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Your Guide to Understanding Iowa Dog Bite Damages

You can recover for several types of loss after a dog bite in Iowa

The only direction to go is forward. You can’t go back in time to avoid the dog that hurt you and to prevent your injury. Instead, your focus must be on your recovery. You are working with your doctors on your physical recovery, but how are you going to pay those doctors and your other bills?

The Answer May Be Through a Dog Bite Lawsuit or Insurance Claim

Iowa has a specific dog bite statute that provides answers for people who have been hurt by dogs.

First, it is important to know that the statute that is commonly referred to as the Iowa dog bite law does not just apply when a person is bitten by a dog. While it does cover dog bites, it is also covers any injury that happens when…

  • A dog was attempting to bite a person.
  • A dog attacks a person but does not bite.
  • A dog is caught in the act of worrying, maiming, or killing a domestic animal or pet.

If you were hurt in one of these situations then you may be able to recover damages unless an exception applies.

Next, it is important to know whether the dog owner is responsible for paying your damages unless an exception to the dog bite law applies. There are two important exceptions to the Iowa dog bite law that could prevent you from recovering damages even if you are hurt. Specifically, you may not be able to recover damages if:

  • You were committing an unlawful act that directly contributed to your injury.
  • The dog was suffering from rabies at the time of the attack and the owner did not have reasonable grounds to know about the illness so that reasonable measures could have been taken to avoid the attack.

Finally, it is important to know what damages you may be able to recover. You may be able to recover for your past, current, and future…

  • Medical expenses. Any medical costs that you’ve already incurred or that you are likely to incur in the future should be included in your recovery. This includes but is not limited to hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, and doctors’ appointments.
  • Lost income. Any income that you have lost, or are likely to lose in the future, should be included in your damage award.
  • Pain and suffering. Your physical pain and emotional suffering may be significant and should be included in your financial recovery.
  • Other damages directly related to your dog bite or attack injury. Any out-of-pocket expenses should be recovered.

If you believe that you should be able to recover damages for your dog bite injury, then the next step is to put a specific value to the damages you’ve suffered. This can be difficult and may be the source of disagreement between you and the dog owner’s insurance company. However, you do not have to figure it out alone. Instead, you have the right to work with a dog bite lawyer who can protect your interests and fight for your fair recovery. If you’d like to find out more, please start a live chat with us today.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham