Working With A Pikesville Dog Bite Lawyer | Zirkin & Schmerling

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Working With A Pikesville Dog Bite Lawyer

pikesville dog bite lawyer
dog bite case

Dog bites are severe and occur more frequently than many realize. Approximately 4.5 million people in the U.S. suffer dog bites annually. Sadly, the most severe dog bite injuries impact small children and leave their families with extensive medical bills, suffering, and grief.

Consulting a dog bite lawyer is essential if you’ve been injured by a dangerous dog in Maryland because you may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, property damage, lost wages, and suffering.

Call 866-787-4016 and schedule a free initial consultation with the Zirkin & Schmerling dog bite law firm. Our experienced attorneys are committed to delivering personalized legal strategies tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

Maryland Dog Bite Laws

dog bite injuries

Under Maryland dog bite laws, the injuries inflicted by dog bites are classified as personal injuries under tort law, allowing dog bite victims to file lawsuits against the dog’s owner.

Dog bite victims and dog bite lawyers must prove the following:

  • The aggressive dog attacked you.
  • The attack resulted in significant physical harm.
  • The dog owner knew and failed to prevent the dangerous dog attack, or the dog had a history of dangerous behavior.

In Maryland, if an attacking dog has injured you, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the person responsible for the dog.

These damages provide compensation for the physical suffering, emotional trauma, and financial impacts when a person experiences a severe injury.

Call 866-787-4016 and schedule a free consultation to discuss compensation with a Zirkin & Schmerling dog bite lawyer.

Damages You Can Claim from a Dog Bite Injury

Economic damages cover the financial losses you incur from the most common dog bite injuries. These include:

  • Medical expenses: Compensation for dog bite victims’ medical bills, medication, surgery, and other medical treatments related to the personal injury case. This can also include future medical costs for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages: If the injury causes you to miss work, you can claim compensation for past and future wages lost.
  • Property damage: If the dog bite incident damages your personal property, such as torn clothing or broken personal items, you can recover the cost of repairs or replacements.

Non-economic damages address the less tangible impacts of the personal injury claim, including:

  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain, scarring, and disfigurement due to the dog bite.
  • Emotional distress: Covers the psychological impact that inevitably occurs when dogs act aggressively. These include anxiety, fear, PTSD, or other emotional trauma related to the dog attack.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: If the injury affects your ability to engage in everyday activities, you can seek damages for the diminished quality of life.
punitive damages for dog bite

Punitive damages may be awarded when the dog owner’s behavior is particularly reckless or negligent. These are intended to punish a dog owner and deter similar conduct in the future.

However, punitive damages are rare, even if the owner knew their dog would bite, and are typically only awarded in extreme cases of misconduct or gross negligence.

Speak with one of our personal injury attorneys at 866-787-4016 to discuss the types of compensation you may be eligible for.

Liability for Dog Bites in Pikesville, Maryland

one bite rule

Traditionally, under the one-bite rule, a dog owner was not considered automatically liable for their dog’s first bite. But in Maryland, the one-bite rule no longer applies.

Instead, Maryland has a strict liability law, which means dog owners are automatically liable for any physical injuries or property damage their dogs cause.

This strict liability law applies to all injuries caused by dogs, including being knocked down or tripped.

Negligent Dog Bite Liability in Maryland

dog bite attacks

Victims of dog attacks in Maryland can also file a negligence claim against the dog’s owner.

To succeed in such a claim, you must prove that:

  • The dog owner had a duty to exercise reasonable care in controlling the dog.
  • The dog owner breached this duty.
  • The breach directly caused your injury.

Criminal Liability for Dangerous Dogs in Maryland

strict liability

Maryland law classifies a dog as dangerous if it kills or severely injures a person without provocation or if it was previously classified as potentially dangerous and then attacks again.

When these dogs cause harm, owners can be charged with a criminal offense.

Owners of such dogs must adhere to strict liability laws, and failure to comply can result in misdemeanor charges and fines of up to $2,500.

When Is the Dog Owner Not Responsible for Their Dog Biting Someone?

In Maryland, dog owners are generally held liable when their animal is guilty of causing injuries.

However, there are specific circumstances (called contributory negligence) where a dog owner may not be held responsible for dog attacks that inflicted severe injury.

The legal process for these exceptions for dog attacks must prove the victim was:

strict liability
  • Trespassing: If the injured person was trespassing on the owner’s property at the time of the bite, the owner is typically not liable. Trespassing means entering the property without permission.
  • Engaged in criminal activity: If the person bitten was in the process of committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense on the owner’s property, such as burglary, the owner is usually not held liable for the dog’s actions.
  • Provoking the animal: If the injured person was provoking, teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog, the owner might not be liable. Provocation must be significant enough to justify the dog’s reaction.

These exceptions protect dog owners from liability when their dogs react to unlawful or aggressive behavior from others.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Cases in Maryland

What Should I Do Immediately After a Dog Bite?

Seek medical attention immediately, even if the injury seems minor. Document the incident by taking photos of your injuries and the scene. Report the bite to local animal control or police, and gather contact information from witnesses and the dog owner.

Can I Sue for a Dog Bite if the Dog Has Never Bitten Anyone Before?

Yes, under Maryland’s strict liability law, you can typically sue the owner even if the dog has no prior history of aggression.

What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Dog Bite?

Maryland follows the contributory negligence rule, meaning if you are found to be even slightly at fault for the incident, you may be barred from recovering any damages. Speak with a Maryland dog bite law firm to discuss the specifics of your case.

How Long Do I Have to File a Maryland Dog Bite Lawsuit?

The statute of limitations is generally three years from the date of the injury. You may lose your right to file a lawsuit if you miss this deadline.

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove a Dog Bite Claim?

Key evidence includes medical records, photographs of wounds, witness statements, and any documentation of previous complaints or incidents involving the dog. A police or animal control report can also support your claim.

Can I File a Claim Against a Dog Owner’s Homeowner’s Insurance?

Yes, many homeowner’s insurance policies cover Maryland dog bite claims.

What Should I Do If the Dog Owner Is Uncooperative?

If the dog owner refuses to provide information or cooperate, report the incident to local authorities and seek legal assistance to help you navigate the claim process and secure the necessary evidence.

Call 866-787-4016 to speak with the Zirkin & Schmerling law office about your case or contact us online.

How Long Do You Have to File a Dog Bite Case?

In Maryland, the law allows you to file a claim for damages up to three years after the date of a dog bite injury.

If your law office does not file your lawsuit within this period, you may lose the right to pursue compensation in court.

Contact an experienced attorney to protect your legal options and pursue the compensation you deserve. The Maryland dog bite attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling know how to win personal injury cases. Call 866-787-4016 to discuss your case.

What If a Dog Bites Me at Work?

Liability for damages when a dog bites you at work can depend on several factors, including the circumstances of the bite and the relationships between you, your employer, and the dog’s owner.

Here’s who might be liable for a work-related dog bite accident:

  • Dog owner: The dog’s owner is typically liable, even if the incident occurs at work.
  • Employer: Workers’ compensation can cover your medical expenses and a portion of lost wages but may not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
  • Third party: If the dog was brought onto your workplace by someone other than your employer (e.g., a client or contractor), the person who brought the dog may be liable.

What Should I Do If Bitten While Working?

pikesville dog bite lawyer

If you are bitten by a dog while at work, taking immediate and appropriate action is essential for your safety and to preserve your right to compensation.

  • Seek medical attention: Prioritize your health by getting medical care. If your injuries are severe, call 911. For less serious injuries, visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  • Collect evidence: Gather evidence if your injuries do not require immediate medical care. Take photos or videos of the dog and your injuries and obtain contact information from any witnesses.
  • Report to your employer: Provide a written account of what happened to start the workers’ compensation process.
  • Consult a personal injury lawyer: Speak with an attorney specializing in dog bite cases to help you understand your rights and recover additional damages beyond what workers’ compensation covers.
beware of dog

Contact Our Pikesville Dog Bite Lawyers for Assistance with Your Dog Bite Injury Case

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If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite, schedule a free consultation with the experienced Maryland dog bite attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling at 866-787-4016.

We serve Baltimore County and pursue maximum compensation for clients injured by a dog’s aggressive behavior.

With decades of local experience and a proven track record, our law office is dedicated to securing the best possible results for you and your family.