as fast as possible. You should contact your local police and animal control agency, as they will likely want to complete their own investigations of the incident. Document the incident as well as you can, whether with photographs, videos, or writing down your recollection of the incident. It is also important to contact an experienced Maryland dog bite attorney right away, since there are time limits on taking legal action and you do not want to risk filing a lawsuit too late.
Will a dog bite case be covered by local or state law?
A variety of local ordinances and state laws may be involved in your matter. State statutes provide for dog bite injury lawsuits against dog owners and others related to negligence and strict liability, but local laws may also provide further regulations that the dog owner may have violated. These could include local guidelines on the dog’s breed, vaccinations, or other requirements.
Will I receive payment from the dog owner or an insurance company?
Insurance policies from different companies and for different coverage are written differently. An experienced attorney will investigate and evaluate homeowners or renters insurance policies involved in the case to determine whether payment from these sources is required in your case. If an owner knew or should have known that their dog is a dangerous dog, then it is possible that the owner had a responsibility to carry liability insurance against attacks on unsuspecting victims. Regardless of the facts of your case, an experienced dog bite attorney will fight for compensation from each source that should be held accountable.
As the victim of a dog attack, do not allow your injuries to ruin your life. At CHASENBOSCOLO, we are here to assist you in recovering as much compensation as possible so that you can continue to live a full life despite your injuries. Call our Maryland lawyers today for a free consultation at (301) 220-0050 or contact us on this website. We look forward to assisting you in any way we can.