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Personal Injury

Attacked by a Dog in Powell? Be Sure You Understand How Dog Bite Liability Works in Wyoming

February 19, 2021

Dog attacks can result in serious injuries and even death, especially when they involve children or the elderly. Dog attack victims have rights under the law, but unfortunately, getting fair compensation for your injuries is more complicated than you might think. If you have been injured in a dog attack, the best thing you can do is speak with an experienced Powell dog bite lawyer to understand your options and what compensation you may be entitled to. 

Wyoming is a “One Bite” State

Some states make dog owners strictly liable for any harm that may result if their dog attacks someone else. This means that the victim does not need to prove that the dog had prior attacks or otherwise violent tendencies. 

In Wyoming, on the other hand, you may have to prove that the owner had reason to know that the dog was dangerous. This often means introducing evidence that the dog has previously bitten someone or otherwise displayed violent tendencies. If you do have proof that the dog had previously bitten someone, you do not need to prove that the owner was otherwise negligent in order to prove your claim. 

One of the ways a Powell dog bite lawyer can help is by gathering the evidence you need to support your claim. For example, they may be able to obtain incident reports from animal control or police officers regarding a prior attack. They can obtain statements from people who witnessed the dog’s prior aggressive behavior. Even if you don’t intend to file a lawsuit, having the proof you need can help settle the case with the dog owner’s insurance company

You May Be Able to Recover on a Negligence Theory

It is very common for the dog’s owner to claim that the dog has never before attacked someone. Even if this is the case, that doesn’t mean that you cannot still pursue a claim. 

The dog’s owner still has a legal duty to use reasonable care in handling the dog in such a manner as to prevent harm to others. For example, the owner may be held liable if they allowed the dog to roam at large in an environment where there were numerous stressful factors such as other dogs, children, or loud noises. Even if the dog hadn’t previously attacked someone, the owner may have an obligation to gain control of the dog if it is suddenly behaving aggressively. A Powell dog bite lawyer will be able to review the facts, determine whether the owner may have been negligent, and help you understand your options. 

Local Ordinances May Help Your Case

If you have to proceed based on a negligence theory, it may be helpful to understand the local ordinances that may apply. Powell, for example, has a leash law that requires dog owners to keep their dog on a leash any time that they are not on their property. If the owner did not have the dog on a leash in a public area, this can be used as evidence of negligence in your case. 

Contact a Powell Dog Bite Lawyer at Ragain & Clark

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. To speak with someone who knows the law and can help you build your case, contact Powell dog bite lawyer David M. Clark today at 307-388-6400 to schedule a free consultation.  We have office locations in Montana and Wyoming for your convenience. 


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