If you or someone you know have been injured as a result of an animal attack, you may be able to recover substantial monetary damages from the owner, or from his or her homeowner’s insurance company. In both Nevada and California, the owner or occupant of a home (including the renter of the home), has an ongoing duty to warn others about dangerous animals that could potentially harm them. Not only does this involve maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition so the animals cannot escape and attack people, but the owner must also maintain effective control of the animal so that people who visit the property will not be injured. There are also city and county ordinances that govern these matters, which were enacted to protect visitors and others from being injured. Animal owners must also prevent situations that may be considered an “attractive nuisance” to children, who may innocently want to “pet the nice dog.”
In one of the many animal attack cases Mr. Achrem has handled, a vicious dog had escaped its owner’s premises and severely mauled a little girl inside a trailer park, ripping off the top of her scalp during the attack. The trailer park owner’s insurance company ultimately agreed to pay nearly $1,000,000.00 to compensate the little girl for her permanent injuries. Mr. Achrem later persuaded a local business to generously donate a wig to the girl every year as she continued to grow.
In another animal attack case Mr. Achrem handled, a little boy was playing in his front yard when a vicious dog came up to him. Just as the animal was about to attack the child, his father ran out and courageously protected his son, but was severely injured by the dog while doing so. Although he saved his son’s life, the father required multiple surgeries that left him disfigured and his injuries were permanent. Because the animal’s owner had not properly secured his property and the dog was able to escape and injure the man, the owner’s insurance carrier ultimately agreed to pay the full $500,000.00 homeowner’s insurance policy limits in order to resolve the lawsuit Mr. Achrem had filed.
In a dog bite case involving another child that had been mauled in the face by a neighbor’s german shepard, the family had gone to a local law firm that heavily advertises on television. After meeting with the child and his family, the head of the firm determined that the case would be difficult to win and only had a settlement value of $2,500.00. The family was later referred by a friend to Edward J. Achrem & Associates, which immediately conducted an extensive investigation on liability and damages. After personally interviewing numerous witnesses, including a bicyclist whose tire had been ripped apart by the same dog weeks earlier, Mr. Achrem took the case. Shortly before trial, Mr. Achrem reached a nearly $800,000.00 settlement with the dog owner’s insurance company.
If you or someone you know have been injured in an animal attack in someone’s home, or while walking, riding a skateboard, bicycle, moped or motorcycle, you may have a substantial claim against the owner of the animal and the homeowner’s insurance company.
In order to know what your legal rights are, you need to contact an experienced attorney who understands the legal aspects of your situation, who knows what questions to ask, what evidence to preserve, and who has the ability to thoroughly investigate and document your claim. You should never give a recorded statement to the animal owner’s insurance company without first consulting a knowledgeable attorney. The insurance company does not represent you and only wants to limit its monetary exposure.
With more than 43 years of trial experience, our law firm can help you with your claim. Call us for a free consultation at (702) 734-3936. We can usually tell you over the phone whether you have a good case. If you’re outside Nevada, you can reach us at (888) 734-6789.