Being bitten or attacked by a dog is an incredibly frightening experience, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. From experiencing significant pain and suffering to paying exorbitant medical bills and even dealing with the possibility of having to get multiple rounds of rabies shots, a dog bite can greatly impact your life.
If you’re reading this page, there is a good chance that you or someone you love is currently dealing with the effects of a dog bite or attack. At Steele Adams Hosman, we’re here to help. Our Salt Lake City dog bite lawyers have more than 35 years of experience navigating the Utah personal injury legal system.
We know the law and how to effectively advocate for victims. Our team has successfully held negligent dog owners accountable and secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, both in settlements and jury verdicts.
IF YOU, YOUR CHILD, OR YOUR LOVED ONE WAS BITTEN OR ATTACKED BY A DOG, REACH OUT TO STEELE ADAMS HOSMAN TODAY FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION: (801) 999-1506.
Utah’s dog bite and injury law says that anyone who owns or keeps a dog is liable for any damages or injuries committed by the dog, regardless of whether the owner knew the dog was prone to dangerous behavior. In other words, Utah follows a “strict liability” rule when it comes to dog bites and related injuries.
This means that dog owners or keepers are nearly always liable when their animals injure another person. This is different than states that follow a “one-bite” rule, in which dog owners can be held liable if the victim can prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous or likely to attack, bite, or otherwise cause injury.
You’ll notice that Utah’s dog law does not specifically refer to “dog bites.” While dog bites are certainly covered by the law, it also includes any injuries or damages caused by a dog. Let’s say a dog damaged your property or knocked you down, causing you to break your arm or suffer a concussion. The above law would still apply to your case.
Although dog owners and keepers have limited defenses under Utah’s dog bite and injury law, they may have several options for arguing these cases. One common exception applies to dogs used by law enforcement. If a dog trained for law enforcement injures someone while the dog “is reasonably and carefully being used in the apprehension, arrest, or location of a suspected offender or in maintaining or controlling the public order,” then there is no liability.
Additionally, dog owners may employ one of the following defenses:
The second of these defenses generally falls under the state’s comparative fault rule and applies when a case is brought on the grounds of negligence.
Utah has a modified comparative negligence (also known as “comparative fault”) rule. Under this rule, an injured individual is prohibited from filing a personal injury claim if they are found to be 50% or more at fault for the incident that resulted in injury. This means that if the court feels you were partly to blame for the accident, you can still receive compensation provided that your part of the allocated blame is less than all other people’s fault (Utah code 78B-5-818).
However, if you are found to be partly to blame but less than 50% at fault, your total recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if the court rules that you provoked the dog and are therefore 25% at fault, you would only be able to recover up to 75% of the total value of your claim. If you sustained $10,000 in damages due to the attack, you could only recover up to $7,500.
If you are reading this page, some time has likely passed since the attack. At this point, if you have not sought medical attention yet, you should do so immediately. This is important not only for your personal health and safety but also critical to the success of your personal injury claim, as it establishes documented proof of your injuries. Even if your injuries seem minor or like they will heal on their own, you should still see a medical professional right away.
If possible, you should try to obtain as much information about the dog and its owner as possible. If you can, write down the dog owner’s name and contact information, as well as their insurance information (if available).
You should also write down details about the incident, as well as your injuries and how the attack has impacted your life. If you were attacked by a loose dog and could not locate the owner, note where the attack occurred and what type of dog was involved. Then, contact the local animal control department right away.
You should always report dog bites and attacks to the animal services department. In fact, you are required by law to report any bite that breaks the skin. In Salt Lake City, you can report dog bites to the Salt Lake City Animal Services Department by calling (385) 468-7387.
It is also a good idea to reach out to an experienced dog bite attorney in Salt Lake City or your local area as soon as possible after the attack. An attorney will be able to help you understand your legal rights and options when it comes to pursuing compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. At Steele Adams Hosman, we offer free initial consultations and personal, direct assistance from our attorneys every step of the way.
Like other personal injury cases, dog bite claims are subject to the state’s statute of limitations. According to Utah code 78B-2-307, you have four years from the date of your dog bite to file a lawsuit. If you fail to bring a lawsuit within this timeframe, you will almost certainly lose your right to pursue fair compensation for your damages.
Note that the statute of limitations applies to dog bite lawsuits, not insurance claims. The first step in pursuing compensation for your damages is typically filing a claim with the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance provider or another available and applicable insurance policy.
The exact language of the policy will dictate how long you have to file a claim, but typically you only have several weeks from the date of the incident to bring a claim to the insurance company.
Were you injured or was someone you love bitten by a dog? You are not alone! Steele Adams Hosman is here to guide you through what can seem like a complicated process and explore your options for a dog bite settlement. We encourage you to act quickly, as your time to file a claim or lawsuit is limited. The sooner our Salt Lake City dog bite lawyers can begin investigating your case and putting together supporting evidence the better.
We understand that these are often very complex and sensitive cases, especially when the owner is someone you know. However, dog bite claims typically fall under premises liability law, meaning they are brought not against the owner personally but against their insurance provider. The purpose of this insurance is to cover injured victims’ damages in the event of an accident or related incident—you have every right to pursue fair compensation for the losses you have suffered.
Were you injured or was someone you love bitten by a dog? You are not alone! Steele Adams Hosman is here to guide you through what can seem like a complicated process and explore your options for a dog bite settlement.
We encourage you to act quickly, as your time to file a claim or lawsuit is limited. The sooner our Salt Lake City dog bite lawyers can begin investigating your case and putting together supporting evidence the better.
We understand that these are often very complex and sensitive cases, especially when the owner is someone you know. However, dog bite claims typically fall under premises liability law, meaning they are brought not against the owner personally but against their insurance provider.
The purpose of this insurance is to cover injured victims’ damages in the event of an accident or related incident—you have every right to pursue fair compensation for the losses you have suffered.
At Steele Adams Hosman, we are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. Call our team today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. There is no fee unless we win your case!
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