Does it matter what breed of dog attacked me when filing an injury claim?

If a dog attacked you, the dog’s breed doesn’t matter; the owner is responsible for the dog and your damages. Iowa law holds dog owners responsible for damages inflicted by their dogs, except in certain circumstances.

Impact of Iowa Dog Bite Laws in an Injury Claim

Iowa has fairly strict laws when it comes to a dog owner’s liability for a dog bite. In most circumstances, any dog that attempts to bite, does bite, or attacks a person and causes injury would allow the victim to recover compensation for his or her damages.

An exception would be if the injured person had been engaging in an unlawful act that directly contributes to the injuries, such as breaking into someone’s home. Another would be if the dog suffers from hydrophobia (which is a side effect of rabies). However, the owner still could be liable if he/she had known or reasonably should have known about the dog’s illness.

Could the dog’s breed come up in an injury claim?

Several cities in Iowa have either declared certain breeds automatically dangerous or vicious – a classification often reserved for dogs with a history of biting or attacking or who have been trained to fight. Some localities place restrictions on certain breeds or outright banned ownership.

Breeds on these lists may include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas, Dobermans and Presa Canarios (also known as Canary dogs). There are even ordinances in which certain breeds are decreed potentially dangerous, such as Chows and Bulldogs.

Owners of vicious dogs may be required to take special precautions. This might include owning insurance and ensuring the dog is confined properly. While owners of any breed of dog are responsible for injuries and damages inflicted by the dog, victims may bring up failure to abide by local laws if it contributed to the injuries.

Recovering Damages in a Dog Attack Injury Claim

Compensation available in a dog bite injury claim includes medical costs, such as antibiotics, medical care, surgery and even reconstructive surgery if such treatment is necessary. Dog bite victims also may pursue compensation for lost wages while they recover from the attack and any treatment they required as a result.

When the victim sustains serious physical harm or permanent disfigurement, he or she also may pursue damages for emotional distress. Iowa law even allows recovery of emotional distress damages in certain cases in which someone has witnessed an especially severe attack.

Get Help if Pursuing a Dog Bite Claim: Call Walker, Billingsley & Bair

For help and to learn more about your right to recover damages after a dog bite, it’s best to seek legal counsel. An attorney who handles these types of cases can explain your rights and available legal options.

If you were attacked in or around the Des Moines area, call Walker, Billingsley & Bair at (888) 435-9886 to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney.

Corey Walker
With over 20 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.