Have you ever been bitten by a dog? In most cases, it just results in some scratches and minor pain. However, some dog bites cause significant injuries and even death. If you’ve been bitten by a dog and sought medical attention for injuries, you may have a case against the dog owner. The team at Sussman & Simcox has been helping Gaithersburg, MD residents earn compensation for their injuries for decades. We understand the intricate Maryland laws surrounding dog bites and who’s at fault. Have questions about dog bite cases? Browse our frequently asked questions below or contact us directly for answers specific to your case.

What Constitutes a Dog Bite Injury?

While a dog bite appears to be straightforward, it’s important to understand the legal definition before proceeding with a dog bite case. A dog bite injury can be any wound caused when a dog’s mouth closes around a part of a person’s body. These wounds might tear into the skin, leaving behind deep cuts and gashes that require medical attention. However, the injury does not have to be visible to constitute a dog bite case. Some bites can cause internal injuries without even breaking the skin.
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What Kinds of Injuries Can Be Compensated?

Like many other personal injury claims, you may be eligible for compensation if you exhibit certain injuries as the result of a dog bite. Injuries that may qualify you for compensation include bruises, cuts, gashes, internal wounds, or resulting scars. In addition to your injuries, you may also receive funds to compensate you for lost wages, property damage, or medical bills. The attorneys at Sussman & Simcox will help you understand what kinds of damages you may be awarded.
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How Much Could I Receive for My Dog Bite Case?

There’s no one answer for how much you could receive in compensation for your dog bite case. Some cases are worth much more than others. The amount you’re awarded will depend on the severity of your injuries, the extent of permanent scarring, and the amount of pain and suffering caused by the incident. With the help of our experienced attorneys, you have a greater chance of earning a higher payout for your injuries.
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Who Is at Fault for My Injuries?

According to Maryland law, the dog’s owner is responsible if a failure to control the dog results in any harm to another.  This rule can often be seen where the owner allows the dog to “run at large, ” or be out in public off a leash or otherwise out of the owner’s control.  An owner may also be “strictly liable’ if the dog has a prior history of aggressive or violent conduct.   The owner may not be liable for injuries or harm caused when the injured person was trespassing on the owner’s property, committing a crime on the property, or actively provoking or abusing the dog.
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What Is Maryland’s “One Bite Rule”?

As previously mentioned, Maryland dog owners are generally responsible for any injuries their dogs cause. However, Maryland also has a “One Bite Rule.” According to this rule, a dog owner may be able to avoid liability if their dog has never been aggressive before. Nevertheless, an owner may be held liable if they did not take proper steps to prevent their dog’s aggressive behavior. Dogs classified as “dangerous” must have muzzles and restraints while in public, and owners who fail to adhere to this may be held liable for injuries. As you can see, Maryland law has many intricacies. Choosing an experienced attorney is the best way to navigate complicated laws.
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What Should I Do After a Dog Bite?

In the immediate aftermath of a dog bite, you should take a few steps to increase your chances of winning compensation for your injuries. First and foremost, you should seek medical attention right away. Dog bites can be dangerous, and you want to be healthy again as soon as possible. If it’s safe to do so, take photos of your dog bite injuries and file a report with the police or animal control. Once you’ve documented the incident and received medical care, reach out to a dog bite attorney to evaluate your case.
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Karen Sussman
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Gaithersburg Personal Injury Attorney