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Dog Bite Lawsuits for Dog Attacks That Didn’t Break Skin

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Last Modified: May 30, 2024

Utah dog bite that didn't break skin lawsuit

When it comes to dog bite statutes, you should know that Utah is a strict liability state. This means that as long as a dog bite happens in a public place or on private property—including the dog owner’s property—the dog owner will still be held liable for any injuries.

Even if it is a minor dog bite, incidents like this can still lead to pursuing legal action. Victims might not suffer from serious injuries or have broken bones, but emotional trauma and potential physical injuries without skin penetration can matter when they file a lawsuit.

Such cases often involve legal actions, especially regarding proof of injury and the calculation of damages. It’s important to note that just because it was a minor dog bite and there were no puncture wounds, it does not necessarily mean there’s no case to file.

After a dog bite accident, many dog bite victims wonder if they have a case. Each dog bite incident is serious, but even if the attack doesn’t break the skin, the victim’s dog bite injuries can be severe.

The trauma from the attack can also lead to psychological issues, including anxiety, fear of dogs, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These emotional and psychological effects can be as debilitating as physical injuries, sometimes even more so.

Understanding the full scope of potential injuries is crucial in these cases. At Good Guys Injury Law, we hold dog owners responsible for their dogs’ actions. All dog attacks are serious.

If a dog bit you, see a doctor as soon as possible. Then, contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your dog bite claim.

Understanding Non-Penetrative Dog Bite Injuries: They Don’t Break the Skin

Non-penetrative dog bite injuries might not break the skin but can still cause significant harm. These injuries can include bone fractures, nerve damage, and severe bruising that calls for a lot of medical expenses.

The force of a vicious dog bite can be strong enough to cause underlying harm without leaving a mark on the skin’s surface. Such injuries can require medical attention and lead to lasting discomfort or mobility issues.

Legal Grounds for Filing a Lawsuit Without a Skin Break

Legal grounds for filing a lawsuit without a skin break

In Utah, animal attack victims can pursue a lawsuit even if the dog’s teeth did not break their skin. The legal grounds for such a lawsuit typically revolve around negligence on the part of the dog’s owner or a violation of local leash laws or dog bite statutes.

If the dog owner’s negligence can be proven, such as failing to control or properly secure their dog, the victim may have a valid claim for damages.

If the dog bite victim can demonstrate that the dog attack led to significant emotional or psychological harm, they may be entitled to compensation. This aspect of dog bite law underscores the importance of acknowledging the full impact of an attack beyond just physical injuries.

How Evidence Can Make or Break Your Case in Non-Penetrative Dog Bite Claims

How evidence can make or break your case in non-penetrative dog bite claims

Evidence is key in non-penetrative dog bite claims. Documentation of the incident, witness statements, and medical records can all support your case.

Medical examinations can reveal underlying damage from the bite, even if no outward signs of injury exist. Witness accounts of the attack can also bolster claims of negligence or lack of control over the dog.

Photographic evidence of the scene, clothing damage, and any bruising or swelling can be crucial. While these injuries might not break the skin, they can still indicate the force and potential harm of the bite.

Legal representation can help gather and present this evidence effectively, highlighting the extent of the injuries and the impact on the victim’s life.

Types of Compensation You May Recover in a Non-Penetrative Dog Bite Case

  • Medical Bills: Victims can recover compensation for medical bills related to non-penetrative dog bites, covering even minor initial treatments.
  • Mental Health Issues: This includes costs for psychological counseling and treatment for emotional distress. Common issues include PTSD and anxiety.
  • Lost Pay: Lost wages can be claimed if the victim needed time away from work due to the physical or emotional effects of the dog bite.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering is also available.

Common Challenges in Dog Bite Lawsuits Without Skin Break

Common challenges in dog bite lawsuits without skin break

One of the main challenges in these cases is proving the extent of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life.

Without obvious puncture wounds, victims must rely on medical reports and expert testimony to prove the harm the bite caused. It can include detailing any psychological effects that are not immediately apparent.

Proving Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Distress

Proving pain, suffering, and emotional distress in a dog bite case without a skin break is a challenge since this requires detailed documentation and expert testimony.

Aside from physical therapy, victims might need to undergo psychological evaluations. These will demonstrate the impact of the attack on their mental health. Personal journals, testimonies from family or friends, and professional assessments are taken into consideration, as these establish the depth of the victim’s suffering.

The challenge lies in quantifying the victim’s injuries before they translate into compensation. Legal expertise from an experienced attorney comes in handy, especially in presenting a compelling case.

The claim must accurately reflect the victim’s experience and losses. A skilled dog bite lawyer can guide victims through this process. They ensure that the victim’s pain and suffering are acknowledged and compensated.

Establishing Liability Without Physical Harm

Establishing liability in a dog bite case that didn’t break the skin often hinges on demonstrating the dog owner’s negligence. This can involve showing that the owner neglected to take reasonable steps to prevent the incident.

It may include properly securing their dog or ignoring local leash laws. Evidence of previous aggressive behavior by the dog can also support claims of the dog owner’s awareness and negligence.

The absence of physical harm does not diminish the owner’s responsibility to control their dog and prevent attacks. Legal arguments may focus on the foreseeability of harm and the owner’s failure to mitigate risks.

Successfully establishing liability requires a nuanced understanding of dog bite laws and a strategic approach to presenting evidence and legal arguments.

Dog Owner’s Insurance Company Response to Non-Penetrative Dog Bites

Insurance companies may initially be skeptical of claims involving dog bites that didn’t break the skin. They might challenge the severity of the injuries or dispute the need for compensation for emotional distress. It’s common for insurers to offer low settlements or deny claims outright, arguing that the lack of visible injuries indicates minimal harm.

However, victims can challenge these assessments and negotiate fair compensation. They just need the right evidence and legal representation. An experienced dog bite lawyer can effectively communicate the full extent of the injuries. Your legal team will advocate for adequate compensation.

How to Put Your Case in the Best Position for Success After a Non-Penetrative Dog Bite

Prompt action and thorough documentation are key to maximizing the chances of success in a non-penetrative dog bite lawsuit. Seek medical and psychological evaluations immediately to establish the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. Gather witness statements, photographs, and any other evidence related to the attack.

Working with an experienced dog bite lawyer from the start can also make a significant difference. Legal experts can guide evidence collection, handle communications with insurance companies, and develop a strong compensation case. Their knowledge of dog bite laws and experience with similar cases can provide invaluable support throughout the legal process.

Why You Should Partner With Our Utah Dog Bite Lawyer

  • Expertise in dog bite laws. Our Utah dog bite lawyers are experts in the state’s specific laws and regulations covering dog bite cases. They can navigate the complexities of your case, ensuring you understand your rights and options.
  • Experience with insurance companies. We have unparalleled experience negotiating with insurance companies and know how to counter lowball offers. Our attorneys will push to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
  • Personalized legal strategy. We customize our legal strategies to each client’s situation. Our approach is designed to maximize your compensation and address all aspects of your case, from medical bills to emotional distress.
  • Commitment to client care. Our legal team is committed to assisting you during the legal process. We address the legal details so you can prioritize your recovery, providing guidance and reassurance every step of the way.
  • Proven track record. Our track record of success in dog bite cases speaks for itself. We have helped numerous victims achieve favorable outcomes, even in cases without visible injuries.

Call a Utah Dog Bite Lawyer With Good Guys Injury Law for a Free Case Consultation

Call a Utah dog bite lawyer with Good Guys Injury Law for a free case consultation

If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite in Utah, even if the bite didn’t break the skin, you may be entitled to compensation. Good Guys Injury Law can represent you!

Contact us for a free case consultation. Our compassionate lawyers will examine your case, explain your options, and help you understand the best path forward.