Dog Bite Claims in Nebraska
A 13-year study by Dogsbite.org reveals that dogs killed 433 U.S. residents between 2005 and 2017, with pit bulls responsible for 66 percent of fatalities, Rottweilers for 9 percent, and the remainder by mixed breeds, bulldogs, mastiffs, and huskies.
Although a comparably small death toll compared to other injuries, dogs bite and injure 4.5 million people per year in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five of these injuries becomes infected.
Dogs have long held the moniker of man’s best friend, and the vast majority of them are friendly. Nevertheless, aggressive, territorial, and poorly trained dogs do attack, and the injuries can prove severe or sometimes fatal. Whether a dog attacked you while walking through your neighborhood, delivering a package, or enjoying a public park, you might qualify for compensation related to any serious injuries. Call one of the attorneys at Robert Pahlke Law Group at (308) 633-4444 to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation.
Robert Pahlke Law Group’s Results in Dog Bite Claims
The skilled attorneys at Robert Pahlke Law Group have represented clients in multiple types of personal injury cases, including those involving dog bite injuries. Cases vary widely on specifics and severity, but our team has recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients in past cases. Although we cannot guarantee results in a particular case, our legal team will diligently pursue the best possible outcome for your individual dog bite injury.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can result in severe injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Contraction of disease, including rabies, Capnocytophaga bacteria, Pasteurella, MRSA, and tetanus. Although these diseases are treatable, they cause severe health issues in those with weak immune systems.
- Severe cuts and lacerations.
- Torn tissue damage including muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- Broken bones.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
- Psychological trauma from the attack, especially in children, who are more vulnerable to dog attacks.
- Death, although rare, might occur from some attacks or infected bites. In this situation, discuss a wrongful death claim with your personal injury attorney.
Nebraska Laws Concerning Dog Ownership
Nebraska Revised Statute 54-601 spells out laws about dog ownership and related liability, damages, and exceptions. Dog owners are strictly liable for all damages that their dogs inflict on others—even owners who are not aware that their dogs might attack. Exceptions include:
- Dog owners are not strictly liable when a victim provokes the animal.
- Dog owners are not strictly liable when a dog bites a trespasser.
- Property owners are not liable when a tenant’s dog attacks someone on the leased property.
- Dog owners are not liable for damages caused by police or military dogs while in the line of duty.
Nebraska also has comparative negligence rules that might apply in some dog bite cases, especially in situations where the dog owner claims that the victim provoked an attack. Comparative negligence is the notion of shared liability.
If the court applies this rule to a dog bite case, it will assign a percentage of fault to each party. In the event that the victim holds some liability, the court will reduce damages by that percentage. For example, if the court finds the defendant 80 percent at fault and the plaintiff 20 percent at fault, it will reduce a $100,000 award by 20 percent, to $80,000.
Nebraska’s version of modified comparative negligence prohibits victims from collecting damages if they are more than 50 percent responsible for their dog bite injuries.
This gives the defense an opportunity to avoid paying some or all damages by shifting liability to the victim. A skilled personal injury attorney who has experience with dog bite injuries will fight against strategies like these and others to maximize your chances to recover as much compensation as possible.
Damages in Dog Bite Injury Cases
If you were bitten or attacked by a dog, you might recover damages related to your injury that include:
- Expenses for medical treatment, including hospital stays—which for dog bite injury victims are 50 percent more costly than the average injury— reconstructive surgeries, and prescription medication.
- Future medical costs, especially in the case of scarring or disfigurement, where recovery requires multiple surgeries—according to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons almost 28,000 persons had reconstructive plastic surgery for dog bite injuries in 2017.
- Lost wages for time missed from work.
- Future lost wages in severe cases.
- Compensation for pain and suffering associated with the physical and mental anguish involved with a dog bite injury.
- In the rare case of a fatality, surviving family members may recover funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death claims.
Contact a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer in Nebraska
If a dog attacked you or your child, you need to call the police, call animal control, and seek immediate medical attention. Make sure to get all contact information possible from the dog owner, including homeowners’ insurance information if applicable. Dog bites are traumatic experiences for most victims, and dog owners who harbor dangerous pets, neglect them, or don’t protect others from their dog’s behavior need to accept responsibility. This is much easier to do with a competent dog bite attorney by your side.
Like most personal injury law firms, we offer no-obligation, free consultations to evaluate your case. We often handle cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning that you’ll pay attorney fees only if we help you to recover a verdict or settlement.
If you were injured by a dog bite in Nebraska, the legal team at Robert Pahlke Law Group can handle the details of your case, including investigating the circumstances of the dog attack, speaking to witnesses, filing essential paperwork, communicating with insurance companies, and more. During this difficult time, you need to focus on healing and recovery while a skilled dog bite injury lawyer handles the legal process for you. Contact Robert Pahlke Law Group online or call our office at (308) 633-4444 to schedule a free consultation.