Dog bite

My wife was bitten by dog while at the
mall. The lady stated her dog was
friendly and that my wife could pet
him. The lady said it was her service
dog. My wife bent down to pet the dog
and it bit her face. Paramedics were
called and wanted to transport, but we
declined. Police took a statement and
animal control responded. My wife did
require stitches as the bite pierced
through her entire lip.
My question is, who is financially
reliable?

Asked on April 23, 2016 under Personal Injury, Idaho

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The dog owner is liable for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  
If the dog has a history of biting, the dog owner is liable under strict liability.  Strict liability imposes liability whether or not due care was exercised.
The mall is also liable because the incident occurred on its premises.
The mall's insurance carrier should be informed in writing of your wife's personal injury claim.  When she completes her treatment and is released by the doctor, she should obtain her medical bills, medical reports and if applicable, documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the mall's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed against the mall.  If your wife is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the mall's insurance carrier, she should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the mall based on premises liability.
As for the dog owner, if the dog owner does not adequately compensate your wife for her injury, the dog owner should be sued for negligence and possibly strict liability.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your wife will lose her rights forever in the matter.
 


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