Frederick, Maryland Dog Bite Lawyer
Hurt by a Dog? Let Us Know
Although dogs are considered “man’s best friend,” it is essential to remember that not all owners train their dogs responsibly or know how to control them in emergencies. Dog attacks are common and often result in severe injuries to innocent victims.
Due to the severity of the injuries in these cases and the Maryland laws governing protections for dog bite victims, insurance companies work diligently to construct a strong defense against a victim’s claim. To ensure that your claim is taken seriously, and you give yourself a fair chance of receiving the best possible outcome in your case, you should hire an experienced Frederick, Maryland dog bite lawyer. At Portner & Shure, P.A., we have successfully represented dog bite victims for more than 25 years, making us one of the most experienced dog bite law firms in the state.
Call (855) 954-4141 now to work with our law firm.
What Should I Do After a Dog Bite?
- Seek medical attention and document your injuries with photos, notes, or videos. Even if the dog bite did not cause a serious injury, you might need a rabies shot or antibiotics to prevent an infection.
- Contact the police and animal control.
- Receive the dog owner’s insurance information. Usually, homeowners’ insurance policies provide coverage for dog attacks.
- Ask any witnesses for their contact information.
- Find a top-rated dog bite lawyer like our team at Portner & Shure.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for a Dog Bite Case?
Although it may appear obvious that you deserve compensation because you were the victim of a dog attack, dog bite laws in Maryland are complex and easily misunderstood. Notably, Maryland’s dog bite laws changed in 2014. Previously, Maryland followed the “one-bite rule.” According to this rule, a dog owner was liable if they knew or had reason to know of the dog’s violent nature. However, today, the “one-bite rule” no longer exists, and it is assumed that a dog owner knew or had reason to know of their dog’s violent nature in any circumstance.
Given the complicated nature of these laws and liability definitions in Maryland, it is always in your best interest to work with an attorney. Otherwise, you will have to deal with all of these issues on your own.
Theories of Negligence in a Dog Bite Claim
Unless the dog owner’s knowledge of the dog’s violent nature is proven otherwise, the owner can be held liable under a theory of strict liability. In other words, the dog owner is presumed to be negligent under strict liability. A dog bite victim who can present proof that the dog previously attacked other individuals or animals or had displayed multiple instances of aggressive behavior — such as growling or lunging — has an even better chance of success.
A dog owner is considered generally negligent if they failed to properly secure or control their dog in a situation where injury can likely occur. Dog owners who do not use a leash in public, for example, can be automatically assumed to be negligent under this legal theory.
Defenses Propped Up by Dog Owners
There several defenses against dog bite claims available under Maryland law. In particular, dog owners and their insurance companies often try to use comparative negligence rules to defeat a claim. Under this theory, if it can be proven that the plaintiff was at least 1% negligent during the dog attack, then they can be barred from getting any recovery amount from the defendant.
You could be found negligent if you:
- Attacked the dog
- Provoked the dog
- Approached a dog displaying warning behaviors
- Ignored the dog owner’s repeated instructions to stay away from the dog
A dog owner will also likely not be found liable for any damages if the dog hurt you while you committed a crime that would have harmed or affected the dog’s owner. For example, a dog who bites someone who is assaulting its owner can be excused of any aggression.
Multilingual Legal Representation in Frederick
At Portner & Shure, P.A., we have bilingual paralegals and legal assistants who speak Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, Korean, and Spanish. Our bilingual staff is widely recognized throughout Maryland for meeting our client’s unique needs and enabling our attorneys to obtain excellent results. We first opened our doors more than 25 years ago with this teamwork approach in mind. It has helped our Frederick dog bite attorneys land great wins in numerous cases, so we intend to keep up that tradition for many more years to come!
We do not charge you anything unless you receive a settlement or judgment in your favor. To schedule a free consultation, call (855) 954-4141.