Yes, when a dog bites an individual in Lewiston, Maine, he or she may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury lawyer. When a dog injures an individual who is not on the premises of the dog’s keeper or owner, the dog’s keeper or owner can be liable for the injuries sustained.
Police Sergeant Attacked by Pit Bull
Police Sergeant Brian Gardiner was attacked by a pit bull terrier as he tried to control an unruly crowd. The pit bull was quarantined following the attack. The dog bit Sgt. Gardiner’s legs. Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey states that the police were responding to a report of a burglary at Summer Street in Waterville, Maine. The burglary involved a sign that warned of security cameras placed outside the apartment located at 21 Summer Street.
When the officers arrived, they observed a large group of unruly and uncooperative people. Deputy Chief Rumsey states that officers arrested the man whose image was seen stealing the sign on the security camera. As these events were occurring, Sgt. Gardiner was bitten by the pit bull.
After Sgt. Gardiner fought the dog off, it retreated to the back of the apartment. Sgt. Gardiner went to the emergency room to receive treatment. He suffered two minor puncture wounds on the back of each leg.
Because the dog bit Sgt. Gardiner, and the dog’s owner neglected to keep vaccinations up to date, the dog needed to be quarantined for 10 days. Animal Control Officer Chris Martinez seized the pit bull terrier, taking it to the Humane Society in the Waterville Area. The dog’s owner was summoned for not having the dog’s rabies vaccine up-to-date and for failing to have a dog license. If found guilty, he could be fined for these violations.
Depending on the Circumstances, Deadly Force is Allowed
State law allows an individual to use deadly force to protect a domesticated animal, himself or herself, or another person during a sudden, unprovoked assault. Any person who keeps, or owns a dangerous dog is committing a civil violation. The court can fine the owner. These fines must be at least $250 and up to $1,000. If a dog is responsible for the death of an individual, the court can order that the dog be euthanized.
When a Dog Owner Neglects to Comply
If a dog owner neglects or refuses to follow an order from the Court, if the dog commits another offense, the owner is responsible for paying the injured person’s total damages and costs.
Filing a Complaint
An individual can file a complaint with law enforcement, the sheriff, or animal control within 30 days of the incident. The owner of the dog may receive a summons for having a dog that is considered dangerous.
If a dog owner fails to adhere to the order of the court in the time allotted, a warrant may be issued in the district where the dog is found, and the commanding officer is permitted to fatally wound the dog. The keeper or owner of the dog may be ordered to pay all the costs associated with the proceedings, as well as all feasible costs related to the seizure of, and euthanasia of, the dog.
If you have been injured by a dog, contact our office today. Our experienced attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.