A man is lucky to be alive after a vicious dog attack in Arkansas’s Saline County. The victim, a 23-year-old male, was walking on Atkins Road in Avilla, Arkansas in September of 2017 when he was attacked by four Pit Bulls. The dogs had escaped from a neighbor’s yard and cornered the helpless victim against a fence. They then mauled the man for several minutes before an eyewitness was able to beat the dogs away with a metal pipe.
The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital suffering from multiple bite wounds—including several severe injuries to his legs and foot. While he is expected to live, he will be left with lifelong scarring and likely some reduced mobility due to the severity of the dog attack.
Police cited the animals’ owner for having “vicious dogs.” The Pit Bulls which attacked the man were seized by Arkansas sheriff’s deputies for mandatory 10-day quarantine.
How the Law Handles Dog Bites in Arkansas
Vicious dog attacks in Arkansas are not a new occurrence. However, the number of severe dog attacks in Arkansas has been on the rise as larger, more powerful breeds (like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers) have grown in popularity. While most dog bites aren’t serious and result only in citations or even warnings, terrifying cases (such as this case) warrant stronger action.
Dog Bite Laws in Arkansas
The state technically doesn’t have any umbrella legislation about dog attacks in Arkansas. As a rule the legal system relies on a precedent set by multiple cases in the past commonly called the “One Bite Rule.”
This “Rule” states that if a dog has bitten an individual in the past, then the owner may be liable for any future attacks because the animal has shown itself to be potentially dangerous. If the owner fails to keep the animal under control, or fails to keep it away from an individual who is then attacked, the owner can be ordered to pay for any injuries suffered by the victim(s).
To combat the statewide lack of laws concerning dog attacks in Arkansas, many individual municipalities have created their own legislation or civil codes that deal directly with these dangers. In fact, according to DogsBite.org , 29 municipalities in Arkansas have banned Pit Bulls or declared them “dangerous.”
Many of these rules can effectively transfer liability to a dog’s owner in the event of an attack even if the animal has not bitten anyone in the past.
What to Do if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog in Arkansas
Statute of limitations requires that any legal action resulting from a dog bite in Arkansas be initiated within 3 years of the attack. You should get that ball rolling as soon as you are able, however, the first and most important thing to do is seek medical attention.
Even if you’re not transported by ambulance at the time of the dog attack, go to the ER or see a doctor immediately. This first medical exam does three important things:
- It can stop relatively minor injuries from becoming worse (through infection for example)
- It can identify injuries that aren’t immediately obvious (such as soft tissue or ligament damage)
- It creates documentation that can be used in the legal fight to get the compensation you deserve
While most home owner’s insurance policies will cover the cost of medical expenses associated with a dog bite, many people don’t have such coverage. And if they do, getting the maximum settlement may require hiring a dog bite attorney in Arkansas.
Dog Attack Lawyers in Arkansas Fighting for You
The Pfeifer Law Firm can help you get the financial compensation you deserve after a dog attack in Arkansas. When you call our office for your free, no-pressure consultation, we will discuss all of your options with you and give you the information you need to make the right decision for you.