A young man came into the office this week. He had been attacked by his friend's large breed dog several years back. This dog had crushed his forearm tearing muscles and severing nerves. He had to have reconstructive surgeries for his injuries. But he had been so conflicted about suing his friend for damages that he never contacted a lawyer. His injury affected his work and his ability to obtain new work. Still, he didn't make a claim, because he didn't think that his buddy could afford it. But very recently, he had a falling out with the dog's owner and came looking to me for assistance.
This young man's situation is terrible, but in ways that may not be obvious. Although the law is clear that the owner of the dog is responsible for any damage or injuries it does. There is also a clear statute of limitations, or a time limit, of when a claim can be filed after the date of the initial injury. For most personal injury claims, it's two years after the accident. It was too late for this young man to file a claim. Secondly, what he didn't know is that in many cases, the dog owner's homeowners insurance policy's general liability provision can cover this type of claim. His concern over his friend's financial status may have been unnecessary. This is why it is so important to speak to an experienced dog bite attorneyimmediately after the injury occurs. The young man could have had a very different experience had he spoken to me early on.