A person injured by a dog bite or animal attack in Maryland faces a unique set of problems in order to obtain compensation. One of the major difficulties in these cases is that, unlike in a car accident, there is not always insurance coverage to obtain payment from. Many people are injured by dog attacks in cases where the owner of the dog has little to no money to collect. As a result, one must do a thorough investigation of the attack to see if there is homeowner’s insurance from which to recover. Depending on the facts of the case, you may also be able to sue the landlord and/or owner of the property as well as make a claim against the animal owner or the person responsible for taking care of the animal.
Aside from the problem of collecting for your injuries, Maryland law makes it difficult to prove a dog bite case. You cannot simply prove that you were attacked and injured by a dangerous animal, such as a pit bull. In animal attack negligence cases, an injured victim typically has to prove that the animal owner/harborer had knowledge of the animal’s dangerous propensity to attack people prior to the incident in question. This is difficult to do because the animal owner can simply deny that he knew that his animal was likely to attack people.
In light of this problem and the state of the law, it is again very important to thoroughly investigate the animal that attacked you. Many injured victims can achieve a recovery by obtaining records from animal control and/or tracking down independent witnesses who saw the animal attack people in the past. Once you are able to establish a prior attack, you can likely make a claim for strict liability (meaning the dog owner can be held responsible for the animal attack regardless of the owner’s culpability or wrongdoing). In such cases, you would have to prove that there was a prior attack, that the animal attacked you, and that you sustained bodily injuries as a result.
Given the need to thoroughly investigate animal attacks and the problems with recovering money for your injuries, it is especially important to get a lawyer involved in your dog bite case as soon as possible.
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