Lake Charles Dog Bite Lawyer & Animal Attack Injury Attorney
Lake Charles Dog Bite Accident Attorneys
Every year, thousands of Americans are attacked by dogs. While there are no reliable statistics for dog bites in Lake Charles, it can be assumed that with the large number of stray dogs and fighting dogs in the city, bites occur fairly often. We cannot simply blame the dogs for these alarming statistics. Many animals are trained as guard dogs, attack dogs, or even fighting dogs, despite the fact that it is illegal to train dogs to fight. These dogs are victimized every bit as much as the victims of their attacks, and they too are often severely injured or even killed in dog fighting rings as they fight for their lives. It is no surprise that many of these animals are ingrained with vicious behaviors and ultimately end up harming humans. Negligent and abusive dog owners should be held liable for their actions and lawsuits for dog bites and attacks not only compensate the injury victim, but also send a powerful message to deter Lake Charles dog owners from fighting their dogs or training them to be vicious or aggressive.
Dog fighting is still a problem in Lake Charles and throughout the Southwestern Louisiana area. Many people view dog-fighting as a sport or entertainment, but it is cruel and it is a crime. It also leads to aggressive dogs and poor breeding methods.
Of course, sometimes dogs that have never been trained to be aggressive or to fight will bite and injure victims, without any provocation whatsoever. Their owners should also be held liable in many cases, especially when they had knowledge of the dog's tendency to bite or when some negligence on their part attributed to the dog bite. What it boils down to is that if you or a loved one have been bitten, attacked, maimed, or killed by a dog, you should be entitled to some degree of compensation from the dog's owner or handler. Contact one of the experienced Lake Charles dog bite lawyers above for a consultation regarding your claim.
Louisiana's main dog bite law:
The State of Louisiana has a dog bite statute that requires a dog bite victim to prove that the incident was one which the dog owner could have prevented. The statute is Louisiana Civil Code article 2321:
The owner of an animal is answerable for the damage caused by the animal. However, he is answerable for the damage only upon a showing that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that his animal's behavior would cause damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he failed to exercise such reasonable care. Nonetheless, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for damages for injuries to persons or property caused by the dog and which the owner could have prevented and which did not result from the injured person's provocation of the dog. Nothing in this Article shall preclude the court from the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in an appropriate case. A person who is injured by a dog in Louisiana also may use the other common grounds for liability. They are scienter, negligence, and negligence per se.
The Supreme Court of Louisiana has held that a dog bite victim must prove that the dog posed an unreasonable risk of harm, in addition to the facts that must be proved in the more common dog bite statutes (i.e., that the defendant was the owner of the dog, the dog caused harm to the plaintiff, and the extent of loss to the plaintiff). Pepper v. Triplet, 864 So.2d 181 (La. 2004).
Lake Charles Negligence Per Se Dog Bite Lawyer
When a statute or ordinance is violated and the violation leads to an injury, this is called negligence per se. The phrase "per se" comes from the Latin, meaning "through itself." In legal jargon, negligence per se refers to the legal finding of negligence, or fault, based on the simple violation of a statute or regulation. Essentially, negligence per se is a legal fiction wherein lawyers and judges are willing to hold a defendant guilty simply for breaking the law, even though negligence itself might not be present. Specific requirements are: (1) the violation of the statute or ordinance was unexcused; (2) the statute or ordinance was designed to prevent injury to the class of persons to which the injured party belongs; and (3) it has been deemed appropriate to impose tort liability for violations of that statute.
Negligence per se is frequently found in cases of dog bites, dog maulings, and dog attacks, often resulting from a violation of:
(a) leash laws;
(b) dog trespass laws; or
(c) no "free-run" laws.
Usually, these types of dog control laws and ordinances are only found in large Louisiana cities like Lake Charles. If you or a loved one has been bitten or mauled by a dog running loose in violation of the law of Lake Charles or the law of a Parish in Southwestern Louisiana, you should contact a local Lake Charles dog bite attorney immediately.
If you or a loved one have been bitten or mauled by a dangerous dog in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, or Southwestern Louisiana, please contact one of the experienced Lake Charles dog bite injury lawyers listed on this page.
What Should You Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog?
- Make every attempt to keep the animal in sight, find its owner, and obtain the owner's contact information, preferably verified by their photo ID.
- Immediately wash the wound out with soap and warm water.
- Make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shots.
- Seek the help of a physician or visit a local hospital.
- Seek the help of a Lake Charles dog bite attorney, if necessary, and maintain copies of all medical records.
Other Louisiana Dog Law Statutes:
§ 14:102.14. Unlawful ownership of dangerous dog.
A. For the purposes of this Section "dangerous dog" means:
(1) Any dog which when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior thirty-six-month period, engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury when the person and the dog are off the property of the owner of the dog; or
(2) Any dog which, when unprovoked, bites a person causing an injury; or
(3) Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior thirty-six-month period, has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury to a domestic animal off the property of the owner of the dog.
B. It is unlawful for any person to own a dangerous dog without properly restraining or confining the dog.
C. A dangerous dog, while on the owner's property, shall, at all times, be kept indoors, or in a secure enclosure. A dangerous dog may be off the owner's property only if it is restrained by a leash which prevents its escape or access to other persons.
D. The owner of a dog determined by the court to be dangerous shall post signs around the secure enclosure no more than thirty feet apart and at each normal point of ingress and egress. The signs shall bear the words "Beware of Dog", or "Dangerous Dog" in letters at least three and one-half inches high and shall be so placed as to be readily visible to any person approaching the secure enclosure.
E. If the dog in question dies, or is sold, transferred, or permanently removed from the municipality or parish where the owner resides, the owner of a dangerous dog shall notify the animal control agency of the changed condition and new location of the dog in writing within two days.
F. Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than three hundred dollars.
G. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to:
(1) Any dog which is owned, or the service of which is employed, by any state or local law enforcement agency for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, or apprehension of offenders.
(2) Any dog trained in accordance with the standards of a national or regional search and rescue association to respond to instructions from its handler in the search and rescue of lost or missing individuals and which dog, together with its handler, is prepared to render search and rescue services at the request of law enforcement.
§ 2771. Dogs not to run at large
No person shall suffer or permit any dog in his possession, or kept by him about his premises, to run at large on any unenclosed land, or trespass upon any enclosed or unenclosed lands of another.
§ 2772. Dog, cat, and kennel licenses fee and certificate; records
A. Each parish or municipality that levies a license fee on dogs and cats shall issue a metallic license tag to each dog or cat owner who applies therefor and pays the dog or cat license fee imposed by the issuing parish or municipality. The license tag shall contain a license number, the name of the issuing body and the calendar year for which such tag is issued. The tag shall be fastened upon the collar worn by the dog or cat owned or kept by such person. A license certificate shall also be issued for such license fee showing the name and address of the owner, a description of the dog or cat by sex and color, the breed of the dog or cat if known, and the year and number of the license tag. A record of all such information shall be kept by the issuing authority which shall be open to the public during regular business hours.
B. The governing body of each municipality or parish may, by ordinance, fix the sum to be paid annually for the dog or cat license fee, which sum shall not be more than ten dollars for each spayed or neutered dog or cat and not more than twenty dollars for each un-spayed or un-neutered dog or cat. However, notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary, the governing body of any municipality or parish with a population in excess of four hundred seventy-five thousand persons may, by ordinance, fix the sum to be paid annually for the dog or cat license fee, which sum shall not be more than ten dollars for each spayed or neutered dog or cat and not more than twenty dollars for each un-spayed or un-neutered dog or cat, and any such funds derived from said license fee shall be dedicated solely for the capture, control, and housing of stray animals.
C. For the purposes of this Section, a dog or cat shall be considered spayed or neutered whenever any of the following is applicable:
(1) Upon presentation of a certificate issued by any licensed veterinarian stating that the dog or cat, if female, was made incapable of producing young by spaying by the veterinarian, or, the dog or cat, if male, was made incapable of producing young by sterilization by the veterinarian.
(2) Upon examination by a licensed veterinarian any dog or cat, whether male or female, is certified by the veterinarian to be incapable of producing young.
(3) If the dog or cat has been previously licensed as a spayed or neutered dog or cat.
D. Dogs used as guides for blind persons and commonly known as “seeing-eye” dogs or dogs used to assist deaf persons and commonly known as “hearing-ear” dogs, may be licensed as other dogs herein provided for, except that the owner or keeper of such dog shall not be required to pay any fee therefor.
E. The owner or keeper of five or more dogs may procure a kennel license and pay a kennel license fee in lieu of the individual dog licenses and license fees provided for herein. The governing body of each municipality or parish may, by ordinance, fix the sum to be paid annually for the kennel license fee, which sum shall not be more than:
(1) Fifteen dollars if no more than five dogs over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
(2) Twenty-five dollars if more than five dogs but no more than ten dogs over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
(3) Thirty dollars if more than ten dogs over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
A licensed veterinarian or a veterinary clinic shall be exempt from this provision in the conduct of their regular business.
F. Upon the issuance of a kennel license, the owner shall be furnished a number of license tags equal to the number of dogs harbored on the owner's premises. All of the provisions contained in Subsection (A) of this Section with regard to issuance of license tag, license certificates and the keeping of records shall also apply to kennel licenses.
G. Any individual or business with five or more dogs and who breeds and sells dogs retail, wholesale, or to the public is required to procure a kennel license and pay a kennel license fee in lieu of the individual dog licenses and license fees provided for herein. The governing body of each municipality or parish may, by ordinance, fix the sum to be paid annually for the kennel license fee, which sum shall be dedicated solely for animal impoundment facilities and not be more than:
(1) Fifteen dollars, if no more than five dogs over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
(2) Twenty-five dollars, if more than five dogs but no more than ten dogs over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
(3) Thirty dollars, if more than ten dogs over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
H. No individual or business that breeds, buys, or sells dogs retail, wholesale, or to the public shall maintain more than seventy-five dogs over the age of one year at any time for breeding purposes.
I. Any person who violates the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
§ 2773. Dogs as personal property; seizure of dogs running at large or on property fenced as a fox pen; notice to owner; dangerous or vicious dogs
A. Dogs owned by citizens of this state and by citizens of other states and situated and located in this state are declared to be personal property of such citizens.
B. Any citizen may, or the sheriff, constable, or other police officers of any parish, ward, or municipality shall seize any dog found unaccompanied by its owner or keeper and running at large on any road, street, or other public place, or trespassing on any premises other than the premises of the owner. If the dog is wearing a collar bearing a tag showing the name and address of its owner, it shall be impounded and the citizen or officer so seizing and impounding the dog shall immediately thereafter by written notice notify the owner of the dog, at the address disclosed by the tag on the dog's collar, that the dog has been seized and impounded by him, and unless the owner or keeper of the dog shall, within seven days from the receipt of the notice, claim the dog and pay the citizen or officer a fee of one dollar for seizing and a fee of twenty-five cents for each day it is impounded, it shall be disposed of in a humane manner.
C. Except in the parishes of St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington, any citizen may, or the sheriff, constable, or other police officers of any parish, ward, or municipality shall, seize any dog found unaccompanied by its owner or keeper and trespassing on any premises that is fenced with at least a two-inch by four-inch wire mesh that is a minimum of four feet high. If the dog is wearing a collar bearing a tag showing the name and address of its owner, it shall be impounded and the citizen or officer so seizing and impounding the dog shall immediately thereafter, by written notice, notify the owner of the dog, at the address disclosed by the tag on the collar of the dog, that the dog has been seized and impounded by him, and unless the owner or keeper of the dog shall, within seven days from receipt of the notice, claim the dog and pay a seizing fee of twenty dollars and an impoundment fee of one dollar for each day it is impounded, it shall be disposed of in a humane manner. Ten dollars of the seizing fee shall be paid to the law enforcement agency called upon to seize the dog. The remainder of the seizing fee shall be donated to a recognized nonprofit conservation group. This Subsection shall apply only to fox pens.
D. Any citizen or officer may kill any dangerous or vicious dog, and no citizen or officer shall be liable for damages or to prosecution by reason of killing any dangerous or vicious dog.
§ 2774. Parishes to provide animal facilities
Each parish shall provide suitable shelters or facilities for dogs seized under the provisions of this Part.
§ 2775. Use of dogs for hunting
Nothing in this Part shall prevent any citizen of this state from lawfully hunting with a dog, provided the dog is accompanied by the owner or keeper.
§ 2776. Time for paying dog license tax
All license taxes on dogs are due annually on the anniversary date of the administration of the rabies vaccination; provided that as soon as a dog becomes no more than six months of age the owner of the dog shall be liable to pay the license tax for the year in which the dog reaches such age.
§ 2777. Penalty for violating this Part or disturbing dog's collar or license tax tag
Whoever violates any provision of this Part, or fails or neglects to perform any duty imposed by it, shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars and the cost of prosecution, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.
Whoever removes from any dog a collar bearing a license tax tag as provided for in this Part, or alters or removes any such license tax tag from a dog properly registered as herein provided for, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars and the cost of the prosecution, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.
§ 2778. Home rule charter governments
Nothing contained in this Part shall be construed to prevent or otherwise limit the governing authority of a municipality or parish operating under a home rule charter with a population greater than four hundred twenty-five thousand according to the latest federal decennial census from setting fees and fines in amounts sufficient for the operation of its animal control program or for the effective enforcement of its animal control ordinances; however, in no event shall such fees or fines be less than those imposed under this Part.
Lake Charles Animal Related Businesses and Organizations
Calcasieu Parish Animal Services
A variety of animal training classes and services are offered by the Louisiana SPCA. The Louisiana SPCA is also a good place to report cases of dogfighting, animal mistreatment or dog bites. The Louisiana SPCA may be reached at:1700 Mardi Gras Boulevard.
Lake Charles, LA 70114
Other Dog Related Organizations around Lake Charles:
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Lake Charles and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Southwestern Louisiana, including Carlyss, Holmwood, Iowa, Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Port of Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, and other communities in Calcasieu Parish.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, please contact one of the experienced Calcasieu Parish dog bite lawyers listed on this page.