Animal attacks are far too prevalent in Maine and across the United States. Most animal attacks involve dogs such as rottweilers, pit bulls, and wolf hybrids. Victims of these vicious attacks can contact a dog bite lawyer in Maine to learn about legal rights and options. Since dog bite laws vary from state to state, it’s important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area of personal injury law.
Immediate Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
Victims of dog bite attacks should first remove themselves from the vicinity of the animal to avoid sustaining a further injury and then seek medical attention. Even if the wound does not initially appear to be serious, it’s important to get medical care to reduce the risk of infection and to document the injuries for litigation purposes. Victims of dog bite attacks may also wish to document their injuries and property damage with photographs. Then, a personal injury attorney should be contacted promptly about the incident.
Maine Dog Bite Laws
Maine has a statute of limitations regarding dog bite litigation, meaning that there is a time limit to file a lawsuit. A personal injury complaint may be filed no later than six years following the incident. Although this may seem like plenty of time, it’s always in the victim’s interest to contact a dog bite lawyer in Maine right away. The sooner a lawsuit is filed, the sooner victims may receive compensation for their incurred medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Victims may also demand compensation for property damage, such as torn clothing and broken glasses, in addition to compensation for psychological counseling. Dog attack victims can sometimes suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may require psychological counseling.
In Maine, the owner of a dog is typically held liable. Maine has strict liability laws regarding dog attacks, which means that the complainant does not necessarily need to prove that the owner was at fault, assuming that the attack did not occur on the owner’s property.
If the attack did occur on the dog owner’s property, a dog bite lawyer must prove that the owner did not exercise reasonable care to prevent the attack.
The owner may be held liable regardless of the type of injury or property damage sustained by the victim. For example, a dog may not necessarily bite someone but may knock that person down, causing injury.
Other individuals may be held liable if they are determined to have been that animal’s keepers. A keeper is defined as a person who feeds the animal for 10 consecutive days. For example, if the owner is away on vacation and the dog is in a kennel, the keeper may be held liable if the dog attacks someone.
Under certain circumstances, the owner may not be found liable for injuries even if the dog was in the owner’s care at the time of the incident. In rare cases, the injured person may be found to be at fault. For example, a person may trespass onto the owner’s property and provoke the dog, causing it to attack. Since a dog’s owner may attempt to use this as a defense against a civil action, it’s critical for dog bite victims to work with a knowledgeable lawyer.
How To File a Dog Attack Lawsuit in Maine
If you or a loved one was attacked by a vicious dog, don’t settle for less than what you deserve. have considerable experience working as advocates for our clients. Since 1976, The Maine personal injury lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing have been proud to serve residents of Portland and the surrounding areas with aggressive legal representation in a broad range of cases, including dog bite complaints.
Contact us to schedule a free evaluation of your case at our Lewiston or downtown Portland law offices. Remember that time is limited when filing a claim, so it’s imperative to call us promptly to discuss your options.