Utah Dog Bite Attorney Offers Free Advice to Dog Bite Victims

Utah law imposes “strict liability” on the owners of dogs who injure others. Even if the dog has never bitten before, and the owner has no advance notice that their dog may bite, the dog owner is still responsible. Claims against these dog owners is covered by Utah Code section 18-1-1. This statute says: “Every person owning or keeping a dog shall be liable in damages for injury committed by such dog, and it shall not be necessary in any action brought therefor to allege or prove that such dog was of a vicious or mischievous disposition or that the owner or keeper thereof knew that it was vicious or mischievous.”

Under the statute, the dog doesn’t even have to sink his teeth into his victim for the dog owner to be responsible. If the dog startles the victim to the point that they injure themselves trying to get away, the owner is still liable under the statute. For example, a postal worker trying to get away from a snarling dog, who twists then his ankle, would have a claim against the owner of the dog.

One reason why a dog owner may not be responsible is if the dog bite victim provoked the dog by yelling at him, taunting him, teasing or tormenting him. Children, however, can’t be blamed for merely petting or playing with a dog, unless they were warned not to do so. At any rate, children cannot be expected to appreciate the dangers of a dog like an adult can.

If a dog’s owner is responsible for the dog bite, they can be expected to be responsible for the victim’s medical bills, including future plastic surgery revisions, for the pain, suffering and emotional distress as well as having to live with scars and scaring that may never go away.

The problems that arise in these cases don’t come from being unable to hold the dog owner accountable – this usually is not a problem. The problem come from not being able to find money to pay for the often serious injuries that can arise from a dog bite. The most common scenario in this situation is that the dog owner is a renter, who doesn’t have renter insurance. The reality is that unless the dog owner has home owners or some other insurance, it will usually be very difficult to get proper compensation for the dog bite.

Dog bites can have devastating effects on their victims and be very traumatic for young children. Kids who have been bitten are often terrified about dogs for many years afterwards and can have trouble sleeping, interacting normally with others and be afraid to go outside.

A personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with dog bite claims and home owners insurance companies, who has experience in presenting the damages the victim has suffered and who has a track record of obtaining favorable results, should be sought when dealing with these types of claims. The author, Ron Kramer, is an attorney and has handled a large number of dog bite cases and is familiar with the trauma that they can cause in his clients’ lives.

Ron Kramer is a personal injury-dog bite lawyer who handles dog bite cases in Brigham City, Ogden, Layton, Bountiful, Salt Lake City, Sandy, Provo-Orem, Spanish Fork, Price, Delta and in the St. George, Utah area. He is the author of The Utah Accident Book. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation.

Utah Accident Book Provides Guidance on Changing Attorneys

This is always a controversial subject among Utah personal injury attorneys, but I have taken it head on in the recent book I wrote called The Utah Accident Book.

If you have an attorney, you need to be satisfied that they are doing a good job for you. If they are not, you are legally entitled to fire that attorney and find another one that will perform the work that will most benefit you in your case.

In the Utah Accident Book, I spend a chapter discussing how attorneys can hold you hostage with huge, inflated liens they impose on your case that make it almost impossible to fire your attorney and hire another one. This is so because any attorney looking at your case will be hesitant to take it on if the first attorney has a large lien that will come out of the second attorney’s attorney fee when the case resolves. This is especially prevalent when the case has been opened for a while and litigation has started.

I also discuss in the Utah Accident Book different ways to go about firing an attorney you are convinced will not be able to help you. Before you do this, I warn you to think very carefully about doing this. The fact is, it may be almost impossible to replace the first attorney because of attorney fee liens, the strength of the case, etc. You can’t just fire your attorney and expect that there will be an unlimited amount of attorneys that now want your case.

That is why it is important to get a “second opinion” as the relative strengths and weaknesses of your case and whether your first attorney has done a good – or even adequate – job. I have counseled “second opinion” clients I have met with on a number of occasions that it is best just to stay put.

The Utah Accident Book is the book to get if you have been in an accident in Utah. Along with helping you decide whether changing attorneys is in your best interest, I discuss the 13 mistakes you must avoid to do well on your accident case.

To get your free copy of the Utah Accident Book, please call my office at (801) 666-3959 and request it or visit: http://www.myaccidentbook.com.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Ogden Police Blamed in Fatal Ogden Car Accident

Two young men, Derek Jasper and Blake Strebel, died on April 21, 2009, when a Cadillac, driven to two men suspected of a home burglary, ran a red light and smashed into the their Mistubishi Lancer. According to a story in the Deseret News, the boys were returning home from having played basketball in Ogden, Utah, when this fatal car accident happened.

As it turns out, the suspected thieves were being chased by the Ogden City Police Dept and were apparently in the process of trying to evade the police when the car crash happened. The men ran the stoplight at the corner of 28th Street and Washington. Now family members of the two men the police were chasing say that the cause of the Ogden car accident rests with the police, not the two who were evading law enforcement.

The Ogden police has responded to these allegations. “Traffic was very light and the conditions were in keeping with the Ogden Police Department’s pursuit policy,” Assistant Police Chief Randy Watt said Thursday. “The vehicle stayed in the residential area and made numerous changes in direction at the same relative speeds.”

My condolences to the family of these two young men who appeared to have had bright futures ahead of them.

As far as blame goes, it rests squarely with the driver who ran the red light. The drive chose to drive unsafely, and in the pursuit of his own selfish interests of avoiding justice for his alleged actions, ran the red light. The speed of the chase was not excessive and officials say the traffic was relatively light. Unfortunately for the driver, he compounded his criminal troubles by taking two people out of this world. I suspect charges of manslaughter will be brought against the driver by the Ogden city attorney over this needless car accident.

Legally speaking, the families have a wrongful death claim against the insurance company of the at-fault driver as well as a claim against Strebel’s insurance company for “under-insured” coverage. A modest provision for funeral expenses is also available under the Strebel policy.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Man Charged in Ogden Pedestrian Accident Pleads Guilty

The man who ran into and killed 78-year-old Mary Deats of Ogden, Utah, has pled guilty to negligent homicide. The pedestrian accident happened on July 22, 2008, when the man, Aaron Derrick Summerill, 25 years old, also of Ogden, hit Ms. Deats as she was crossing Harrison Blvd. near 15th Street around 10 p.m. According to Utah news accounts, after Mr. Summerill hit Ms. Deats, he fled the scene. Maybe because he had a controlled substance in his system?

The original charges against Summerhill included failing to remain at the scene of an injury accident and driving with controlled substances in his system. Under the plea deal approved by the Ogden city prosecutor, Mr. Summerhill will plead guilty to negligent homicide and the prosecutor will dismiss the other charges. He faces a maximum of one year in jail.

Sounds like a sweet deal for Summerhill. Not so sweet, however, for Ms. Deats and her surviving family members. The sole remaining charge amounts to a slap on the hand for a hit and run while driving under the influence. Pedestrians have the right to feel safe as they cross the street in properly marked crosswalks. Motorists have a duty to stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the streets. This man failed to follow basic rules of the road. And when he realized he had injured someone, perhaps killed them, what did he do? He completely shirked his responsibility under Utah law and as a moral and law-abiding citizen by fleeing the scene. And now prosecutors want to give him a break?

If Ms. Deat’s family has not already done so, they should investigate bringing a civil action against Mr. Summerill and/or his insurance company and should contact an experienced Ogden pedestrian accident lawyer to do so. In my opinion, the driver is clearly liable. The amounts of insurance available, however, will likely not even come close to the value of what was lost from Mr. Summerill’s actions.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation.