Dog Bite Lawyer Louisiana

dog bite lawyer louisiana

Dog Bite Injury Law Firm in Shreveport, Bossier City and Mansfield, Louisiana

Every year, millions of people, including children, suffer serious injuries from dog bites or other animal attacks. This may occur on either enclosed or unenclosed land. Not only can these attacks result in severe injuries and extensive medical bills, it can also lead to permanent disfigurement and emotional trauma. If this is the case, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the damages you suffered from your injuries. If you were bitten by a dog in Louisiana, call the Shreveport personal injury law firm of Gordon & Gordon to speak with an animal attack attorney today.

Louisiana Legal Definition of Dangerous Dogs

Under Louisiana RS 14:102:14, a dangerous dog is defined as one that: 

  • Required a person to defend themselves from bodily harm on two separate occasions within the last 3 years while not on the dog owner’s property;
  • Bit and injured a person without first being provoked;
  • Injured or killed another domestic animal at least twice within three years while not present at the dog owner’s home or property.

The only dogs that are exempt from these rules are those that are trained to help in search and rescue missions and those who are employed by state or local law enforcement.

Louisiana Dog Leash Laws

If you own a pet that meets the above criteria, you may be asking yourself: what are the specific Louisiana laws for dangerous dogs? To begin, it’s illegal for a person to own a dangerous dog without properly restraining it on a leash. Owners must also keep their dogs inside, in a dog pen, or in a fenced yard while on private property. If the dog happens to leave the owner’s home, the owner must keep it on a leash at all times in order to prevent dog attacks. Lastly, an owner must have appropriate signage on their property or their fenced yard that indicate an aggressive dog lives there, such as “Beware of Dog” or “Dangerous Dog.”

Louisiana Dog Bite Liability

Dog owners may be liable for any injuries that their pet directly caused and may be required to compensate victims if: 

  • They knew that their dog was capable of attacks or violence;
  • The attack could have been prevented by following specific laws and by being a responsible pet owner;
  • They failed to follow Louisiana laws and they failed to take appropriate measures to prevent the attack;
  • The victim didn’t provoke the animal in any way.

There are only two circumstances in which a victim is liable instead of the owner. If they trespass upon enclosed or unenclosed lands at the time of the attack or they provoked the animal, then liability belongs to the victim. But if the court can’t prove that either of these situations occurred, then the owner will likely be at fault.

Dog Bite Injury FAQs

Dogs can become violent towards a person or another animal for a variety of reasons, including the ones listed below:
  • Sensing a stressful situation;
  • Feeling ill from an injury or illness;
  • Attempting to play through nipping and biting;
  • Feeling threatened or afraid;
  • Attempting to protect its food, toys, property, offspring, owners, etc.

It’s important to remember that while specific dog breeds are sometimes associated with violence more than others, that doesn’t mean that the dog breed is inherently more dangerous than another breed. It also doesn’t mean that a breed that’s not listed won’t still attack. Dogs bite and attack based on their personal behavior and history. Based on dog attack data compiled by the AVMA between 1979 and 1998, the dog breeds that have typically engaged in the most violence are:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Malamutes
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Chow Chows
  • Great Danes
  • Saint Bernards
  • Wolf-Dog Hybrids
Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of dog bites, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Not only are children the most common victims, but they are also more likely to sustain serious and life-altering injuries than adults who suffer an attack. Children generally suffer dog violence while playing outside or engaging with a dog.

If you suffer dog or animal bites, your main priority should always be to take care of yourself first. This includes both immediately addressing your injuries and calling for help, as well as taking the necessary steps to protect your future personal injury claim. As such, following an animal attack, you should:

  • Call 911.
  • Take note of the dog owner’s name and phone number if you can.
  • Gather evidence by taking pictures and videos of the dog, your injuries caused by the dog, and the scene of the attack.
  • Go to the ER as soon as you can to have your dog bites examined and cared for. Untreated dog bites can lead to infection and permanent disfigurement. It’s important to seek immediate medical care, even if you feel your injuries are minor. In addition to taking the necessary safety precautions, you also need to create a record of the event.
  • Call an animal attack attorney at the law offices of Gordon & Gordon. This is when you will give us details surrounding your claim and explore your potential legal options. Once an attorney-client relationship is established, we will ask you to provide us with all of your evidence, including your police and medical reports. We will handle everything from there.
Any person or owner who doesn’t follow Louisiana laws regarding dangerous dogs must pay a $300 fine along with any damages related to the attack. Failure to obey a court order by restraining or confining a dangerous dog may also be fined anywhere from $100 to $500.
Victims can receive the following Shreveport personal injury damages caused by animal attacks:
  • All medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitative treatment
  • Emotional distress
  • Counseling or therapy for psychological distress
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Permanent physical disfigurement or scarring
dog attack injury lawyer shreveport

How to Prevent Dog Attacks

Oftentimes, the behavior of our pets is a direct result of how we treat them and raise them. In order to protect your family, friends, and community members from potential attacks, you must be a kind and responsible pet owner. You can do this by following the tips listed below.
Remember, if you have a dangerous dog, it must be restrained with a leash. On your own private property, you’re required to keep the dog in a fenced yard or dog pen. Dangerous dog premises liability laws in Louisiana also require you to have a sign that warns others of your dog. Every law is in place to promote the safety of other people and animals.
Allowing your dog to socialize with other animals and people, especially while it’s still a puppy, is very important in preventing future violence. The sooner dogs learn how to socialize at a young age, the better. Additionally, make sure to keep your dog on a leash while they socialize for the sake of safety and control.
Dogs who suffer from abusive owners may inherit that violence in the future. So it’s important to treat your dog kindly. If you see a neighbor abusing their dog, say something. Other ways to be a responsible owner are through regular feedings, exercise, proper training, and spaying or neutering your pet.

Knowing when you should and shouldn’t approach a dog is crucial in preventing injury and legal trouble. As a rule of thumb, you should try to avoid animals in the following situations:

  • The dog isn’t on a leash;
  • You can’t find the dog’s owner;
  • The owner doesn’t give you permission to touch their dog;
  • A dog is eating, sleeping, injured, or sick;
  • If a dog is with its puppies and acts very protective over them;
  • If a dog is behind a fence on someone’s property (don’t try to pet them through the fence);
  • A dog is barking, growling, hiding, or acting aggressively;
  • You see a loose dog on enclosed or unenclosed land.

Louisiana Statute of Limitations for Animal Attacks

Animal attacks fall under the personal injury category in Louisiana’s statute of limitations. So victims bitten by animals due to the negligent actions of that animal’s owner can file a lawsuit no later than one year from the day of their attack. If a victim tries to file a lawsuit after one year, a court will certainly dismiss their case.

How to Win a Louisiana Dog Bite Lawsuit

Louisiana dog laws are different from many other state dog laws in that they are based on negligence alone. In other words, the only way to win a Louisiana dog bite lawsuit and receive appropriate compensation is to prove that the owner of the animal was negligent and that negligence directly led to you or your loved one’s injury. 

Basically, dog bite victims have to prove the four elements of negligence which are listed below:

  • Duty of Care: Owners of dogs owe the general public a specific duty of care by protecting them from their potentially dangerous animal.
  • Breach of Duty of Care: The owner’s failure to take necessary care by not properly restraining the animal, not keeping the animal inside, allowing the animal to trespass upon enclosed or unenclosed lands, etc. ultimately led to the victim’s injury.
  • Causation: The victim suffered injuries as a result of the owner’s breached duty of care.
  • Damages: Compensation can cover the monetary losses and injuries caused by the attack.
dog bite lawyer louisiana

Call an Animal Attack Attorney at Gordon & Gordon

If you or someone you love has suffered severe injuries from animals in Louisiana, you may be entitled to damages caused by the negligence of the dog owner. In this case, you’ll need the experienced Shreveport personal injury attorneys from Gordon & Gordon to fight for you in court. We prioritize every attorney-client relationship while fighting to make sure our clients receive justice. For more information on how our attorneys can help you, call 318-716-HELP today for a free case evaluation.

Have you been involved in an animal attack?

If you or a loved one received severe injuries from a domestic pet attack and you would like to find out your claim options, call the personal injury attorneys Gordon and Gordon at 318-716-HELP right away to get them working for you.