Lincoln Dog Bite Lawyer

Lincoln, Nebraska, is a city of dogs. Whether walking downtown or hiking in Pioneer Park, you are sure to meet all sizes and breeds of dogs and their owners. However, owning any dog comes with responsibility. Dog owners must prevent their animals from causing unreasonable harm to others. When circumstances turn unfortunate, and you become the victim of a canine attack, it's important to have an experienced Lincoln dog bite lawyer on your side to protect your recovery.

After all, when a dog injures you or someone you love, it can be difficult to decide who may be responsible and how to obtain the medical care needed.

Dog bites are frightening, painful events. The injuries that result may range from slight skin punctures to very serious deep lacerations requiring hundreds of stitches and multiple surgeries and, in certain cases, may result in death. Psychological trauma may also result, depending on the circumstances of the event.

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We Stand Up for Your Rights as a Dog Bite Victim

Our legal team at Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers wants you to be informed. That’s why we’ve provided you with the following information to help you understand your rights and how to find the right lawyer for your dog bite injury to aid you in obtaining full compensation for your injuries. 

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Understanding Dog Bite Laws in Lincoln, NE

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To better understand whether you need to hire a dog bite lawyer in Lincoln, you first need to understand the laws surrounding canine attacks in Nebraska. 

Nebraska Revised Statute 54-601 states in part:

…the owner or owners of any dog or dogs shall be liable for any and all damages that may accrue (a) to any person, other than a trespasser, by reason of having been bitten by any such dog or dogs [or] (b) wounding, worrying, or chasing any person….

The statute's wording means that dog owners in Nebraska are liable for all damages resulting from the dog's actions (like scratching, jumping on, or knocking over a person) and not just “bites.”   Moreover, the statute provides for “strict liability.” This term means that an injured victim would not have to prove that negligence happened to recover damages. However, various case laws have added limitations to this rule, hence why you need an experienced dog bite lawyer who understands these laws.

Mischievous or Playful Behavior Limitation

One case law limitation to the statute above which is worth mentioning is the "Mischievous or Playful Behavior" restriction. Sometimes, dogs bite during play and not because of aggression. Nebraska's courts have repeatedly refused to hold individuals liable under the statute above when a dog's playful or mischievous behavior causes a dog bite incident.

Example: You are walking down the street when you see a friend walking his happy, non-aggressive dog. The dog owner — your friend — lets the dog off the leash to greet you, and the happy dog rushes toward you, excited to see you and receive some head pats. The enthusiastic dog accidentally knocks you down, injuring you. You would likely not be able to recover your damages from the dog owner in court. 

The One Bite Rule Limitation

The statute above has also been limited in several ways by Nebraska courts deciding dog bite cases over the years. One limitation is the “One Bite Rule,” which is followed in several jurisdictions, including Lincoln, Nebraska. This rule essentially means that a person who is injured by a dog's non-aggressive behavior and seeks to hold the owner, harborer, or keeper of the dog legally liable must show that:

  • 1) the dog (or other animal causing injury) had a history of dangerous behavior or activity (this is known as “dangerous propensity”);
  • 2) the owner or person responsible for the dog was aware of the dangerous nature; and
  • 3) the animal's dangerous propensity caused the injury.

This limitation is important because it requires an injured person to supply sufficient evidence to show the person leading the dog was aware that the dog causing injury was capable of dangerous behavior. So, if you are bitten or otherwise injured by a dog that has never bitten anyone or shown any aggressive behavior, it's unlikely your dog bite claim would prevail in court unless you can show that all three elements were present.

Example: Similar to the first example, but in this variation, your friend knows that whenever he takes his happy dog off the leash, the dog gets over-excited and knocks anyone he is familiar with over. He is a large dog and not well-trained. The friend sees you, lets the dog off the leash, and the dog knocks you over, injuring you.

On this variation of facts, you have a better chance at recovering damages for your injuries in court because:

  • 1) the dog had a dangerous propensity to knock people over,
  • 2) The friend knew of the dog's dangerous propensity and
  • 3) the dog's dangerous propensity is what caused your injury.

Most homeowners insurance policies will cover dog attacks, unless the dog has a history of aggression or a dangerous propensity.

Can People Besides the Dog Owner Be Held Responsible for Dog Bites?

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Yes. According to our Lincoln dog bite lawyers, a dog's owner is usually the person responsible for an injury. However, sometimes, other parties may be responsible. A property owner may be held responsible for dog bite injuries if that person knew or had reason to be aware that a dangerous dog was on the property and exposed lawful visitors to the property to injury. 

These laws matter because a dog owner may be responsible for your injuries but without assets or homeowners insurance to cover a victim's medical bills or other needed care.

Example: A property owner rents a home to a tenant who owns and keeps a dangerous attack dog on the premises. The landlord knows that the attack dog lives on the property. One day, while delivering the mail, a new mail carrier is bitten when she enters the property to deliver mail. On these facts, it's likely both the dog owner and the landlord would be held liable for injuries suffered by the mail carrier. 

What Kind of Lawyer Do You Need for a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Lincoln?

Personal injury lawyers are attorneys who practice civil law by advocating for clients who have suffered injury to a person or property through the fault of another person. Dog bites are a specific type of personal injury, so a personal injury attorney would be a natural fit.

However, not all personal injury lawyers are created equal. A dog bite victim in Lincoln should seek a personal injury law firm with significant experience and understanding of the unique injuries and damages people sustain resulting from dog bites and attacks. 

Our law firm understands these laws and their nuances, and we have experience using them to obtain settlements and verdicts from responsible parties.

Choose a Law Firm With Experience Handing Dog Bite Cases

Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers employs lawyers with significant dog bite and attack experience. With over fifty years of combined experience in and outside the courtroom, helping hundreds of people obtain settlements for personal injuries, their lawyers are uniquely suited to help a dog bite or attack victim with every detail of their case.

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What Does a Lincoln Dog Bite Lawyer Do?


First, a dog bite attorney in Lincoln, NE, will ask many questions about the event. Your lawyer will ask where the attack occurred, who owned the dog, and every detail of how the attack happened.  The attorney will also ask about the dog-related injuries and other damages, whether the victim went to the emergency room or hospital, and what care was given, and how soon. 

The attorney will finally ask questions about the responsible party, what they knew about the dog and its behavior, and whether it has a history of dangerous activity. The lawyer should investigate all aspects of the event. This will supply the facts and evidence necessary to determine whether a case can be made against the responsible party and whether full compensation for the victim's injuries is likely. 

Only by knowing the facts and evidence thoroughly can the lawyer properly advise the victim and go ahead to make a demand.

Medical Care and Treatment for Dog Bite Injuries

Many people don't realize that a big part of a dog bite injury lawyer's job is to ensure that the victim receives all the appropriate medical care they need. 

After accepting the victim as a client, the lawyer will go to work making sure that the victim reaches maximum medical improvement. Once the client has healed and completed all necessary medical treatment and therapy, the lawyer can then evaluate how much compensation will be necessary to look for from the responsible party. Surgeries, counseling, and cosmetic procedures necessary for a dog bite victim's recovery can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars. 

Demand Stage

Once the facts and circumstances of the case are thoroughly understood, and after the client has reached maximum medical improvement, the lawyer will then make a demand that details what the victim endured, the extent of care needed, and the amount of money sought from the responsible party and the responsible party or dog owner's insurance company. Your attorney will ensure that this amount is enough to fully compensate for all the injuries and other expenses as a result of the dog attack. 

How Does a Dog Bite Attorney Get Paid?

Most of, if not all, Lincoln dog bite attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that a victim becomes a client and pays no lawyer fees until their case is settled, or a verdict is reached at trial. Once a settlement is reached, the lawyer deducts the attorney's fee from the settlement, pays the client's medical bills, and then distributes the rest to the client. 

How to Find the Best Dog Bite Injury Lawyer in Lincoln

This can be a subjective decision, as lawyers and clients are both human beings with unique needs. Generally, dog bite victims are best served by considering:

  • Relevant Practice — Are they personal injury lawyers who are known for handling dog bite claims? Or, is this law firm one that occasionally takes a dog bite case but typically does family law? Look for a firm that handles these cases regularly.
  • Experience — Is this a first-year lawyer who has never been inside a courtroom? Another lawyer might be so experienced and busy that she doesn't have time to pick up the phone to listen to a client's concern or problem. Have they handled cases similar to yours? What was the outcome?
  • Reputation — What do others have to say about this firm? Specifically, what do former clients have to say? Do they have a great reputation for treating their clients well and getting them the compensation they deserve? Check out their online reviews. Look for 4 and 5-star reviews that show great customer service, and read comments carefully to see what you think about the firm

In any case, a good dog bite lawyer in Lincoln is easy to find on the internet, by phone, and even in person at the office. The point to take away is that all lawyers are servants of the people, and you should only choose one whom you believe will be a good fit for you and your situation.

Contact Our Experienced Lincoln Dog Bite Attorney

Call Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers if you want lawyers who are passionate about listening and understanding clients to zealously advocate for their interests. Our Lincoln dog bite lawyers have experience with every kind of dog bite case and will always take the time to meet with you in person and provide advice and service you can depend on. 

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, call the experienced dog bite lawyers at Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers in Lincoln at (308) 872-8327. We bite back.