Look first to the owner for compensation after a dog bite attack on someone else’s property

There are three things that you should do as soon as you are physically able to do so.

First, Get Medical Help

The first thing that you should do is to get medical help. Medical attention can help control your pain, treat your wounds, and prevent infections. Your diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis may also be important to your legal and financial recoveries.

Next, Learn About Your Rights

You need to understand the Iowa dog bite law to determine if you can recover damages and what those damages may include.

The Iowa dog bite statute allows people who have been hurt by other people’s dogs to recover from the dog’s owner in most situations. Iowa is a strict liability state and the statute only provides two exceptions to this general rule. The dog owner may not be liable if you were committing an unlawful act that directly contributed to your injuries or if the dog had hydrophobia (rabies) and the dog’s owner didn’t have reasonable grounds to know it or prevent the injury.

Assuming that the dog’s owner is liable for your injuries, the statute allows you to recover for “all damages done by the dog…” This includes you past, current, and future:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Lost income.
  • Out-of-pocket costs.
  • Pain and suffering.

However, before you can collect these damages you must prove their value.

Finally, Take Action to Protect Your Rights

You may begin negotiating a settlement with the dog owner, or his insurer, at any time after your dog bite. However, it is important to know two things before you get started:

  • Anything that you say can be used against you.
  • Your right to file a lawsuit is limited by the Iowa Statute of Limitations.

Accordingly, it is important to take the right action at the right time with the help of an experienced dog bite attorney. Please contact us via this website, to learn more about how a lawyer can help you recover the damages that you deserve after a dog bite anywhere in Iowa, including a dog owner’s home.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.