Louisiana Dog Bites

Louisiana Dog Bites

Dog Bites in Louisiana Resulting In Catastrophic Injuries

Through the ages, dogs have served man in various roles – protectors, helpers, companions, and even life savers. 

The majority of dogs do not pose a threat to humans. Unfortunately, some dogs attack and bite people, resulting in horrifying injuries.

Dog bite injuries can be highly traumatizing, both physically and emotionally, and can even result in fatalities – especially when the injuries involve older people, children, or people in poor health. 

If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries from a dog bite in Louisiana, you can hold the dog owner legally responsible. You may also receive financial compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.

Dog Bite Laws In Louisiana

The State of Louisiana has a dog bite Statute (Louisiana Civil Code article 2321). Under Louisiana law, a dog’s owner is strictly liable for damages for injuries to persons or property caused by the dog, which the owner could have prevented and which did not result from the injured person’s provocation of the dog. 

To prove a dog owner’s negligence in Louisiana, a plaintiff must prove the following elements: 

1. The defendant had a duty to conduct themselves to a specific standard of care (the duty element). 

2. The defendant failed to conform their conduct to the appropriate standard (the breach of duty element). 

3. The defendant’s substandard conduct was a cause-in-fact of the plaintiff’s injuries (the cause-in-fact requirement). 

4. The defendant’s substandard conduct was a legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries (the scope of liability or extent of protection element). 

5. The plaintiff suffered actual damages. 

An animal control law violation can also be a basis for negligence. 

The Louisiana Supreme Court has held that while statutory violations are not in and of themselves definitive of civil liability, they may be guidelines for the court in determining negligence standards.

 Under Louisiana law, a dog becomes dangerous when: 

· 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;

· Any dog that, when unprovoked, bites a person, causing an injury; or

· Any unprovoked dog, on two separate occasions within the prior thirty-six-month period, has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused harm to a domestic animal off the property of its owner. 

It is unlawful for anyone to own a dangerous dog without properly restraining or confining it. Any citizen or officer may kill any dangerous or vicious dog, and no citizen or officer shall be liable for damages or prosecution because of killing any dangerous or vicious dog.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Here are the most common dog bite injuries people suffer in Louisiana:


Prompt medical treatment is crucial to prevent a severe infection from developing, which can sometimes be fatal. Rabies, Pasteurella (which is a blood infection), and pneumonia caused by complications are a few of the conditions dog bite victims suffer.

Besides the initial trauma of a dog bite, the biggest concern is infection.

A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria, making the risk of infection from a bite very high. Rabies may be the most well-known animal-transmitted infection, but dogs can also transmit staph and strep. If left untreated, they can also transmit Capnocytophaga bacteria, leading to heart attacks, kidney failure, and limb loss.

Broken Bones

Dogs are powerful and can cause broken and crushed bones in an attack. Broken bones in the face, arms, hands, legs, feet, and skull are not uncommon and can require multiple surgeries to repair.

Brain Injury

Victims can suffer a traumatic brain injury if their heads strike the pavement or another hard surface in an attack. They can suffer devastating damage to their vision, mobility, reasoning, memory, and judgment. 

Nerve Damage

When the dog bite is deep, a victim can suffer severe nerve damage that can limit mobility and cause chronic pain – sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Severe dog bites can cause numbness, tingling, or paralysis in the affected area.


Scarring and disfigurement injuries are common in a dog attack, especially if the victim is a child. Unfortunately, these injuries often occur on the face, where they are more visible and can lead to emotional trauma.

Eye Injuries

If the dog attacks a victim’s face and eyes, the person could suffer reduced or loss of vision. Because dogs often bite children on their faces, this is, unfortunately, a common injury. 

Puncture Wounds And Lacerations

Dogs have very sharp teeth that can puncture the skin and cause deep cuts and lacerations, leading to blood loss, scarring, and infections.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Dog bites can damage tissues, muscles, and ligaments, resulting in pain, swelling, and loss of motion.

The penetrating component of the bite is usually the characteristic attribute in bite injuries sustained in a dog attack. However, the blunt nature of such an attack may represent the more severe and devastating component of injury.

The blunt component of injury can have devastating consequences reflected in acute arterial, brain, and spinal cord injury.

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers: Louisiana Attorneys Holding Negligent Dog Owners Responsible

A dog owner in Louisiana whose dog causes a catastrophic injury by biting or attacking someone else is civilly liable for past and future losses the plaintiff sustains.

A Louisiana dog bite lawyer at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers can help victims recover damages, including expenses for bite-related medical care, including present and future; costs of rehabilitative care and surgeries; lost working capacity or income; injury to personal property; physical pain and suffering; emotional anguish and trauma; and lost enjoyment of life. 

At our Louisiana personal injury law firm, our attorneys not only have the ability to understand our client’s concerns but also have the experience to educate the client about potential future difficulties that they may encounter with a catastrophic injury. 

The impact of catastrophic injuries stemming from a brutal dog bite is often far more disastrous and long-lasting than other types of injury situations upon the victim and their family. 

Louisiana personal injury lawyer Bart Bernard has over twenty-five years of experience handling the unique issues associated with catastrophic injury cases. Attorney Bernard understands the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that victims face – both in the present and the future and has earned national recognition for successfully handling high-stakes claims.

Contact our firm today to let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. 



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