Dog Bite Claims

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Dog Bite Claims

Residents of Vermont love their dogs. Whether one dog or many of them, whether Chihuahua or Great Dane, people love having these loyal companions as furry friends.  But just because their dogs are friendly to the owners, it does not mean they will not cause serious injury to others. The attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP understand the devastating impact a dog bite can have on a victim.

When individuals are attacked by dogs, they can sustain serious facial disfigurement, loss of limbs, broken bones, and severe nerve damage. Dog bites can lead to overwhelming pain, thousands of dollars in medical expenses, and prolonged pain and suffering. The continued emotional impact of such incidents can be extraordinarily difficult to deal with. Some victims are unable to return to work due to the trauma and long recovery process.

Every year, individuals across Vermont sustain dog bites that cause injuries that are debilitating. When these attacks occur, victims are able to file lawsuits against the owners and claim financial repayment for their injuries and various other damages if the owner of the dog had reason to know that the dog was dangerous, or if the owner was otherwise negligent. The lawyers at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP are dedicated to helping dog bite victims obtain full and fair compensation for their injuries and their pain and suffering.

Dog Bites Can Be Debilitating

Those injured by dog bites are often devastated by their injuries. Dog bites can lead to victims enduring:

  • Tissue loss;
  • Permanent nerve damage;
  • Muscle damage and impairment;
  • Broken bones;
  • Extensive scarring and disfigurements;
  • Abrasions and lacerations;
  • Rabies;
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder; and

The permanent damages associated with dog bites in Vermont can take an immense toll on dog bite victims, both mentally and physically. Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP helps victims earn reimbursements to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and various other damages associated with their injuries.

What Damages Can Be Recovered For A Dog Bite In Vermont?

Victims who sustain dog bites in Vermont are able to collect compensation for an array of damages associated with their injuries. These damages include:

  • The cost for medical treatments – past, present, and future;
  • The need for any reconstructive surgeries;
  • Lost wages and lost earnings;
  • Scarring;
  • Physical pain and suffering;
  • Emotional pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of consortium.

It is worth noting that medical expenses can often be recovered in a legal claim even if they have been paid by the injured party’s health insurance.  This is based on a legal doctrine called the “collateral source rule,” and our attorneys are very familiar with the nuances of this doctrine.

In some cases, dog bite victims can also be awarded punitive damages. These damages are not compensatory in nature, meaning they are above and beyond what the victim receives to repay him or her for any loss sustained. Instead, punitive damages can be awarded against dog owners who have acted with indifference and reckless disregard of the safety of others, as a form of direct punishment and as a way to disincentivize future offenses.

There are various legal principles that need to be understood as to how to maximize the amounts an injured party can receive for a claim.  The experienced trial attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP, are aware of how to best recover the full amount allowed by law.

Dog bite cases often involve homeowners who know their animal is vicious but fail to restrain them while outdoors. The dog bite attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP, will ensure that you are fairly and completely compensated for the injuries and various other damages which you incurred.

Common Dog Bite Victims

Dog bites can happen to anyone, whether it be a visiting friend or relative, or a passing hiker, a neighbor, a jogger, a bicyclist.  Professionals and other people who enter into homes where dogs reside or onto the property of dog owners are particularly at risk, including (for example) mail and package delivery personnel, real estate agents, home repair contractors, and television, telephone and internet service installers.  Children are also particularly at risk.

Establishing Liability In A Dog Bite Case

In order for a liability claim to succeed based on a dog bite, the claimant must prove that the dog’s owner was negligent and, as a result, they sustained a dog bite that resulted in injury. The fault is typically proven through witness statements, photographs, videos, or even the defendant’s own admission. Claimants often present medical records and physical evidence to help bolster their claims and prove the extent of damages sustained from the dog bite.

There are various circumstances which generally demonstrate dog owners to be negligent with their dog and liable for your injuries. Potential circumstances under which dog bite attacks can occur include:

  • Dogs are not properly secured on their premises;
  • The animals are not properly leashed in public; and/or
  • The owner had previous knowledge of a dog’s violent behavior.

Dog bite cases must demonstrate that the dog owner specifically failed to use reasonable care to prevent the injury from happening, and as a result of such negligence, the victim sustained various injuries and experienced financial losses. Dog bites not only cause immense pain and suffering, but they can force individuals out of work to tend to their injuries throughout recovery. Under these circumstance, individuals can be compensated for lost wages for the duration of their recovery. In cases where dog bites cause permanent impairment, individuals who are forced out of work indefinitely have a claim to collect a settlement on lost earnings as a result of their disabilities.

What is not often realized is that most homeowners have insurance which will pay for dog bite claims.  If a landowner has a fire insurance policy on the owner’s house, that policy will usually include liability insurance for negligence claims, including dog bite claims.  Such insurance is generally required by banks for anyone who has a mortgage on their house.

Dog bite cases often can be successfully pursued, but the liability issues can be complex.  It is, therefore, crucial to work with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling dog bite cases.

Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help You With Your Vermont Case

The attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP have many years of experience helping dog bite victims throughout Vermont obtain the maximum amount of compensation to which they are entitled for their injuries. Our attorneys work diligently to protect victims’ rights to repayment and justice.

Claims such as these are usually covered by insurance carriers, and our firm has expertise in making certain that we have located all possible insurance companies who may be liable.  Our law firm is experienced in dealing with insurance carriers and we have a thorough understanding of how to aggressively assert the rights of our clients.  We always aim to settle a case without going to court if this can be accomplished while obtaining maximum compensation for our client, and this is frequently possible.  But we are also always willing and thoroughly prepared to go to court to obtain an appropriate award if settlement for an appropriate amount is not possible.  We work closely with our clients to explain the options available and to make certain we are proceeding in the manner desired by the client.

If you sustained a dog bite, it is important to contact our law firm at (802) 482-2905 as soon as possible to file your claim. Our attorneys understand that each dog bite case is truly unique. There are various circumstances surrounding the incident that can help bolster a claim and prove the dog owner liable. Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP will analyze the wounds inflicted by the dog, any violent acts or tendencies evidenced by the dog during or prior to the attack, and various other important factors that help clients build stronger cases.

Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation today. Our lawyers at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP will explore all of the available legal options in order to determine which route will help you obtain justice and compensation for your injuries and damages.


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Our Attorneys:

Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP is a  Vermont law firm located in the Town of Hinesburg, providing a broad and comprehensive array of legal services to our clients.  Our attorneys have experience in many practice areas of the law.

(Click on the name of a team member for additional information)

Roger E. Kohn
Roger E. Kohn
Partner - Former President of the Chittenden County Bar Association
David Rath
David Rath
Beth A. Danon
Beth A. Danon
Partner - Former President of the Vermont Association for Justice (the Vermont Trial Lawyers Association)
David W. Lynch
David W. Lynch

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