Dog bites are an all-too-common occurrence that can result in severe physical and emotional scarring that can last a lifetime.
Even a seemingly gentle dog can turn aggressive or vicious in an instant, striking out at someone near them, especially if the dog is stressed by an unfamiliar individual or animal. While some dog bites leave nothing more than reddened skin or a bruise, other dog bite injuries can be more serious, particularly if the victim is a small child.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite in Cheyenne, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses if the dog was someone else’s. The law imposes a duty on dog owners to control their animals. If a dog attacks someone, the animal’s owner can be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Most insurance policies – for either homeowners or renters – include liability coverage for dog bites. Let our Cheyenne dog bite lawyers help you understand your legal rights and options when it comes to seeking compensation for your injuries. Contact the Olson Law Firm now for a free consultation.
First Steps to Take After a Dog Bite in Cheyenne
If you have been attacked by a dog in Cheyenne, there are certain steps you need to take to protect your health, your rights, and your options for compensation.
- You should always seek immediate medical treatment following a dog bite, especially if there is broken skin. If you cannot obtain the dog’s medical treatment records, or if the dog cannot be brought in for testing, it may be necessary to undergo preventative treatment for common diseases carried by dogs, such as rabies. You should keep copies of the treatment records for your injuries. You should also take photographs of your injuries.
- You should speak with the owner of the animal and inform them of the attack, so the owner can take steps to prevent further aggressive acts. You should also obtain any information you can about the dog, including its immunization status and health records so that you can seek proper treatment. If you cannot find the dog’s owner, you should instead contact your local police or animal control office
- You should retain the services of an experienced dog bite lawyer. An attorney can work on your behalf to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, emotional trauma, and more. Hiring an attorney to pursue a legal claim against a dog owner could help preserve any relationship you may have with the dog owner, particularly if that person is a neighbor, a friend, or a family member. Keep in mind that dog owner’s insurance will likely pay the claim. The money most likely won’t come directly from the dog owner’s pocket.
Dog Bite Laws in Cheyenne, Wyoming
The city of Cheyenne has adopted several ordinances governing dog bites. Specifically, a municipal ordinance requires a dog owner to prevent their dog from biting or causing injury to any person or pet.
Any dog that bites or injures a person or pet can immediately, at the discretion of the responding animal control officer or police officer, be summarily impounded for up to 10 days at the owner’s expense. An impounded dog must be claimed within 48 hours, otherwise, it becomes property of the city and will either be made available for adoption or humanely euthanized, if necessary and by court order.
Any dog owner who violates a Cheyenne municipal ordinance governing dog bites and attacks can be cited and subject to a fine of up to $750. Cheyenne municipal ordinance further requires dog owners to vaccinate their pets against rabies and keep records of current vaccinations.
Liability for a Dog Bite Case in Cheyenne
Wyoming law follows the common law in imposing liability for injuries caused by dog bites.
Wyoming is a “one bite” state. Under the one-bite rule, a person injured by a dog bite can impose strict liability upon the dog’s owner by proving that the owner knew, or had reason to know, that the dog was dangerous. The rule gets its name because one of the most common ways of proving a dog’s propensity to act aggressively is determining if the dog has previously bitten another person or animal. It may be possible, of course, to prove by other means that a dog owner knew that their dog was dangerous.
It may also be possible to impose liability for injuries caused by a dog bite under the law of negligence. A dog owner can be negligent if the owner violates a duty under the law or violates the owner’s duty to use reasonable care in handling or controlling their dog, and the owner’s breach of his or her duty results in an attack that injures another person.
Compensation Available in a Dog Bite Case
If you have been injured by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for damages that you have suffered. Compensation in dog bite cases can include economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are specific financial losses and include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages are subjective personal losses and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
You also may be entitled to seek compensation for any property damage you suffer during the dog’s attack, such as damaged clothing or a broken watch, for example.
Why You Should Call Olson Law Firm If You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite, trying to pursue a claim for compensation on your own can be extremely difficult, particularly when the dog owner is a neighbor, friend, or family member. That is why it can be critical to retain an experienced dog bite lawyer to help you with your claim.
When you need help pursuing compensation following a dog bite in Cheyenne, you should contact the Olson Law Firm. We take the time to get to know you, fully understand the details of your case, answer all your questions and concerns, and make sure that you know that you are important to us.
Attorney Sean Olson, the founder of the Olson Law Firm, is a respected trial lawyer who has demonstrated a track record of success, both in and out of the courtroom, helping clients obtain the compensation they need and deserve. We strive to maintain open and honest communication with you throughout your case.
When you are an Olson Law Firm client, you are a part of our family. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options after a dog bite in Cheyenne.