Who pays when an off-leash dog attacks you in a park?

| Apr 29, 2021 | Personal Injury

Public parks should be places where anyone can enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, the actions of some irresponsible people make parks less safe and inviting than they would otherwise be.

Despite laws requiring that animal owners be responsible with their pets and signs in most parks saying that dogs must remain on leashes, people frequently think that their personal pet is an exception to the rules. That attitude can lead to someone letting their animal run loose and causing severe injuries to others.

If a dog not on a leash or who had pulled their leash out of the hands of their owner attacked you while you were out in public, who will pay for your medical bills and lost wages?

Louisiana has strict liability rules for animal owners

In some states, a dog that attacks humans gets the benefit of the doubt under a one-bite rule. If the dog hasn’t previously bitten a person, the owner likely won’t face financial or legal consequences for a single incident. In Louisiana, the law is different. It creates strict liability for people who own animals.

When an animal hurts a person or causes property damage, the owner is responsible. The only exception would be situations in which the victim provoked the animal or when the owner could not have reasonably prevented the injuries.

In most cases, someone hurt by a dog can easily claim that a properly restrained or leashed animal would not have caused the same injuries. Failing to restrain or train a dog might put an owner at risk of major claims when the animal hurts someone.

Aggressive animals can cause physical injuries and psychological trauma

Dog bite attacks can leave lasting wounds. It is common for people to suffer injuries to their hands when they try to protect themselves, and serious injuries to your hand might limit your work ability or require expensive and intricate surgery. Even after people physically recover, a vicious animal attack could result in a fear of dogs or in a fear of open spaces if the attack occurred out at a park.

Someone recovering from a dog bite attack may require thousands of dollars in medical treatment and counseling or therapy to help them emotionally move on from the incident. They may also need to seek compensation for lost wages, which may require that they file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit against the animal’s owner.