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Articles Posted in Dog Bite Injuries

Government regulations get a bad rap. To be sure, if you look long enough, you can find some that will make you shake your head and wonder, but for the most part regulations do a good job of providing protection to the public.  And, they can also be a big boost in accident claims and injury lawsuits.

As proof that regulations are needed to protect the public, one need only look at the tragic hot air balloon crash in Texas that killed the pilot and 15 passengers earlier this year. Many believe this accident occurred because the Federal Aviation Administration does very little to exercise oversight of hot air balloon operators.  In fact, regulations on hot air balloon operators are almost non-existent despite the fact that they often carry more passengers than small commuter planes and helicopters.  Unlike conventional pilots, hot air balloon operators do not have to get regular medical exams and, while the form operators must complete asks about narcotic drug charges, it specifically excludes alcohol- related driving offenses.  In the deadly Texas crash, the operator was taking at least 10 different drugs for various medical problems.  Some of the drugs including oxycodone would have disqualified him from flying conventional aircraft because of their effect on decision-making and reaction times.  Moreover, the operator had been convicted of drunk-driving on at least four occasions.  Of course, regulations do not prevent every accident, but it is probably safe to say that if the Federal Aviation Administration had implemented tighter regulations over hot air balloon pilots that this particular pilot would not have been in the sky with passengers on that fateful day.

Regulations not only provide protection to the public but they also can help your accident claim or injury lawsuit. If you are injured in an accident and you want to recover money for your injuries, you must prove that someone else was negligent, that negligence caused your injuries and the extent of your injuries and damages.  Let’s focus on negligence.  In simplest terms, you should think of negligence as either doing something you should not have done or not doing something you should have done.  Lawyers will often refer to it as a violation of the standard of care.  Part of proving the other party was negligent involves proving the standard of care, but when there is a safety regulation the standard of care has already been established by the regulation itself.  So then, all you must do is prove the defendant violated the regulation.  In other words, the regulation can eliminate one step of what is normally a two-step process.  So regulations can play a critical role in injury litigation.

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Memorial Day is a day to remember and be grateful for those brave men and women who have died while serving our country in the military. It is also the unofficial start of summer. Beach trips, parades, lake outings, pool parties and barbecues are on a lot of folks’ agenda.   Here are ten safety tips to help keep your weekend fun and injury-free:  Continue reading

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This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, so it is a great time to give you some advice on how not to be a dog bite statistic and how to avoid being sued if you, like us, are a dog owner.

First, let’s look at the numbers of this very real and common problem. About 4.5 million people are bitten or attacked by a dog each year in the United States. While some of the bites are not terribly serious, almost 900,000 of those dog bites will require medical attention. Each year, roughly 27,000 victims will require reconstructive surgery – not just stitches. And, while more rare, dog attacks can be deadly. The average dog bite claim costs $37,214.

So, let’s start with a few tips for how to avoid being the victim of a dog bite.

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So, it is January 4th.  How many of your New Year’s resolutions are already busted?  If you are like most of us, it is probably at least one.  That is the bad news.  But, here is the good news: below is a list of 10 easy New Year’s resolutions that are easier than losing 10lbs and will help keep you safe and prepared in 2016. Continue reading

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If you follow us on Google Plus or regularly read this blog, then you know our family recently acquired a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  If you don’t follow us on Google Plus, then let me first say you should and second let me introduce you to Lincoln Day.   Lincoln is the love of my 7 year-old daughter’s life.  Thankfully, we are past the potty-training stage and are now working on what is appropriate behavior when guests arrive at our house, how to properly walk on a leash, etc.  As my daughter is finding out, owning a pet is a big responsibility.

Unfortunately, some pet owners do not take it seriously enough, so we thought we would outline, from a legal perspective some considerations and actions you should be prepared to take before taking on a pet.  Continue reading

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Last week, my wife and daughter were driving home from school when they noticed a goat in the road.  Fearful the goat was going to get run over or cause an accident on the narrow little road, my wife decided to try and find its owner.  Two farms were nearby so my wife pulled into first farm and went to the front door to alert the owner about the escaped goat. The homeowner advised my wife the goat in question belonged to the farm on the other side of the street.  The woman also reported she herself had put the goat up on several occasions.   Armed with this information, my wife drove to the farm across the street to alert them their goat was loose.

When my wife and daughter exited the car, the goat was still at the road.  They knocked on the door and waited a few moments but no one was home.  As they turned to walk back to the truck, they noticed the goat was approaching.  Before they could get back to their vehicle, the goat became aggressive, and this goat had horns.  Continue reading

Close-up of LincolnOn Friday night, my wife and I surprised our seven year-old daughter with a new puppy.   Lincoln is a nine week-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a delight. Right now, we are trying to potty train and keep him from chewing stuff.

Of course, a dog owner’s responsibilities extend beyond keeping the flip-flops and the rug safe. Responsible pet owners must be sure to vaccinate their dog, keep the dog from running at large and keep the dog under reasonable control so that it does not harm others. While the law does not require it, I also believe a responsible pet owner should maintain adequate insurance (either via their homeowner’s or through a separate pet insurance policy) to help ensure that anyone injured by the dog receives fair compensation for their medical bills and damages.

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In 2013, the number of dog bite claims rose 5.5%, and in the last decade claims have risen more than 45%. Dog bite claims account for more than 1/3 of all homeowners’ claims, and in 2013 the average claim was $29,752.00. In total, insurance carriers paid out more than $438 million dollars in dog bite claims. Of course, the severity of a dog bite claim can vary greatly. Some victims get away with only a small bite or scratch. While other dog bite incidents should be more appropriately characterized as an attack given the substantial injuries suffered by the victim. 

At The Law Offices of John Day, P.C., our award-winning lawyers are experienced in dog bite claims and would be glad to talk to you about your case free of charge. We handle all dog bite cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you. So call us any time at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787 or simply fill out this form and we will call you.

To learn more about Tennessee dog bite cases and Tennessee dog bite law, click on the links below:

Certain breeds of dogs have historically been classified as bully breeds and subject to special rules. For instance, military bases ban certain bully breeds. And, in the past, many local governments passed bans prohibiting residents from owning specified bully breeds. But surprisingly, that legislative trend is now reversing itself. 

State lawmakers are now overriding these local ordinances and prohibiting communities from instituting breed-specific bans.  In fact, eighteen states have passed this type of measure and another six are considering similar proposals. Of course, this dog debate is often quite heated. Most pet owners view their pets as family members and reject the notion their dog could be aggressive or a bully.  Of course, victims of attacks, parents of young children and others often feel quite differently about the dangerousness of these animals.  

Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, you should know this: for homeowner’s insurance purposes, Pitbulls, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Akitas and Rottweilers are typically classified as bully breeds and are excluded from coverage in the event the dog attacks someone. So if you own a dog, check your insurance policy or call your agent and determine if any exclusions apply related to your dog’s breed. If you do not have insurance for your dog, get it. There are companies who specialize in writing policies for bully breeds. 

A recent report on the financial consequences of dog bites shows that there were 16,459 dog bite claims in the United States in 2012, a number actually less than the it was ten years earlier, when there were 16.919 claims.  No specific information was provided about the number of dog bite claims in Tennessee.

The data comes from the Insurance Information Institute("III"), a company that gathers and shares data about all sorts of insurance claims.  According to the III, he average cost per claim was $29,752.

State Farm, a major insurance company that sells homeowner’s insurance (the type of liability insurance that is typically available to victims of dog bites) paid 3,670 dog bite claims in 2012.  The total amount of money paid by State Farm on those claims was $108,000,000.  Thus, State Farm’s average cost per claim was quite close to the national average of all claims.

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