Dog Bite Laws And Bozeman’s Options

dog bite attorney bozemanBozeman is no stranger to dog bite accidents whether a person is injured by a dog or a dog attacks livestock.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says that 52% of Montana homes have at least 1 pet dog. According to this source, these pets live longer in Montana as well. People love their dogs. Dogs easily become part of the family, best friends, and companions, but not all dogs are pleasant, and not every interaction with dogs is positive. Sometimes, dogs become protective, afraid, confused, or just plain mean.

More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year. Dog bites can range from very mild to extremely painful and infections. Dog bites can puncture veins, reach through to nerves and damage muscles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 1 in 5 dog bites require medical attention and about 28 people are killed from dog bites each year.

Bozeman Residents & Dog Bite Laws

Dog bite laws are pretty clear about dog bites and who is liable for damages. But the laws vary depending on circumstances. For example, if a dog bites without provocation, the owner of the dog can be held responsible – even if the bite happened on the dog owner’s property. It doesn’t matter if the dog has ever displayed signs of aggression or viciousness, the owner will be held liable.

However, the owner of the dog can be defended by a couple of circumstances.

  • Trespassing – If a person is bit by a dog while trespassing on private property, the dog owner is not responsible for the injury and will not be held accountable in a court of law. Additionally, if the injured party tries to sue the dog owner, he would have to prove negligence by the dog owner.
  • Provoking – If the dog was provoked by the person suffering injury from a dog bite, the dog owner will not be held accountable. But first, the provocation has to be proven – and that isn’t always easy to do. Provocation is determined on a case-by-case basis. Overall, hand thrusts or quick, threatening gestures toward a dog may be considered “provoking” a dog.

Immediate Steps To Take After A Dog Bite

What to do if you’re bitten by a dog?

If you are bitten by a dog in Bozeman or in Montana, there are a few things that you need to do if you plan to file a lawsuit.

  1. Gather your information. As much as possible, gather information about the dog and the dog’s owner. Get a photo of the dog and a description. Obtain the contact information of the dog’s owner and anybody who witnessed the accident.
  2. Report the incident. Call the police and file a report right away. The police can direct you where to go if the report needs to be filed outside of their organization. But report it immediately so that there is a record of the event.
  3. Get medical attention. Do not put off medical treatment. First, your health could be in jeopardy. People have been killed by dog bites and bites can be very infections. Be sure to be treated and are advised of what to do to take care of yourself. Keep track of any related medical expense, report, or damage.
  4. Contact an attorney. A dog bite attorney is going to be your new best friend. Consult with an attorney to determine if you should file a lawsuit, the next steps you need to take and if your incident is considered an event in which the other party would be liable.

Dog Bite Attorney In Bozeman

Don’t assume that any attorney is going to be skilled and experienced in dog bite laws and how to handle a lawsuit of this nature. In Bozeman and the surrounding areas, Tourtlotte Law Firm has experience in dealing with different dog bite cases and has found success in many situations. Don’t try dealing with a dog bite lawsuit on your own. Dog bites can be complicated and you may have to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner. If that is the case, you need an experienced attorney to help you. Contact Tourtlotte Law Firm today!