Salt Lake City Dog Bite Lawyer
Many thousands of Salt Lake City dwellers love dogs and keep them as pets. However, man’s best friend isn’t always friendly. Every year, thousands of people in Salt Lake City sustain significant injuries from dog bites, many of them children.
Victims of dog bites throughout Utah have legal rights to seek compensation for their injuries from the dog’s owner and, potentially, others. Feller & Wendt can help. We have successfully represented numerous dog bite victims and have secured top-dollar settlements for their losses.
Your Rights Under Utah’s Dog Bite Laws
Dog bites occur frequently—so often, in fact, that Utah has long had a law on the books specifically addressing who pays for injuries caused by a dog. Under Utah’s dog bite statute, “a person who owns or keeps a dog is liable for an injury caused by the dog, regardless of whether (i) the dog is vicious or mischievous; or (ii) the owner knows the dog is vicious or mischievous.”
This is what is known as a strict liability law. Owners and keepers of dogs that bite a person owe damages to the victim regardless of whether the dog had a history of viciousness or whether the owner/keeper acted reasonably in handling the dog. Generally, the only exceptions to that liability are:
- If a bite is inflicted by a police K9 in the course of its necessary, appropriate, reasonable, and careful use in official law enforcement duties
- If the victim was more than 50% at fault for causing the bite injury to happen
In addition to an owner’s or keeper’s strict liability for a bite, other parties may also face liability to you for injuries you suffered in a dog attack. Utah law generally permits you to claim compensation from anyone else whose careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions contributed to the dog biting you.
Potential Compensation for a Salt Lake City Dog Bite
Liability for a dog bite injury generally means that a dog’s owner, keeper (such as a dog walker or kennel), or anyone whose wrongful actions caused an attack, must pay for your:
- Medical expenses related to treating the injury
- Costs of other goods or services made necessary by the injury
- Lost wages from missing work while healing, including the value of paid time off
- Lost future income if the bite causes a temporary or permanent disability
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life
In certain cases, a skilled Salt Lake City dog bite attorney like a member of the team at Feller & Wendt may also be able to secure a court award of punitive damages against the owner, keeper, or other at-fault party. These damages can be available if a person’s extreme or intentionally harmful actions caused the dog to attack you.
How We Help Salt Lake City Dog Bite Victims
Our job as lawyers for Salt Lake City dog bite victims is to secure the maximum compensation available for the harm the victim suffered. What that means can vary from case to case, but it often includes:
- Meeting for free with the victim to learn about the dog bite and to discuss the victim’s legal options
- Investigating the attack to explore why it happened, the trauma it caused, and who should face liability
- Collecting evidence and preparing a claim for damages on the victim’s behalf
- Pursuing a claim through filings with an insurance company or litigation in a Salt Lake City court or arbitration proceeding
- Negotiating favorable settlements whenever possible
- Taking cases to trial to prove liability and damages to a judge and jury
- Collecting all money due to the dog bite victim through a settlement, judgment, or award
Our firm represents Salt Lake City dog bite victims on a contingent fee basis. This means we only earn a fee for our services if we succeed in securing you money for your injuries.
Tips for a Dog Bite Injury in Utah
If you or someone you love suffered a dog bite injury in Salt Lake City, these tips can help to protect your legal and financial rights.
Report the Bite to County Authorities
The Salt Lake City Code of Ordinances requires you to report any dog bite to Salt Lake County Animal Services or to the Salt Lake County Health Department. The purpose of this rule is to protect you and others from the danger of a potentially deadly rabies infection. It can also serve to create a helpful evidentiary record of your bite.
Do Not Settle Informally
For understandable reasons, dog owners and others who face potential liability for your bite injury may offer to settle with you informally by, for example, paying your emergency room bill or giving you cash. Avoid the temptation to agree to these arrangements, as they could impair your legal rights to receive far more compensation through legal action.
Contact an Experienced Salt Lake City Dog Bite Attorney at Feller & Wendt Today
Dog bites can cause severe pain, expense, and disruption in your life. However, Utah law gives you substantial rights to receive compensation for your injuries, and a skilled Salt Lake City dog bite lawyer can help you secure it.
Feller & Wendt has years of experience representing Salt Lake region dog bite victims. We focus our law practice exclusively on securing compensation for people who have suffered harm because of someone else’s wrongdoing. We treat our clients like family, giving them personalized attention and our solemn commitment to obtaining as much money as possible to help them pay for medical care and recover from trauma. For a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team, contact us online or call our office at (801) 499-5060 today.