A dog may be man’s best friend, but when they become unpredictable and bite, it can result in permanent damage and expensive medical bills. If you require medical care after being bitten, a dog bite attorney can help you file a claim and negotiate a settlement to cover costs related to your injury.
Why RMK Law Firm
We help clients successfully resolve dog bite cases each year. Getting an attorney is not the same thing as suing. Our experienced team will evaluate your situation and explain your options so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. Although most claims are resolved without going to trial, the team at RMK Law is composed of experienced litigators. If a lawsuit is necessary, we fight fiercely for you in the courtroom.
Dog Bite Facts
Americans love their pets. There are an estimated 90 million dogs in American households. They can help relieve stress, promote an active lifestyle, provide companionship, and influence children’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. However, dogs can also carry germs that cause minor skin infections and serious illnesses.
Approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, with the majority occurring at home, with people who are familiar with the dog. The consequences range from minor to those that require hospitalization and reconstructive surgery.
Montana Dog Bite Law
If you were bitten within the confines of a town or city, the state laws are favorable to you. Montana Statutes section 27-1-715 allows you to hold the dog’s owner liable for your injuries under the following circumstances:
- A dog bite caused your injuries
- You were on public property or private property lawfully
- You did not provoke the dog
- The incident occurred within an incorporated town or city
The dog bite law is a strict liability statute, meaning that you can hold the dog’s owner responsible, even if they were unaware their pet could be vicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
Regardless of where you were when you were bitten and the damage severity, you may have questions about filing a dog bite claim. Here are some of the most common questions about dog bites and the answers.
What is the Montana statute of limitations for dog bites?
You have three years from the time of your injury to file a claim, whether it is for negligence or a lawsuit under the dog bite statute.
What damages can be recovered?
You can recover damages, both economic and non-economic. If the dog owner’s behavior was malicious, you might also recover punitive damages. These are considered punishment and awarded at the court’s discretion.
Who pays the settlement in a dog bite claim?
The dog’s owner is the responsible party. However, he or she may have insurance that will pay for the compensation. The insurance could be specifically for dog bites, or it may be part of a homeowner’s or renter’s policy that pays the settlement.
What should you do after a dog bite?
- The first step is to seek medical attention. Not only is this critical for your health and recovery, but it also establishes a record of the injury, should you decide to file a lawsuit. Keep all receipts related to the dog bite to track expenses.
- Gather as much information as possible, such as a description of the dog, the owner’s name, and contact information for witnesses to the incident.
- Report the dog bite. If you are unsure about the appropriate authorities, contact the local police. They can help you complete a police report, file it, and direct you to the right agency.
- Hire a dog bite lawyer. The law surrounding dog bites and personal injury is complex. An experienced attorney understands what information is necessary for a successful claim and can help you file it correctly.
Contact Us Today
If you were bitten, our dog bite law firm can ensure you have the support you need to file a claim. Our attorneys will conduct an investigation, examine the evidence, and ensure your legal rights are protected. Contact us online or call (406) 601-1400 for a free consultation today.
Photo Credit: Alzbeta