Delaware Dog Bite Lawyers
We are Delaware dog bite and dog attack injury lawyers. Some dog attack cases result in significant injuries and death. We have represented victims of dangerous and improperly restrained dogs. In one recent case, we recovered a settlement in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for our client after a dog attack.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four and a half million (4,500,000) people are bitten by dogs each year. Of those, about one in five or 885,000 require medical attention for their injuries. Children are, unfortunately, the most frequent victims of aggressive dogs and irresponsible owners.
Delaware law holds dog owners responsible for injuries caused by their dogs. Delaware Code, Title 9, Section 913 provides as follows: The owner of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death or loss to person or property that is caused by such dog, unless the injury, death or loss was caused to the body or property of a person who, at the time, was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner, or was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense against any person, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog. (Delaware attorneys take note: This statute was previously found at 7 Del.C. Section 1711. The notes in my copy of the Delaware Code published by Michie simply state that Section 1711 was repealed, but it was actually just moved to a different title and chapter.)
What are the most dangerous dogs?
- Most dangerous breed: Pit bulls. According to the website dogsbite.org, pit bulls were responsible for 67% of all fatal dog attacks in the United States. In the three years encompassing 2006, 2007 and 2008, pit bull dog attacked and killed fifty two Americans, and were responsible for 59% of all fatal dog attacks. From 2005 to 2010, pit bulls killed 104 Americans, that’s one citizen every three weeks.
- Most dangerous breed: Rottweilers. From 2005 to 2010, Rottweilers killed 25 Americans. That is one every 88 days. Rottweilers were responsible for 12% of dog attack deaths in the U.S. in 2010.
- Most dangerous breed: German Shepherds. German Shepherds were responsible for 9% of all fatal dog attacks in the U.S. in 2010.
If you or a family member were bitten by a dog, here is what you should do:
- Seek immediate medical attention. After a dog bite, health and safety should be your first priority. Even if the injury seems slight, such as minor puncture wounds, it is important to receive immediate medical attention to prevent the injury from worsening, such as through infection.
- Call 911 and report the attack immediately. By calling 911, you can receive immediate medical attention, and the 911 operator will contact animal control. Animal control will investigate and quarantine the animal.
- Identify the owner of the dog. Delaware law is squarely on the victim’s side in dog attack cases. Delaware law permits you to hold the owner responsible. Therefore, it is very important to identify the owner of the dog as soon as possible.
- If contacted by the dog owner’s insurance company for an interview, get the phone number and claim number for the insurance adjuster, and politely decline to be interviewed. Turn that information over to your dog bite attorney.
- Seek legal help immediately from an attorney experienced in handling dog bite or dog attack cases.
Statute of Limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that limits the time in which an injury victim may sue those responsible for causing his or her injuries. In Delaware, in most injury cases, the statute of limitations is two years. If you were injured by a dangerous dog attack or dog bite, the time in which you may file suit is limited. Therefore, you should contact us as soon as possible for a legal consultation.
How does Schwartz & Schwartz charge for dog bite cases and dog attack cases?
If we accept representation in your dog bite or dog attack case, we will offer you a contingent fee agreement. Under a contingent fee, the attorney only gets paid an attorney’s fee if he or she settles or wins your case. In addition, if we accept your case, we will advance the costs of prosecuting the case. The costs of prosecution may include costs for medical records and doctor’s reports, the court’s filing fee, costs for depositions, fees for expert witnesses to appear at trial, etc. When we win or settle your case, you will have to pay back the costs that we advance. But we do not charge interest on the money we advance to prosecute the case. For more information, see our blog entry Free consultations, contingent fees, advancing litigation expenses permit David to beat Goliath in personal injury cases.
The following dog bite prevention safety tips for children appear on the CDC website. They apply as well to adults as they do to children:
- Stay away from unfamiliar dogs.
- Never scream, yell, or run away from a dog.
- If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain motionless.
- If you are knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and try to stay still.
- Never play with a dog unless an adult is watching.
- Tell an adult immediately if you see a stray dog or if a dog is acting in an unusual manner.
- Do not look a strange dog directly in the eyes. This is a sign of aggression.
- Never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Let a dog see and sniff you before you try to pet it.
- If a dog bite you, tell a grown up immediately.
Schwartz & Schwartz represents people injured by dangerous dogs, dog bites, dog attacks, dog mauling incidents and dog knock down incidents. If you would like to speak to us about such an injury occurring and any of the following areas, please call us today:
New Castle County: Arden, Bellefont, Centerville, Delaware City, Elsmere, Greenville, Middletown, New Castle, Newark, Odessa, Townsend, Wilmington.
Kent County: Bowers Beach, Camden, Cheswold, Clayton, Dover, Farmington, Felton, Frederica, Harrington, Hartly, Houston, Kenton, Leipsic, Little Creek, Magnolia, Marydel, Milford, Smyrna, South Bowers, Viola, Woodside, Wyoming.
Sussex County: Bethany Beach, Bethel, Blades, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Dewey Beach, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Henlopen Acres, Laurel, Lewes, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Slaughter Beach, South Bethany.