Dogs provide many people with comfort and companionship, but not all dogs are friendly, and even friendly dogs may unexpectedly bite people without provocation. When dogs attack, it often causes significant physical harm and emotional trauma that can be costly to treat, and dog owners should be held accountable for the injuries caused by their dogs. If you were a victim of a dog bite, you should speak to an attorney regarding the compensation that you may be owed. The Manchester dog bite lawyers at Stephen Law Group are adept at aiding people harmed by dog bites in the pursuit of damages and can aggressively advocate on your behalf.New Hampshire Dog Bite Laws
Under New Hampshire law, dog owners can be held strictly liable for harm caused by their dogs. Specifically, the law provides that if a dog causes harm to a person, the victim can recover damages from the individual who owns, keeps, or possesses the dog. If the person who owns or keeps a dog that harms someone is a minor, his or her parents will be liable for the damages caused by the dog. There is an exception to the strict liability rule, however, for cases in which the person who suffered harm was trespassing or engaged in some other tort. In these cases, the person responsible for the dog will not be held strictly liable for harm caused by the dog.
Although the law does not refer to bites specifically, it is often called the “dog bite statute,” since most harm that constitutes a violation of the statute arises out of dog bites. While a dog bite is not explicitly required, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has interpreted the statute to provide for the recovery of compensation in cases in which damages are caused by the mischievous or vicious conduct of a dog. In other words, an owner will not be held liable for harm caused by innocent, accidental actions. In most instances, though, dog bites clearly fall under the domain of mischievous or vicious conduct. This generally allows a dog bite attorney to help Manchester residents pursue damages under the dog bite statute.Recovering Damages Following a Dog Bite
Dog bites often cause serious injuries, including puncture wounds, torn ligaments and tendons, fractures, nerve damage, infections, and scarring. Dog bites frequently cause psychological harm as well. When an attack by a dog is especially severe, it can result in the loss of an appendage or limb or even death.
Lawsuits arising out of dog bites differ from other New Hampshire personal injury cases in that the person who suffers harm does not need to prove that the dog owner acted negligently, nor that the owner knew or should have known that the dog had a propensity for violence prior to the bite. Instead, the victim only needs to prove that he or she suffered damages because of an attack by the dog.
The damages recoverable include compensation for the cost of any medical treatment needed following the bite, which can include hospitalization, surgeries, prescriptions, and physical therapy. A Manchester dog bite attorney may also be able to help a victim recover damages for lost wages if they were unable to work following an attack. In many instances, they will be awarded compensation for the mental anguish and pain caused by the attack as well. Any lawsuit seeking damages following a dog bite must be filed within three years of the date of the bite. Otherwise, the injured person may waive the right to recover compensation.Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in New Hampshire
Dog bites can cause substantial injuries. If a dog bit you, you should meet with an attorney to discuss the damages that you may be able to recover. The attorneys at Stephen Law Group offer the skills and resources to help you prove that the dog’s owner should be held accountable for your harm, and we will work hard to help you seek a successful outcome. We assist dog bite victims in personal injury cases in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. You can contact us via our form online or at 877-663-1007 to set up a meeting with a dog bite lawyer in the Manchester area.