Most pit bulls are nice, smart dogs, but every once in a while they kill people. Despite being less than 6% of the dog population, pit bulls were responsible for over 65% of all dog killings between the years 2005 and 2017 according to the Canine Journal. It’s estimated that a pit bull kills one person every 14 days.
The clear disparity in dog violence centered on pit bulls has prompted many calls for regulation of the breed, with the concern that they’re a public safety hazard, especially for children and the elderly.
If you’ve been attacked by a pitbull and are dealing with severe injuries, know that you’re not alone. You should also know that you may be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with Truman & Radford, Injury Attorneys today to see what your options are.
What are the laws against dog bites in Utah?
In the state of Utah, U.C.A. 1953 § 18-1-1 states that “every person owning or keeping a dog is liable in damages for injury committed by the dog.”
In other words, everything a dog does is the responsibility of its owner, even if the owner had no way of preventing the attack, or didn’t even know it was happening.
There aren’t many ways that a dog owner can avoid fault after their dog has already injured someone unless they can argue that the person was somehow at fault. For example, a dog who mauls someone who breaks into a home, or kicks the dog on the street may be partially responsible. Additionally, law enforcement K-9s have special privileges to bite and apprehend suspects.
Utah has “comparative” negligence which means fault can be divided between the two parties involved. Fault isn’t always divided evenly, either. It could be that someone is 30% or 10% at fault for being bit by a dog. This means that if you’re seeking $10,000 in damages but your 20% at fault, you may only be entitled to $8,000. With most dog bites though, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Compensation can come in a variety of ways depending on the injury. The most common injuries with dog bites are:
- Scars, disfigurement
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken bones or ligaments in the arms
- Internal bleeding
- Puncture wounds
- Loss of limbs
You should be able to receive compensation for any medical and rehabilitation costs and potentially punitive damages. If you have an unsightly scar, you may also sue for disfigurement. Disfigurement depends on your age, gender, and sometimes career. For example, if a young woman who works as a real estate agent gets scars on her face, this will affect her life more than if a retired man gets a scar on his leg.
If you’ve been injured by a pit bull in Utah, get in touch with Truman & Radford, Injury Attorneys today.
Truman & Radford, Injury Attorneys
20 North Main Street, #309
St. George, Utah