Nebraska Dog Bite Law

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After dog attacks, life may never be the same. You may suffer an injury that leaves permanent scars or disfigurement. You might also have to cope with emotional or psychological issues after the attack, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Understanding Nebraska’s dog bite laws could help you feel more in control of your life and future. The law may entitle you to compensation you could use to move on after significant injuries. In any dog bite case, understanding your legal options and seeking experienced legal representation is crucial to navigating the complexities of the claim process and ensuring you are adequately compensated for your injuries. Contact an Omaha dog bite attorney today.

Nebraska Has Strict Liability Dog Bite Laws

Most states abide by either strict liability or one-bite dog laws. Nebraska is a strict liability state, emphasizing the legal responsibilities of dog owners. Nebraska Revised Statute 54-601 states a dog owner will be liable for any injuries or damages his or her dog causes, regardless of negligence. An exception is if the injured person was unlawfully on the pet owner’s property at the time of the attack. Another exception is if the dog was performing its duties as a police or military animal.

Nebraska’s dog bite statute also covers other dog activities, such as tearing up property or jumping on someone. Any injuries or damages a dog causes to someone lawfully on a property will become the dog’s owner’s legal responsibility. Since Nebraska is a strict liability state, you do not have to prove the owner was negligent to recover damages. Showing the dog caused your injuries and that you were not trespassing will generally be enough to hold the owner liable.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

You may need to file a claim against the dog owner if the attack caused serious injuries. A serious injury can mean a temporary or permanent disability, severe pain and suffering, mental anguish, expensive medical costs, or other specific losses. A minor bite injury with no complications might not be worth pursuing a lawsuit. A debilitating dog bite, however, could be grounds for a lawsuit.

Some dog attacks require surgeries, skin grafts, reconstructive procedures, rabies shots, staples, stitches, and other significant treatments. If you or a loved one has a catastrophic injury because of a dog attack, bring a claim in pursuit of financial recovery. Nebraska’s dog bite laws could make you eligible for significant compensation.

How a Dog Bite Attorney Can Help Your Case

Facing the aftermath of a dog bite can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with serious injuries, emotional trauma, and the complexities of legal claims. An experienced dog bite lawyer can provide invaluable assistance, ensuring your rights are protected and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation. Here’s how a dog bite attorney can help:

A personal injury attorney specializing in dog bites plays a crucial role in guiding victims through the legal maze, ensuring they understand their rights and the complexities of their case, including the statute of limitations and emotional damages.

Legal Experience and Advice

A dog bite attorney brings specialized knowledge and experience to your case:

  • Understanding the Law: An attorney understands the nuances of Nebraska’s strict liability dog bite laws and how they apply to your situation.
  • Case Evaluation: They can evaluate the details of your case to determine the strength of your claim and the potential for compensation.
  • Legal Strategy: Develop a tailored legal strategy to address the specifics of your case, including identifying liable parties and determining the best course of action.

Handling Insurance Companies

Navigating interactions with insurance companies can be challenging, but an attorney can manage this process effectively:

  • Filing Claims: Assist with filing insurance claims, ensuring all necessary documentation and evidence are included.
  • Negotiation: Negotiate with insurance adjusters to seek a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • Dealing with Denials: Address any denials or lowball offers from insurance companies, advocating for your rightful compensation.

Gathering and Presenting Evidence

Building a strong case requires thorough evidence collection and presentation:

  • Investigation: Conduct a comprehensive investigation of the incident, including gathering witness statements, medical records, and any available surveillance footage.
  • Expert Testimony: Work with medical experts, animal behaviorists, and other professionals to strengthen your case and provide credible testimony.
  • Documenting Damages: Ensure all your injuries, treatments, and related expenses are well-documented to support your claim.

Legal Representation in Court

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can represent you in court:

  • Filing a Lawsuit: Prepare and file a lawsuit against the dog owner or other liable parties within the statute of limitations.
  • Court Procedures: Handle all court procedures, including pre-trial motions, discovery, and presenting your case before a judge or jury.
  • Trial Advocacy: Advocate on your behalf during the trial, presenting evidence and arguments to seek a favorable verdict.

Managing Legal Deadlines

An attorney ensures all legal deadlines are met, preventing your case from being dismissed due to procedural errors:

  • Statute of Limitations: Make sure your claim is filed within Nebraska’s four-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases.
  • Filing Deadlines: Adhere to all necessary deadlines for submitting documents, evidence, and other legal filings.

Reducing Stress and Burden

Handling a legal claim can be stressful, especially when recovering from an injury. An attorney can ease this burden:

  • Comprehensive Support: Provide ongoing support and guidance throughout the legal process, answering your questions and addressing your concerns.
  • Focus on Recovery: Allow you to focus on your recovery while they manage the legal aspects of your case.

Maximizing Compensation

An experienced attorney knows how to maximize the compensation you receive:

  • Calculating Damages: Accurately calculate the full extent of your damages, including future medical costs, lost earning capacity, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
  • Settlement vs. Trial: Advise you on whether to accept a settlement offer or proceed to trial based on the potential outcomes and your best interests.

Navigating a dog bite claim in Nebraska requires specialized legal knowledge and skills. By hiring a dedicated dog bite attorney from Knowles Law Firm, you can ensure your case is handled professionally and effectively, maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, contact Knowles Law Firm today for a free consultation. Our team is committed to fighting for your rights and helping you secure the compensation you deserve.

Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Dog Bite Claim

If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation for various damages. Understanding the types of damages you can recover in a dog bite claim is crucial for ensuring you receive fair compensation for your losses. Here’s an overview of the different types of damages that may be available in a dog bite claim: Playful and mischievous acts by dogs, however, are not typically grounds for liability under Nebraska’s dog bite statute, indicating that such behaviors do not give rise to a cause of action or damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the quantifiable financial losses you incur as a result of the dog bite. These typically include:

  1. Medical Expenses: Compensation for all medical costs related to the dog bite injury, such as:
    • Emergency room visits
    • Hospital stays
    • Surgeries
    • Medications
    • Physical therapy
    • Psychological counseling
    • Future medical treatments
  2. Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to the inability to work while recovering from the injury. This includes:
    • Wages lost during hospitalization and recovery
    • Lost earning capacity if the injury affects your ability to work in the future
  3. Property Damage: Compensation for any personal property damaged during the attack, such as clothing or eyeglasses.
  4. Rehabilitation Costs: Costs associated with rehabilitation services needed to recover from the physical and emotional trauma of the attack.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more subjective and cover the intangible losses you suffer due to the dog bite. These may include:

  1. Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering endured as a result of the dog attack. This encompasses:
    • Chronic pain
    • Emotional distress
    • Anxiety and depression
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
  2. Scarring and Disfigurement: Damages for any permanent scarring or disfigurement caused by the dog bite, which can impact your appearance and self-esteem.
  3. Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the impact of the injury on your relationship with your spouse or family members, including loss of companionship and support.

Punitive Damages

In certain cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are intended to punish the dog owner for particularly egregious behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages may be applicable if:

  • The dog owner acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
  • The dog had a known history of aggression, and the owner failed to take appropriate precautions.

Special Considerations for Child Victims

Children are often the victims of dog attacks, and their claims may involve additional considerations:

  • Long-Term Impact: The potential long-term impact on the child’s physical and emotional development.
  • Educational Disruption: Compensation for any disruption to the child’s education due to the injury.

Understanding the types of damages you can recover in a dog bite claim is essential for ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. At Knowles Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping dog bite victims navigate the legal process and secure maximum compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, contact us today for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys will evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and work tirelessly to achieve a favorable outcome.

What to Do After a Dog Attack

Prevent dog attacks in Omaha by never approaching a strange dog. Ask the owner’s permission before approaching or petting the animal. If a stray or unleashed dog approaches you, stay very still. Do not run from the dog, make loud noises or instigate an attack. Never disturb a dog that is eating or with puppies. If a dog attacks, protect your head and neck by tucking them in toward your chest and rolling into a ball. Cover your ears with your hands.

If a dog attack injures you, seek medical care right away. Go to a hospital in Omaha and explain what happened. You may need special treatments to prevent infections or the spread of diseases such as rabies, especially if the dog is not up-to-date on its vaccines. Document your attack, writing down information such as the name of the owner and where the attack occurred. Once you have received medical treatment, contact the pet owner’s insurance company to file a claim. Their homeowner’s insurance should cover dog attacks.

If the owner does not have insurance, file an injury claim against them with the local civil courts. The pet owner may have to pay out of pocket for medical bills, property repairs, and other expenses. Hire a dog bite attorney to help you bring your claim. You have four years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit in Nebraska. Work with a dog bite lawyer to help maximize your odds of a payout. Additionally, it’s important to note the legal liability of dog owners for damages caused by their dogs not only to people but also to domestic animals belonging to others, which can include compensation for injuries, death, or distress caused to other pets.