Kids love dogs, and dogs love kids, but sometimes something goes wrong and a dog will attack a child. Kids can get rambunctious and dogs get agitated or territorial and then bite. For a child, this can be traumatic, and the injury can be severe and even life-threatening.
At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., we feel strongly about help child victims of dog attacks. We understand the strain put on the family when a young one is suffering from the wound and having nightmares about the attack.
We have handled many child dog bite injuries and now what it takes to get justice and fair compensation for a minor child.
Child Bite Injuries in Idaho
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. Some have said that in Idaho, you can only get compensation for a dog bite if the dog had bitten someone before. It’s called the “one bite rule” and most states have gone away from this rule.
However, in Idaho, the “one bite rule” isn’t a hard-fast rule, rather the law puts the burden of proof on the victim to prove negligence, and a previous attack on someone would help, but it’s not the only way. Talk to an attorney who can help you understand how the law works and how you can make a dog bite claim.
What if a Dog Bit my Child?
The first thing to do—after immediate medical attention—is to find out where the dog lives and who is the owner. Get an address and talk to neighbors who might have seen something or may have witnessed the attack.
Then you need to speak to an attorney who can help you know and understand your rights and knows how to make a successful dog-bite claim
What if My Child is Bitten While Trespassing onto Neighbor’s Yard?
Kids wander into yards all the time, and sometimes they will get bit. If that’s the case, then you might have trouble getting compensation because you weren’t given an express invitation to be on the property.
However, Idaho law will award compensation for a dog bite if the owner was negligent. To prove this, the child would have proof that the owner left the gate open, “invited” the child on the property by buying cookies or having the newspaper delivered.
Once the child is lawfully on the property then if the dog bites without provocation, then the child can make a claim for damages.
What if My Child Provoked the Dog?
In Idaho, if the child provokes the dog and the dog bites him or her back, then it’s likely that the child won’t’ get compensation for their injuries. This is because Idaho law says that if a person provokes a dog then he or she will not be able to file a lawsuit to get compensation.
To determine provocation, the courts will look at the age of the child to see if the child can understand right from wrong and the consequences of his actions.
Types of Compensation a Bite Victim Can Seek
Dog bite injuries to children can cause a host of problems that many don’t think about. Under Idaho law, a person can seek any financial loss they suffer from the incident as well as intangible losses like mental anguish.
- Medical Bills
- Mental anguish, including PTSD
- Permanent disability
- Transportation to treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Permanent Disfigurement/Scarring
What Should I do if my Child was Bitten by a Dog?
The most important thing is to get your child’s injuries taken care of. You can take pictures of the bite before treatment, and even of the dog if the situation allows. But after that, you need to talk to Idaho Dog Bite Attorney who knows Washington’s law regarding dog bites.
Talk to the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., and get someone on your side. We serve clients in Spokane, WA, Coeur d’Alene, ID, and surrounding communities and can go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and their lawyers to get you fair compensation for your injuries. Call us at (509) 926 4900, or send us a message by clicking here.