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Can I Sue if I’m Bitten by a Dog in Idaho?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you know about the pain and mental anguish that comes with it. It’s the stuff of nightmares, and the injuries can be serious and take a long time to recover. So if you live in Idaho and are bitten, what recourse do you have? Can you sue?

At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., we understand that a dog bite is painful, scary and can do serious damage to the victim. We are passionate about helping victims of dog bites and dog attacks get the compensation they deserve so they can get back to their life without worrying about all the financial burden of an injury.

The truth is, you can sue, but that doesn’t mean you’ll win. In Idaho, it takes more than just getting bitten by a dog to win compensation against the owner of the dog.

Idaho Dog Bite Laws

Idaho is one of the few states where there is no law that specifically addresses dog bites and when someone is liable for a dog bite. This means that the victim must prove that the owner was negligent before a dog bite liability claim can be made.

While that’s sometimes hard to prove, there are some circumstances that can help show the owner was negligent.

  • Aggressive Dog: A previous serious bite or attack can be used to show that the dog was aggressive. If a dog is deemed aggressive and then bites someone, then the owner is liable for the injuries. The law gives the owner of an aggressive dog a duty to keep it from harming anyone.
  • State Law: Idaho bans some dog breeds, and others are considered dangerous and aggressive, and the owner has to keep such a dog from attacking anyone. (See Idaho Statutes Title 25, Chapter 25, Section 25-2810).
  • Trespassing Dog: If the dog was trespassing on another person’s property or enters another person’s yard or house and bites or attacks someone, the courts will allow this as evidence to prove that the owner was negligent.

These are just a few ways that an owner can be considered negligent when their dog bites someone. The law puts the burden of proof on the victim to prove negligence, and a previous attack on someone would help your case, but it’s not the only way. Talk to an attorney who can help you understand the law.

How to Win a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Idaho

To get compensation for a dog bite injury, the victim must show that the owner was negligent, and none of the following can be present:

  1. That the victim was trespassing on the owner’s property,
  2. That the victim provoked the dog,
  3. That the owner was 50 percent or more negligent in the injury.

So how do we prove the owner was negligent in your case? Remember the ways to show negligence that we talked about? First, of course, if the dog has bitten anyone before, this would go a long way to prove negligence.

If not, then you need to prove that the dog was known to be an aggressive dog but just hadn’t bitten anyone before, then this might put the owner on notice that he or she should have kept their dog under control.

So talk to the neighbors, check police reports, postal workers, package delivery companies, paper delivery and basically anything that will show that there were past incidences of their dog being aggressive.

Also, though it won’t be enough on its own, if the dog is an aggressive breed of dog, this might help. Or it might be one of the dogs that are banned in Idaho. Do your research and try to find out if any evidence exists that the dog has been aggressive.

Dog Bite Injuries

Dogs are strong and they can easily pierce their victim’s skin and sink their teeth deep into someone’s body. The result can be a serious injury. Some of the most common injuries to a dog bite victim are:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Loss of blood
  • Broken bones
  • Torn Ligaments
  • Eye injuries
  • Scars
  • Head and Neck Injuries
  • Face Injuries
  • Emotional Scars

Types of Damages a Dog Bite Victim Can Claim

If the victim can prove negligence, then the law allows for certain damages to be claimed. The bottom line is that the owner has to make the person whole again, and since that is impossible, then the next best thing is to give them money to pay for their financial losses and their anguish and suffering. Some of the types of damages that a dog bite victim can seek are:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Medical Bills
  • Rehab Bills
  • Permanent Disfigurement
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Loss of Wages
  • Future Inability to Work
  • PTSD
  • Mental Anguish

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, don’t listen to anyone tell you that you can’t prove that the owner was negligent. Talk to a dog bite attorney who knows the law and is experienced in getting compensation for dog bite victims.

Contact a Coeur d’Alene Accident Lawyer.

Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is licensed and practices in both Washington and Idaho. We are committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Coeur d’Alene Car Personal Injury Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.

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