Many people deeply love their dogs, and for good reason. For many Nebraskans, dogs may as well be family members. In rural areas, dogs provide valuable services to farmers, helping to herd sheep and cattle or chase deer away from crops.
Still, loving a dog does not excuse putting others in harm’s way. Owners who give a dog too much freedom or leeway put their neighbors and communities at risk of devastating injuries.
If you suffer a bite or other injury in an attack by a vicious or overly zealous animal, Nebraska law may entitle you to seek compensation for your injuries. Speak with an experienced Nebraska personal injury lawyer today by contacting the Robert Pahlke Law Group today.
Nebraska Dog Bite Law
According to Nebraska law, dogs count as their owners’ personal property, and the owner bears legal liability for any injury, physical or financial, caused by the animal. This includes:
- Direct dog bite injuries
- Injuries caused by a dog knocking someone over or tripping them
- Financial damages due to a dog chasing domestic livestock, including sheep
The statute, and therefore owner liability, does not apply:
- To police dogs or military dogs when the police or military have reason to suspect the individual of criminal action. Individuals injured by those dogs because of criminal activity cannot seek compensation from the government.
- If someone chose to trespass on property where the dog had the right to stay. Someone lawfully on the dog owner’s property who suffers injury because of the dog has the right to compensation, but a trespasser on that property does not.
- If someone deliberately or knowingly provokes the dog to attack. Taunting or provoking the dog makes the individual liable for any damages suffered because of that taunting.
- The dog was behaving playfully and the owner warned the victim of that potential behavior. Some dogs play hard even when not actively behaving aggressively, which can result in injury. If the dog owner properly warned the victim ahead of the play and the victim chose to play with the dog anyway, resulting in a bite, the dog owner does not bear liability for those damages.
For someone legally on the property where they suffer an attack from a dog who does not taunt the dog or engage in criminal activity, the dog owner bears liability for any injury caused by the dog as a result of a bite or attack.
Dog Bite Injuries, Medical Problems, and Complications
Dog attacks can leave victims with a wide range of injuries. Most people assume that dog bites represent the most serious part of the injury. Sometimes, however, a dog can knock down the victim, causing other injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Road rash from the pavement
In addition, a dog bite can cause serious complications for the victim. Dog bites can leave the victims suffering from a wide range of infections, including tetanus, rabies, and bacterial infections like staphylococcus. Dog bites may leave the victim with serious nerve and muscle damage or can, in some cases, break bones. Many dog bite victims also note serious scarring following a dog attack. Many victims opt for plastic surgery to help repair the damage from the dog bite. Calling us can empower you to do so.
Seeking Compensation for a Dog Bite
If you suffer a dog bite, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries under Nebraska law. In a personal injury claim, including dog bite or other dog injury cases, you can typically seek compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages. By talking with an attorney, you can get an idea of the damages you may claim following a dog bite that injured you.
A dog bite can leave you with substantial medical expenses. Some victims use an ambulance to proceed straight to the hospital emergency room, especially if they suffer serious bleeding as a result of the dog bite. Even victims who don’t travel in an ambulance may require emergency treatment to clean and stitch their wounds. Victims who suffer infections following a dog bite may require repeated follow-up visits. Doctors may also want to keep an eye on nerve and muscle damage throughout the victim’s recovery.
Your medical expenses following a dog bite may also include physical therapy, especially if you suffered severe nerve or muscle damage or broke a bone because of the bite. Bites to the hand can leave you with limited mobility or may require surgical treatment and repair, depending on severity. In addition, you may need psychological therapy to help cope with the trauma from the accident. Victims who suffer severe scarring, especially around the face, may also require plastic surgery to help restore their appearance.
Following a dog bite, some victims may miss work. Both pain and trauma may provide grounds for avoiding work short-term after a dog bite accident. Victims who require plastic surgery or surgical repair of damaged limbs may miss work for longer periods of time. If the victim suffers trauma to the hand, for example, the injury can hinder normal work tasks. By claiming those lost wages as part of your damages from a dog bite, you may receive the compensation you need for missed hours at work.
Pain and Suffering
Your dog bite may leave you with a fear of dogs that lasts long after the accident itself, preventing you from enjoying time with dogs and even struggling to visit places you know you might find dogs. Many people find themselves avoiding locations they once enjoyed visiting out of fear after a dog attack. Not only that, dog bites can cause substantial physical pain, depending on the nature of the bite. Talking with an attorney can give you an idea of what compensation you deserve for pain and suffering following a dog bite.
Did You Suffer a Dog Attack in Nebraska?
After an attack from a dog, having an attorney on your side can help increase the compensation you receive for your injuries as well as alleviate stress from dealing with the dog’s owner. It can give you the tools and money needed to repair your life. If you contact the Robert Pahlke Law Group today at (308) 633-4444 for a free consultation, you may find yourself taking the first steps toward a life that a dog attack no longer defines.