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Podcast Transcriptions

Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (00:00):

Welcome to today's podcast. This is Mory and Colliersmith, episode one. Today we're gonna be talking about automobile accidents and what happens next. I'm introducing Doug Mory and Natalie Colliersmith of Mory and Colliersmith Personal Injury Law firm.


Doug Mory (00:17):

Good morning, or if you're listening to this in the afternoon, good afternoon, or if you're listening to it in the evening. Good evening. Cyberspace. my name is Doug Mory. I am one half of Mory Colliersmith. With me here today is of course Natalie Colliersmith. That's right. And Jessica Colliersmith, who's hosting and walking us through all this. Jess, how you doing?


Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (00:39):

Great. Good. Ready to get it going?


Doug Mory (00:41):

Good. we are, again, I gotta kind of pull back the curtain here a little bit. Doing our first podcast the, we're still working on the title I suggested the Least Boring Attorney podcast on the internet. That's a working title. That's great. Thank you. I'm glad you think so. See, we've already got, we've already got one like <laugh>. All right. So if you if you are listening to this right now, you can't be the first person to like us, but you should be the second. So go ahead and click like there. Jess beat you to the punch on the first one. Jess is our host. Wanna thank her cuz as she's doing the technology and the hosting. And she's gonna kind of ask questions that people would ask a lawyer during this, so we don't get too bogged down in legal speak, Natalie, of course, the brains of the operation as far as like the legal stuff goes. So, yeah, of


Natalie Colliersmith (01:35):

Course. Yeah, That's me.


Doug Mory (01:36):

I will do most of the talking. I probably, but witty banter, the witty banter. Well, God help us if that's <laugh>. But for the next however long we are going to talk about what, and, and if we sound like we're kind of, eh, I don't wanna say nervous, we're all used to talking, but the podcasting thing is new, so we're all sitting here on our, our table trying not to make any noises. You don't hear anything in the background. We're more accustomed to talking to jurors, not talking to, you know, doing the whole obstacle course thing of, you know, Hey, hey, I can, I can imagine people listening in the background. Why is that pen clicking? What? So, so forgive us if we sound a little stilted there, but no, be easy, honest. Yeah, it'd be easy, honest.


Doug Mory (02:19):

But no, we got a great setup here. I wanna thank just for that cuz God knows if it were up to me, I, we would I could holler out a window and probably be about technologically advanced. I set up <laugh>. So today we're gonna talk about what happens after a wreck. You get in a car wreck auto accident automobile accident, car accident whatever you want to call it. And I'm totally not laundry listing that for search engine optimization reasons, by the way. But whenever you get into any kind of car wreck, no one really knows what to do. And I wanted to spend some time and Natalie wanted to spend some time today talking about that. Ever. We, we've had some people come in and probably make some mistakes after their wreck. Oh


Natalie Colliersmith (03:09):

Yeah. Oh yeah. It's important cuz you know, it doesn't happen often. So when you get in a wreck, it can be a scary thing and nobody really talks about the minutes right after what you should do and the days after. So it's important to give people that good information.


Doug Mory (03:24):

Exactly right. When you get in a wreck, the very first thing you wanna do is call 9 1 1. And I know you're probably thinking, well, gosh, that's the kind of sage advice we're gonna get in this podcast. I can't wait to what happens next. But you'd be amazed how many people today don't do that. And I started a couple years ago here locally, I say locally as if I'm only talking to Kentucky. Here in Kentucky, they've there's been some issues recently with police officers not showing up to the scenes of accidents. It's still important to call 9 1 1 for a number of reasons. Those calls are recorded and your lawyer or someone else can get a copy of that recording for a certain period of time after the wreck. But more importantly than that, it, it just provides an objective way to get emergent help there. You know, we're, we're gonna have some fun here and joke around some on this podcast, but to be serious for a second, the most important thing by far is after a wreck is your health and safety. So you absolutely want to ensure that everything is as safe as it can be after the wreck occurs. And you really should get objective advice from an emer a, a medical professional as to your medical condition. Call 9 1 1, tell them what happened. See if you need an ambulance, seek medical attention from there. I'm gonna assume you agree.


Natalie Colliersmith (04:57):

Of course. I definitely agree. Yeah. and even if you think, oh, this is just a little fender bender, I don't see a whole lot of damage, it's still really important to, to call 9 1 1. As you say, document that the wreck happened in addition to bringing on whatever potential medical personnel that needs to be there, but some people think, you know, this is just a little, it was a little scratch or a little bump. I would always, 100% of the time, call 9 1 1 and get the police to the scene. And then you can figure out from there, you know, if EMS is necessary or you should always go seek medical treatment even if you don't go by ambulance. But yeah, totally agree. So even if you think it's a a minor wreck or minor car accident you should still always get the cops involved in, in medical personnel eventually.


Doug Mory (05:49):

All right, we'll see if it's unanimous. Jess, you with us? Yeah. All right. That makes total sense. All right, so let's pop quiz. You get a wreck, what's the first thing you do? Call 9 1 1. See, this, this podcast is already helping people <laugh>. All right, so you get in a wreck, call 9 1 1. You wanna make sure you get the medical attention you need after you're in that car wreck. And you want to make sure you've memorialized the con what happened? And you also just want to, it just calms the situation down. You know, different people respond in different ways, direct, some of 'em can, some people can get kinda angry and, and kinda outta hand. Thankfully it doesn't happen too often, but you call 9 1 1, it kind of provides a calming presence unless people know, hey, I, you know, kind of better keep control of myself and police are on their way.


Natalie Colliersmith (06:33):

That's a great point too. And if it is contentious, which it some oftentimes can be and you have people arguing over what happened, that does bring an objective third party in to at least take statements from both sides. So you can get, hopefully all of that makes it into a police report or an accident report. So yeah, that's a good, that's a good point. If it is contentious, it's always good to have somebody else there that can kind of document it from a calmer third party neutral maybe position


Doug Mory (07:05):

That's, and I I, that transitions perfectly into the next step of this, which is the, ideally the arrival to police. I say ideally, cause I know we're here locally is on the news recently that police have not been responding to non-emergent accidents. We're going to treat this like they still are. And I want you, if you're in a wreck to do the same thing. I I want you to call 9 1 1 and and hopefully the police will arrive if we'll talk a little later on in the podcast of what happens if they don't. But for this our purposes now, we'll, we'll act as if they are still going to, and I think in a lot of cases they still do. Hopefully they will. When the police officer arrives, the police officer will take control of the situation and ask both parties what happened.


Doug Mory (07:49):

He or she will create a police report. And while the police report is not technically evidence because the police officer didn't see the wreck, it is still important because it does provide some memorialization as to both parties interpretation of what happened. You know, if I, if Natalie and I, if I'm in, if I'm driving my car, Natalie's driving her car, we get in a wreck, the police officer's gonna ask me what happened? Gonna ask Natalie what happened. And if I tell the police officer one story and then try to change it down the road, that's something that Natalie and her attorney will impeach me with down down the road, say, well, Doug, you told the police officer one thing and now you're telling us something else. What's going on here? So it's, it's sort of the first draft of history, if you will, the first draft of what happened in this wreck.


Doug Mory (08:39):

So it's very important to be clear when talking to the police officer about what happened. And EMS will also arrive if needed. I would strongly encourage, you know, we say number one, call 9 1 1. The second thing you want to do is seek medical attention. This is very, very important. Your, as I said earlier, your health and your safety are the most important thing after a wreck, more important than your case, more important than anything else going on, you absolutely want to seek medical attention. There are injuries that can occur in a car wreck that are not immediately or readily apparent. Soreness and other types of injuries can kick in sometime later. Sometimes you hit, you hurt one part of your body in a wreck, and it hurts so much. You're oblivious to the fact that you've also hurt another part of your body in a wreck. Sometimes you, you on such an adrenaline rush, you don't feel anything, and then 24 hours later you can't get outta bed. Obviously that doesn't happen in every case, thankfully, but it does happen in some. So the important thing to do is get checked out by a medical doctor, go to the emergency room, seek medical attention. I would assume you,


Natalie Colliersmith (09:57):

I disagree with the No, I'm sure <laugh>. Yeah, of course, of course. Yes, absolutely. We see that so often where you know, people think, oh, I'm fine. They don't go to the, to the hospital right away, and then they wake up the next morning and yeah, they can't get outta bed or they can't, you know, can't get off the couch or whatever. So it, it is important to, and like you said, the adrenaline is rushing, especially if it's, you know if you've never been in a wreck, if it's your first wreck or if it's a bad wreck or something, there's a lot of other things that kick in to that, that might mask your actual injuries in those first minutes, hours or whatever after, after the wreck. So, yeah, it is important to, to seek medical attention and make sure a doctor is telling you what your injuries are and you're not self-diagnosing that.


Doug Mory (10:45):

Exactly. And I wanna point out here that I, I'm gonna, we can't stress enough, health and safety are most important, and I don't wanna lose sight of that. Now, I'm gonna take, I'm gonna put my lawyer hat on for a minute. As a lawyer, it's additionally important to go because it provide to the, to the hospital or to a doctor because it provides a contemporaneous documentation of your injuries. The longer time passes between the wreck and some documentation of injuries. The likelier, the insurance company is to say, the wreck didn't cause the injuries, or the injuries are just made up. Okay? I can't stress enough and we're serious about this. You, you and your health are far more important than your case. So go to the doctor because it's medically the right thing to do. But this isn't a medical podcast. It's a legal podcast.


Doug Mory (11:41):

So what my lawyer had on, I will say it's also a good idea to go because it provides a contemporaneous documentation as to what injuries occurred in the wreck. If you wait a week, a month, however long, then the insurance company just isn't gonna believe that your back hurts because of the wreck. Okay? But if you get in a wreck and you go to the doctor, you tell 'em your back hurts, cause it does, then it's a much stronger case. So most important health, safety, the, the goal here is to get your back, not hurt anymore. But as your lawyer, I'll also say that it helps your case to contemporaneously, memorialize with a medical professional that your back hurts. Okay?


Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (12:27):

I wanna jump in really fast. You all are talking high level, but I also, you know, I'm sitting here thinking, you know, I'm a mom, right? Like, when I drive my van, my twin girls are with me at all times. So I know you all are talking high level, but you know, I, I just wanna make sure that this is talking to everyone, even, you know, the child that's in the car, you know, emergency needs to come and check everybody in the car.


Doug Mory (12:54):

Correct? That's a great point. That's a great point. Thank you. Emergency needs to check everybody in the car. I'm glad you said that, Jess. Thank you. See, I, we predicted the future. We said just 10 minutes ago at the beginning of this podcast, we needed somebody to come in and, and host and make sure we didn't just talk legal. And I'm, and I'm being serious because and I hate to say this, but I, I have, I've, I've worked cases before where people come in and they get checked out and their kids don't get checked out, and I've never really understood that. Absolutely get the kids checked out. Absolutely. Medical professionals should check out everyone who's in the wreck and we're talking about if needed. Obviously we don't mean if, you know, I mean, we're not trying to, you know, if you, I don't know run over a curb or something, but I mean, in, in, in a real wreck, if it's, if it's important enough for the drive for the adult to get checked out, it's obviously important enough for the kids to get checked out too. But you'd be amazed how many people, for whatever reason, don't, don't do that. And that's unfortunate. But yes, I'm, I'm a huge proponent of, you know, the children should also be checked out, obviously by either, you know emergency room, a pediatrician.


Doug Mory (14:05):

Thank you for, for that. I appreciate that. So call 9 1 1 and then second thing you do, go get checked, go get checked. All right, medical help, call 9 1 1, seek medical attention. That's the second thing you do. Now, once all of that is, is complete, the third thing you do in my opinion is you call a lawyer. Now I put that third, we put that third for a reason, because obviously the situation itself and your medical needs are far more important than the legal side of this, but this is a legal podcast. So now we're gonna talk about where Natalie now come in and what we do. The first thing that an attorney will do is open a claim with both insurance companies. You wanna talk a little bit about that and then we can Sure.


Natalie Colliersmith (14:55):

Yeah. So there's two claims. Per the first that we open is, is called the PIP claim. And pip, which is kind of its own, we could probably do a whole podcast just alone on, on pip, which is Personal Injury Protection, P-I-P pip. That is again, like I said, a a podcast in and of itself. But in Kentucky we have what's called no fault laws or we're no fault jurisdiction, which means every insurance policy that's written in the state of Kentucky has to carry PIP coverage, personal injury protection coverage. And so that's your own vehicle. Regardless of who's at fault is responsible for paying that insurance on your vehicle is responsible for paying the first $10,000 of your medical bills lost wages at a certain cap. And then there's a few other things. I think a thousand dollars for funeral expenses if there, if it's a fatal accident, and I think that's it, but generally speaking, it's usually most common are medical expenses and lost wages.


Doug Mory (16:08):

Wait, are you telling me that if, if I get in a wreck, my insurance company will give me 10,000 free dollars?


Natalie Colliersmith (16:14):

Well, I wish. Sometimes,


Doug Mory (16:16):



Natalie Colliersmith (16:16):

We wish that that's the case, but but no there, there, there is $10,000 available to pay medical bills and lost wages if you're, you know in a, in a bad wreck. And you can't work for, let's say a week after you can make a claim against your PIP coverage, they'll pay you a little bit of money. There's a cap on it which incidentally hasn't been changed for decades. So the cap is pretty low. People aren't always happy with that, but


Doug Mory (16:45):

We should probably say we should probably save this. I love the idea doing a PIP podcast down the road, but I, I love, I I don't wanna jump in. I apologize to the, you said the cap, it's $200. I mean, you know, the the reason behind this, the, the pit law passed in the first hundred protection back in the seventies when the, the idea behind it was the people needed immediate medical attention and immediate wage help after a wreck. It, it predates a federal law called Tala that where now you can go to an emergency room and get treated. Okay? So back then there was a real need in the system for people to have a sort of a gap filler between who's going to pay for this doctor and who's going to pay my wages while the insurance companies are sorting out who did what and to whom.


Doug Mory (17:35):

Frankly, it's been outdated in some ways. The main one being, like you just said, they've never updated it's $200 a week in wages. Yeah. So no one's getting rich on that, but it is there a $10,000 fund called pip or Personal Injury Protection that will pay for your medical bills and wages up to $200 a week that arise out of the accident, regardless of who is at fault. Okay? Even if you're at fault, you know, the wreck is completely your fault. There is $10,000 there of medical help, which is important because I know we just moved on from this, but that's another reason to go seek medical attention. I mean, you've, you've paid for it when you bought your insurance, you, you mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it's there, you paid for it, you may as well use it. So it's, so


Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (18:20):

It's, it's no matter what insurance you get, right?


Doug Mory (18:22):

In Kentucky, now, you can opt out of it, but that's rare in Kentucky where what's called no fault state. So when you get a, when you get a policy either written in Kentucky or an out-of-state policy written by a company, an insurance company that's licensed to do business in Kentucky, then yes, there will be personal injury protection, which is $10,000. You can buy more and in some rare instances you can opt out. Most people don't, and you shouldn't, in my opinion. But but yes, $10,000 and no fault or brb, basic reparations benefits or pip, personal injury protection are all the same thing,


Natalie Colliersmith (19:00):

Right? Right, right. Yeah, you brought up an interesting point. If, if you were, there's a lot of questions on, well, what if you're just traveling through Kentucky? You don't actually live in Kentucky, so you don't have a Kentucky policy. Let's say you live in Tennessee and you're driving through Kentucky on your way to whatever, Ohio or something, and you get an I wreck in Kentucky while your home state Tennessee does not have pip. So that insurance policy wouldn't actually contain it PIP coverage if the wreck happened in Kentucky, and the insurance company writes policies in Kentucky. So if it's one of the big ones, you know, State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, one of those big ones they are still required to to provide PIP coverage. So that's an interesting thing that cuz we, we do practice in Tennessee, so we have a lot of clients that you know, live in Tennessee or, you know, crossing over the border there.


Natalie Colliersmith (19:55):

So there is instances where your own insurance policy might not actually have that coverage, but you're still entitled to the coverage if it hap if the wreck happened in, in Kentucky. So, so yeah, the first thing, when we get the case, right, we open, we open the PIP claim, we put the insurance company, your insurance company on notice that there's been a wreck. We give them kind of a brief explanation of what your injuries are you know, whatever we know at that point. And that reserves the mo or we put the money on reserve so that there's, and, and again, that's another sort of strategy that I think Doug and I do well, and it, and it helps the clients in the long run. Again, another, it could be another topic of an entire podcast itself on reserving the pit benefits because we can make that money kind of stretch that money on throughout the case so that we make that $10,000 really work for you.


Doug Mory (20:54):

This is when Natalie's such a good lawyer, she's thinking about three steps ahead. <Laugh>, I gotta brag on Natalie for a minute now. Natalie is great at a lot of things and one of 'em being genuinely very conscientious about taking care of the clients at, at every stage of this. I hate to say, as with some lawyers don't do a very good job of this. I just, to be candid, they'll sign the client up and, and the client's kind of on their own for the, the $10,000 on pip. What, what Natalie always does, she'll reserve the PIP money, meaning if, if your attorney or you do not reserve the PIP money, if you don't tell your insurance company, Hey, I I will be the one that decides who gets this money, then your insurance company who handles your PIP will simply pay whatever medical provider happens to get the bill there first.


Doug Mory (21:42):

Now, why does that matter? Well, hypothetically, let's say when it's all said and done, you needed about $15,000 in medical care and you only have $10,000 in PIP if you hadn't reserved pip, whoever happened to get the bills there first. And if I were a betting person, I'd say it would probably be a chiropractor. That too is a topic for another conversation. Whoever gets the bills there first will get their $10,000, and then you might not get the next $5,000 in care, or you might be not holding a $5,000 bill, but when Natalie's your attorney, she reserves the money and in doing so, she can then negotiate with the providers at the end of the case and say, my client and I wanna make sure everyone's taken care of here. You have $15,000 in bills, we have $10,000 in money, we're all on the same page here. Let's figure out how to do this in a way that everyone's satisfied and no one's, you know, going to collections or getting denied treatment they need. Does that make sense? I say to the thousands of people listening, the abyss, oh, the abyss out in cyberspace. Jess, does that make sense? Totally. Thank you. Totally. So, so Natalie does a great job with that, but I'm sorry I cut you off and


Natalie Colliersmith (22:58):

Well, you are always welcome to cut me off with with


Doug Mory (23:01):

Anymore, make sure that makes, make sure that, make sure no, no, make sure that gets on there.


Natalie Colliersmith (23:05):

Well, thank you for the kind words Doug <laugh>. The same is is true of, of Doug, obviously any of my strategies or, or, you know, good legal strategies. That's the only word I can think of came from Doug. Basically learned everything I know about personal injury work and, and and law really from Doug. So, so


Doug Mory (23:28):

That's not true. Make sure it gets on the podcast


Natalie Colliersmith (23:31):

<Laugh>. Um yeah, so let's see. Oh, now I'm flustered. I'm feeling all warm and, and fuzzy. Okay, so we have the PIP claim, right? We, we put all that on reserve that makes sure there's money to pay that first, you know, big chunk of medical bills that are gonna come in once you follow Doug's step two and go to the doctor after your wreck and lost wages if you're out of work. So we open the PIP claim. The other claim we talked about opening is the bodily injury claim, and that would be with the other person's insurance company. So if assuming there's no fault issues we'll leave it. I mean, even if there is a, a fault issue, so we open a claim with your own insurance, which is the PIP claim that we talked about, and then the other person's insurance would be the bodily injury or the liability claim. And that is where we put them on notice of your damages and let them know that we'll be seeking compensation for those damages. Now, what are damages? That's a pretty broad, can


Doug Mory (24:45):

I ask a question real quick?


Natalie Colliersmith (24:45):

Sure. Absolutely.


Doug Mory (24:46):

Um before calling the attorney, do you think it'd be a good idea for the person just call the other side's insurance company and see if they can't just work all this out? Might save some money that way?


Natalie Colliersmith (24:54):

Yeah, no, please never, ever do that. Absolutely.


Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (24:57):

I'm really good at negotiating though. <Laugh> Should I negotiate with them?


Natalie Colliersmith (25:00):

100, 1000% no, you should absolutely never talk to really even your own insurance company for that matter, but no insurance company don't call them don't absolutely don't give any sort of recorded statement.


Doug Mory (25:16):

What If the guy says he's trying to help?


Natalie Colliersmith (25:18):

Oh yeah, I'm sure a hundred percent. He's, he's, they, they, I just want to document this so I can make sure you get, you get paid and you get reimbursed. That is never…


Doug Mory (25:28):

He might get in trouble


Natalie Colliersmith (25:29):

<Laugh>. Well, that's, that's fine. Let him do his not your problem.


Doug Mory (25:33):

Oh, well, you just, it's like, well, his lawyers try. Now in all seriousness, the insurance, if you're not represented by an attorney, if you're not represented by counsel, the insurance company for the other side will try to call you and try to get a statement. They are not on your side. They are not on your side. They are not on your side. I can't say that enough. They will try to get you, here's how it works, okay? I mean, you know, Hey, how, how you doing today?


Natalie Colliersmith (25:58):

I'm doing all right, doing good,


Doug Mory (25:59):

Doing all right, doing good. Now, see what happened there. Everybody in God's green earth would answer that question the same way like Natalie just did. I'm doing good, I'm fine. That six months down the road. Well, Ms. Colliersmith, isn't it true when you spoke to our adjuster on blah, blah, blah date, you said you were quote doing all right, doing good, doing fine. Yeah. See, they, anything that happens, they, they will use anything in that statement against you. They are doing that to get you to say something that they will make sound like you're fine, everything's fine, you're not hurt, you don't, you shouldn't get a settlement, so on and so forth. They have a strategy. It's all part of a plan, believe me on this, okay?


Natalie Colliersmith (26:41):

Yeah, they, yep. Yeah, sorry. They have a whole course booklet where the, the adjusters are trained to ask certain questions and be just friendly enough that it makes you feel sort of comfortable and you're just chatting with somebody and that they're try just trying to, you know, they're on your side and they're your friend. That is not true whatsoever. Please do not believe these people don't talk to them. It's, yeah. And, and most people, you know, aren't overly complaining type people. So if they say, oh, I'm, I'm doing okay, you know, how are you after the wreck? I'm doing okay because they don't have, you know, they're not missing a limb or they didn't break a bone, or, you know, they don't have, they didn't get stitches or they don't have a concussion. I mean, there are a lot of injuries where I'm fine is a, is a fairly appropriate response, but you still actually do have injuries, right? For which you are entitled compensation. So, so yeah, please, please do not, don't talk to them, don't give statements because it is all set up to, to work against you in the long run.


Doug Mory (27:45):

And what Natalie and I will do is send a letter of representation to that insurance company to make sure that they know you're represented by counsel and they cannot contact you, right? So that, that would nip that in the bud, so to speak. We would also, and I don't, I don't have lost in the weeds we want to get here but another thing we do at that point is find out how much insurance coverage there is, both from the, ideally from the person that hits you and also on your side. A lot of people sometimes get confused about what kind of insurance coverage they have. Some people have uninsured motors coverage, some people have underinsured motors coverage. A lot of people don't know if they have that. That's something Natalie and I find out for you once we open a claim with your insurance company, and we'll probably go more into that in a later podcast, but just kind of, just so you know, now, at that point in time, I simultaneous to this, now you because you listened to the first part of the podcast, you called 9 1 1 and went


Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (28:42):

To seek help


Doug Mory (28:43):

Seek medical help, right? So you went to the ER or pres, or the ER said follow up in 48 hours. So what do you do? Follow up in 48 hours? Exactly. What I wanna stress to you is while we are lawyers, not doctors, and you should be following your medical advice the most important thing even at this stage is that you're still keeping up with your medical care. And that's important. If the ER referred you to go to a doctor, go to that doctor. I always tell, I know Natalie always tells people, call your primary care physician, make sure your primary care physicians in the loop get in to see him or her. You know, asap, one thing we found, and this, this too could be a topic for a podcast, unfortunately, some physicians will not see people who are in car wrecks, and that's unfortunate. But, you know, make them turn you away. Make sure that you are getting the medical help you need. You know, follow your doctor's advice. The ER tells you to follow up somebody, make sure you follow up with them.


Natalie Colliersmith (29:45):

Yeah, that does. We see that more and more now, especially with, with family doctors or primary care. You call them up and you say, I've been in a car wreck and I, I want to get in to see my family doctor. And, and you find out, oh, they, this, this particular doctor doesn't see people for car wrecks, which is unfortunate because that's usually the best place. You know, if you, if you don't go to the emergency room, then your family doctor's usually the best place to go for initial treatment. That's for, there's probably a number of reasons a lot of have to do with, doctors don't wanna necessarily like lawyers all the time and maybe don't wanna get involved if, if they think, you know, there's usually a lot of some claims or litigation out of that happens out of a car wreck. So they just say, we don't want to deal with that, so we're not gonna treat people for car wrecks, which again, is unfortunate, but I’ve


Doug Mory (30:36):

Never met a doctor, doesn't like a lawyer. <Laugh>, An inside joke. We'll have for Future podcast, <laugh>. Yeah, but go ahead, sorry.


Natalie Colliersmith (30:45):

No, it's just, so, it's, it's not uncommon if you find that if you, you know, let's say you didn't listen to the first part of this podcast, so you, you are not informed that you should go to the er and then you wake up the next day and you think, man, I, I'm really sore. I'm gonna see if I can get into my family doctor. You call them, you know, don't be shocked if they say, or it's not somehow, you know, they're, a lot of doctors just don't do that anymore, which again, is unfortunate, but it just is the case. So there are other, you can always find a doctor that will see you though. So, and, and again, there's money there to pay doctor bills. So,


Doug Mory (31:16):

Okay, so we've again talked about the need to call 9 1 1 the need for medical attention, the need to call an attorney, and giving you some basics on what the attorney does in future podcasts. We're gonna take it from there and go into greater detail, but we don't overwhelm you with too much information today. If you've stayed with us this far, we're very, very grateful. I mean, well, why wouldn't you have, I mean, come on. We do know there's a lot of lot of choices out there for entertainment. So we, we do hope that you stay with us and we do promise to liven this up and try to make this what we say in being the least boring attorney podcast out there. Yeah, we'll work on it. I think we did on that.


Natalie Colliersmith (31:59):

I'd give us a solid four right now in terms of…


Doug Mory (32:03):

Outta four.


Natalie Colliersmith (32:03):

Boringness. I was going four outta 10, but


Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (32:08):

I'll, I'll do this. Doug is the leading trivia person in the office. So Doug, let's leave them with a a pretty interesting trivia fact.


Doug Mory (32:19):

I like it. 


Natalie Colliersmith (32:22):

Ooh put him on the spot?


Doug Mory (32:23):

I got, Nope, I've got one. I was pausing for dramatic effect. Thank you very much. <Laugh>. It's theater of the mind. It's the radio. We Commonwealth of Kentucky. There are 120 counties in Kentucky. There are two states that have more,


Natalie Colliersmith (32:40):

Are this, is this specific to Commonwealth or any state?


Doug Mory (32:43):

No, any state.


Natalie Colliersmith (32:44):

Okay. Mm-hmm. Yeah, I got nothing. Would it be, am I allowed to ask questions? <Laugh>, is this like a 20 question?


Doug Mory (32:50):

You can phone a friend. Yeah. 50 50. And phone a ask the audience.


Natalie Colliersmith (32:53):

Does size of the state play a role?


Doug Mory (32:57):

In one


Natalie Colliersmith (32:59):



Doug Mory (32:59):

That's One. Very good.


Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (33:01):



Doug Mory (33:02):



Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (33:03):

Hmm, Georgia.


Doug Mory (33:04):

You got it.


Natalie Colliersmith (33:05):

Yeah. Wow.


Doug Mory (33:06):

There you go. See how, see how, see how much you learn this podcast, <laugh>. See, look at, look at that. The way you were able to synthesize the information. Ask an attorney some questions, and boom, that's a, that's a perfect explanation of why you call an attorney and how this works. And hopefully we'll keep going from there. Yeah. Jess, thank you for setting this up very much appreciate it, Natalie. Thank you.


Natalie Colliersmith (33:26):

Yeah, absolutely Doug. Thank you, Jess. Thank you.


Jessica Colliersmith (Host) (33:28):

Yeah, happy Tuesday.


Natalie Colliersmith (33:29):

And and many more, hopefully least boring or I should say less boring maybe episodes to come. No, great.

Jessica Colliersmith (00:00):

Hello. Welcome to episode two of, what was the name of it again? <Laugh> for You.


Doug Mory (00:07):

<Laugh> The Least Boring personal Injury Podcast on the internet. There we go. Yeah. All right. Did that without notes.

Natalie Colliersmith (00:16):

<Laugh>, I guess. It's still a working title, but,


Doug Mory (00:19):

Well, I, and it is working cause we got a lot of great, it's working. We got a lot of great feedback on the first one. I was, I was pleasantly, I'm not surprised, but I was, you know, very happy. A lot of people seem to really enjoy it, and more importantly, a lot of people say they, they really got something out of it. Yeah.


Natalie Colliersmith (00:34):

Yeah. So they like listening to us.


Doug Mory (00:36):

Well, I, I think we think we did a good job. I think we a lot of people really liked the whole emphasis we put on memorializing. And if, for those of you are new to the show last episode, we, Natalie and I spent time talking about what to do if you're in a car wreck, an auto accident, you know, car accident, et cetera. And we really tried to walk you through step by step in granular detail. And a lot of people really like, came, came to me and said, you know, I listened to that and I, I didn't think about how you gotta, you have to memorialize stuff early or the insurance company won't believe you later. So that's, I felt good takeaway from that is if you, you can't, you can't sit on your rights as they say, if you're not, if you don't get something memorialized and later on, the insurance company might try to deny your claim. So.


Natalie Colliersmith (01:27):

That's right. That's right.


Doug Mory (01:30):

And I did talk to somebody about how our podcast was gonna be even bigger than popular show on Netflix called Wednesday. I just wanted to give a shout out to that <laugh> one personal, like that joke <laugh>. So let's talk about we've got our first guest,


Natalie Colliersmith (01:44):

We do our first ever podcast who is you may have put to sleep a little bit with your talk already. Already. She's already asleep on the on the car wreck stuff. So we have a much more interesting or, you know, just as equally I should say, equally as exciting topic today is we're gonna talk about dog bites, which is appropriate that Jess and I just added a new member of our family this little cutie fuzzball right here. And we thought this would be a good time as any, to discuss the law on on dog bites and other animal type injuries because


Jessica Colliersmith (02:20):

She's so vicious.


Natalie Colliersmith (02:21):

Yeah. I don't think we have to worry about this one, but we never know. Little breeds are, can be temperamental just as much as the


Doug Mory (02:28):

Big ones. You can't judge a book by its cover and ain't gotta watch out. And so we thought we'd go the extra mile and bring in an expert, get somebody from, that's the one perspective you never hear on the, these, the dogs. So we got we got got your new little new friend here to tell us all about dog bites.


Natalie Colliersmith (02:45):

We might have to catch her later cuz I think she's


Doug Mory (02:47):

Is she asleep? She's


Jessica Colliersmith (02:48):

Gone to sleep.


Doug Mory (02:49):

Yeah. No.


Natalie Colliersmith (02:50):

Pass her over


Jessica Colliersmith (02:51):



Doug Mory (02:51):

Well, she is a cute dog. Say hello Penny. Thanks for joining us. We're not very formal around here. Just, just speak up at any time you want. Okay.


Jessica Colliersmith (03:01):

<Laugh>, I just wanna introduce you guys really fast. We didn't say your all's names. So again, this is "The Least Boring Attorney Podcast on the Internet" hosted by Doug Mory and Natalie Colliersmith. This podcast covers everything related to automobile accidents, slip and falls, animal attacks, and wrongful death. We're gonna do this every, at least once a month if not even more than that, to help you guys and educate you all on what to do when you're hurt, but due to someone else's negligence. So again, we're gonna talk about animal attacks today, so I'm gonna let Doug and Natalie take it over.


Doug Mory (03:38):

Thank you, Jess. Appreciate you being here and hosting for us. You kind of got me on a tangent. You're absolutely right. We have a lot of topics coming up I'm excited about. I mean, we're doing dog bites today, animal attacks, but you know, jeez, coming up in the future, what we talk about doing motorcycle wrecks, car more on car wrecks, premises liability, slip and fall, automobile accident maybe


Jessica Colliersmith (04:02):

Even injuries, TBIs


Doug Mory (04:03):

The injuries. Tbis, you had a, speaking of which you give you a shout out. I liked your blog post recently on tetanus. Tell us a little bit about that.


Jessica Colliersmith (04:13):

Yeah, so a lot of people were asking about should they get a tetanus shot after a dog bite. So we wrote a blog educating you all on when, when to, to do that. And it's always a good idea to, you know, if you haven't had it in a certain amount of years to go ahead and get it done just in case. But always first thing when an animal attacks or animal bites is to call Mory Colliersmith and they can advise you on what to do next.


Doug Mory (04:43):

I like it.


Natalie Colliersmith (04:44):

Yeah. And our, our blog is a good place to go just for resources in general. Jess does a good job, job of, of keeping that updated with information you know, blog posts that, that we put together and just make sure it, it gets on there. So it's a, you just, it's an easy click. You go to the website, there's a little tab that says blog, and we've got several on there, and we keep that sort of running. So there's, there's always some good information on there. It's a helpful place to start. But yes, always give us a call as well, and we can give you even more information.


Doug Mory (05:12):

Purely, hypothetically, let's assume I'm not very good with technology now. I know we're gonna have to really stretch to, you know, hypothetically, how do I get to the blog? What do I do?


Jessica Colliersmith (05:24):

You can type it in Mory & Colliersmith blog on Google, and it will take you there. But if you do go to the homepage it's in the top under resources. You hover over resources and you'll get to the blog. You also find a podcast there. So whenever we have podcast, it automatically organically goes onto the website immediately so you can find all of the resources. We have white papers coming up. We've got, we're writing a a white paper. It's got six chapters on motorcycle accidents and what to do, do. So that's coming soon. So it's just a great informative place to go when you're looking for information.


Doug Mory (06:05):

And that's mory and or


Jessica Colliersmith (06:08):


Doug Mory (06:10): Yeah, Perfect. I'm, I'm learning about this internet thing, but <laugh>. All right, so today we're gonna talk about dog bites, animal injuries what to do. This should be a pretty short podcast. I mean, if a dog bites you, then the owner is at fault, right? I mean, that's


Natalie Colliersmith (06:31):

Yeah, that's, that's pretty much true. Obviously, we'll flesh out the details on that. There are some nuances to that, but it is one of the more more I should not really beneficial, but one of the, the easier maybe areas of law in that we don't get to talk a lot about strict liability in a lot of different types of injury cases. Dog bites are really in, in dog and dog will will flesh out. It's not just dog bites, it's also could be other injuries caused by an animal. But it's really one of the few times where the owner is strictly liable. Which means they're responsible for the damages that their dog causes, regardless of anything they've done. They could be the, the most responsible, the most careful dog owner in the world, but if their dog causes injury, they are held strictly liable.


Doug Mory (07:28):

Right. And I that's a good point. Strict liability. Just kind of give you a background I don't have it front of me. I think Weaver v. Ward was the case first year towards where the, the law determined interesting enough about a dog fight, about two dogs fighting. A guy picked up a stick to try to break him up, and he accidentally poked himself in the eye. And the court, in that context, at least, rejected strict liability. What strict liability means, and now explained it perfectly, is just regardless of any kind of fault or, or any kind of blame, someone is strictly liable. In certain types of trucking, transportation, if you have hazmat materials and the like, because they're so dangerous, the owners or, or drivers of those trucks assume strict liability for them. If you own a dog in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, then you assume strict liability for it.


Doug Mory (08:23):

That is to say, you know, we love dogs, we want you to have a dog. But by putting the onus on the owner to be responsible for the pet, it encourages that owner to make sure the dog doesn't bite anyone, which is of course, the goal here. So you are strictly liable and statute KRS Kentucky revised statute 258.253, subsection 4, any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock or other property shall be responsible for that damage. As any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock or other property shall be responsible for that damage. So if you own a dog and the dog bites someone, you are responsible, again, much like the driver of our hypothetical hazmat truck with dangerous chemicals. We need people to drive dangerous chemicals, but we also need them to be super responsible.


Doug Mory (09:21):

So we put that burden on them. We love dogs. Everyone in this room owns a dog, but we need dog owners to be responsible. So we put that burden on them. Now the, there are two ways in which to bring about one of these dog bite suits. One is we discuss a strict liability that applies to owners. The other is negligence. Now, negligence is a term you're gonna hear a lot on this podcast. It's more of a fault based system. It's what most of torch deals with. Car wrecks, slip and falls, motorcycle accidents per me, any kind of malpractice, you know, automobile accidents, et cetera. Those are negligence. Meaning did someone owe someone a duty? And if an obligation of some sort, if so, did they breach or violate it? And did that breach cause any kind of damage to the person?

Doug Mory (10:16):

And if so, what was it? The reason why we generally do things on a negligence or fault based standard is we don't wanna hold people responsible for injuries that at the end of the day really weren't their fault. And I'll give you an example. If you're driving your automobile and you've never before had a seizure in your life, no indication whatsoever that you are susceptible to seizures, and then while driving, you have a seizure and you carve veers into someone, you are not under the law negligent for that wreck under those very specific set of facts, because you had no foreseeability. Medical negligence is usually about foreseeability. You had no foreseeability that you were going to have a seizure. You did in lay terms, you didn't do anything wrong. However, if you have a history of seizures, then, you know, susceptible to certain, you know, medications and medical advice kind of beyond the purview of this podcast, you can't just get behind the wheel and assume, well, hope I get lucky today not to be club about it. But that would be a situation where you would've had some foreseeability that you might have a seizure and thus might cause an automobile accident. So negligence is more of a fault based standard. How foreseeable was this? You know, did you, did you do something you weren't supposed to do? Or did you fail to do something you were supposed to do? That's the broad picture of what negligence is. Penny, you agree? <Laugh>? She's snoring. She is sound asleep. She's,


Natalie Colliersmith (11:53):

Yeah, she's outta outta commission.


Doug Mory (11:55):



Natalie Colliersmith (11:56):

Yeah, so just to kind of put a nice little bow on that. So, strict liability is what a dog owner is is governed by now. We'll get into a minute how we define owner, and that has changed over the years. But, so strict liability means doesn't matter if you did anything wrong, you are responsible for the damages versus negligence means, okay, we, as the plaintiff, we have to prove that you did something wrong and, you know, you either did something you weren't supposed to do or you didn't do something that you were supposed to do. So yeah, fault versus you know, you're liable regardless of, of fault. 


Doug Mory (12:40):

And negligence, like we say, is generally speaking, the, the law we're gonna be discussing, whether we're talking about car accidents, automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents premises liability, slip and falls, wrongful death and so forth. Negligence will cover most of those type of situations. Really almost any kind of insurance claim, strict liability being exception to that. Okay. Let's talk about what happens if it's outside the o you have to sue under negligence on a dog, but you're telling me that some people who don't necessarily quote unquote own a dog might be responsible or there's a, there's a debate or a contention about who owns a dog.


Natalie Colliersmith (13:23):

That's right, yes. So and a lot of, mostly that comes in the context of a landlord tenant situation. So, so if you're a dog owner and you you know, you have a visitor over to your house, let's say, and your dog bites your guest, that person would have a claim against you. And it would be the, the dog owner, assuming that the the dog owner owns their home. The homeowner's insurance is what is, would cover that type of damages. So the injured guest would be able to make a claim against the dog owner's homeowner's insurance policy for their liability coverage, and we'll get into the damages later. But so if it's a, if, if a dog owner is also the homeowner and the injury happened on the homeowner's premises that's a fairly easy, that's one of the easier calls you've got. You've got strict liability against the dog owner, and you've got, hopefully a homeowner's policy that, that covers the damages. Where it gets tricky is if we're dealing with a dog owner who is not the homeowner, but is in fact a tenant at, at a rental property. So there's a landlord and tenant situation. So then we get into the, the distinction the law makes between the, the, the dog owner who would be the tenant in the situation versus the landlord of the property upon which, or where the the injury occurred.


Doug Mory (14:54):

Well, just by way of some background here, in the year 2012, the Supreme Court in Kentucky decided a case called Benningfield, where they, I have to go into too much detail, but well


Natalie Colliersmith (15:07):

Before that. So before, real quick, I don't mean interrupt. No, please. Just to set, before 2012, the law, Kentucky law, there's a statute that said, basically equated the owner of the dog and the landlord. So landlords were considered the owner of the dog if they allowed the dog to be on the property. So that was pre 2020 excuse me, 2012. And then, and


Doug Mory (15:31):

Then, and then in, in Benningfield, which I won't spend too much time on because the legislature has changed aspects of it, but a decision was reached in regards to what responsibility, if any, a landlord has toward the victim of a dog bite if the dog is in fact at a spot owned by the landlord or, or close to it. And then in this, this is kind of a background as to how the law can change. The legislature did not like that decision, I guess, or the people that lobby on behalf of landlords didn't like it, or both. So in 2017, they changed the law. So going forward, the in case your KRS Kentucky Revised statute 258.095, subsection 5 defines owner, a dog owner and owner when applied to the proprietorship of a dog, includes a every person having a right of property in the dog.


Doug Mory (16:35):

In other words, who wants the dog? And B, every person who won keeps or harbors the dog, two, has the dog in his or her care. Three, permits the dog to remain on or about premises owned, and underline that and occupied by him or her, and four, or excuse me, or four, permits the dog to remain on or about premises leased and occupied by him or her. Now, the key change here is on B3 permits the dog to remain on or about premises owned and occupied. It used to say owned or occupied. They change it to, and and this is obviously done to protect landlords because most landlords don't live with their tenants. So now a landlord who rents someone a house or an apartment, the landlord owns the premises and permits the dog to remain, but does not occupy that premises. So thus removing any kind of liability, strict liability, at least statutorily.


Natalie Colliersmith (17:44):

Yeah. And it goes to, I'm sure we could go into a long political debate on the importance of representatives and legislatures, because that is a perfect example of how just one little, literally little word change in a statute can really absolutely have huge implications on really your rights as, as you know, a injured individual. Because before that, excuse me, before the law changed, you know, you essentially had two claims and, and hopefully there's between the two people, meaning the two in this situation, a tenant and a landlord, somebody has insurance to cover that. Yes. Now, because the statute changed from a, the literally the only changes the word and to the word, or now it's a possibility that you can only, maybe there's only one person involved, usually the tenant in that situation, and you just gotta kind of cross your fingers and hope that there is some sort of insurance that the tenant had renter's insurance, which some do, some don't. And then that maybe you can have a, a negligence claim against the landline.


Doug Mory (18:47):

But this is one of many reasons why it's a good thing to hire a lawyer, and we hope you hire Mory & Colliersmith. But regardless, you hire a lawyer. Natalie made a great point there about finding insurance. It was very, very difficult for non-lawyers to do, and candidly, it was difficult for lawyers to do. Mm-Hmm. I, I used to know a guy, a lawyer who equipped, you know, he had a room full of million dollar cases with $25,000 insurance policies. In other words, the, generally speaking, you're only gonna get as much money as there is insurance coverage on the case. There's exceptions, of course, but you know, if there's insurance coverage at the end of the day, that's who's gonna be paying the, the judgment or the settlement, if any. So ergo if there is no insurance coverage, well then you it, it would be a lot harder to collect.


Doug Mory (19:35):

And one of the many things we do here is, you know, we have cases we try very hard to go out and find if anyone has any insurance coverage that would apply to make the our client the victim whole. And that's important. But but yeah, that's absolutely right. A lot of money and a lot of time got spent changing that award and, you know, one little eraser and write a new word. And here we are. So that's strict liability. The idea that to be strictly liable, that would only include people who own the dog, have the dog in your care. In other words, if you're babysitting the dog, you would be, you'd be an owner under the statute, permitting the dog to remain honored by premises owned and occupied. In other words, if you have a friend, a significant other move in with you cohabitate you know, if you, you could own a premise. Yeah. In other words, you're allowing them to live in your house and you live there. So that, that, that would cover somebody who has someone, you know, but you have to live in the premises, in other words. So occupy, well, you wanna talk about negligence? Yeah, sure. Okay, love it. So love it. So we have to, we can't just give up. We then look to see if we can sue the landlord or any other party under a negligence theory, and


Natalie Colliersmith (20:55):

Right. They're no longer strictly liable. So that's not the end of the story necessarily. So then we go to see if, if it's possible that a landlord was negligent. So we, we would have to show, again, as the plaintiff, we always have the burden of proof. We have to show that the landlord knew or should have known of the dog's dangerous propensity is what the law says, basically.


Doug Mory (21:23):

No, it's not that one bite thing I always hear about


Natalie Colliersmith (21:27):

Sort of really, kind of, sort of is, yeah. Which is kind of unfortunate, but, so we used to, I think the law, I don't even know when years ago, kind of colloquial known as first bite free meaning, right? The first time your dog bites somebody, you essentially kind of get that one for free because you had no way of knowing that the dog would bite somebody or had a nature to be vicious or aggressive and attack anybody. But after that first one, well then now you are on notice that your dog has some dangerous dangerous characteristics or has a dangerous propensity. So then you're on the hook. That is no longer the case, however, so that, that that first bite free theory is no, does no longer apply to owners when we're talking about the strict liability, right. Stuff that we talked about earlier, but it's still kind of carried over now into, in the negligence world against the landlord, because we've gotta prove that the landlord knew or should have known of the dangerous nature of the dog.


Doug Mory (22:34):

And I was being glued with the bite. It doesn't have to literally be a bite. Natalie did a great job explaining, yeah, you know, we, the law made a policy decision that to not give owners a first bite free, because dogs, and we all love dogs here, but dogs are animals and inherently dangerous. Thus we wanted to put more of an onus on a dog owner, much like the driver of a hazardous no chemical truck, to be very responsible for any damage done by their dog. Hence, the strict liability for a landlord under a theory of negligence. You know, we, the first bite theory is, is not, it's, it's a cute name, but it's, it's not very accurate one, it doesn't have to literally be a bite. Dangerous propensities can include aggressiveness, attacking people, chasing a mailman down the street, you know, constantly being vicious toward other dogs, other animals people, et cetera. Now, these are all questions of fact for a jury, but in, in essence dangerous propensity, a bite would be a dangerous propensity. But there are non bites that are also dangerous propensity. Right.


Jessica Colliersmith (23:48):

Can I give you a scenario and see what you guys think? So,


Doug Mory (23:51):

Consultations are always free at Mory & Colliersmith. So go ahead.


Jessica Colliersmith (23:55):

Penny's five pounds. She's very little, but she likes to get under your feet. So if we had a visitor and she tripped, you know, a visitor, and the visitor broke, you know, a bone or something, is that the case as well? Or


Doug Mory (24:09):

I, that's a great question. If you have to sit and think about it for a second, that's a popular lawyer stall tactic. They always say, great question. To be fair, I don't think that would fall under the umbrella of dog bite, but you would potentially be liable under a more traditional premises liability. In other words, dog bites and animal injuries are more akin to the animal behaving in some kind of dangerous way or some sort of hazardous way. Some sort of, you know, biting, scratching, attacking, et cetera. If you go to somebody's house and the dog trips you or gets under foot you may have a premises liability case against them, and we'll talk about premises liability and slip and fall on a later podcast. It's a good segue. But no, I don't think that would, that would fall under the dog bite or dangerous animal part of the law.


Jessica Colliersmith (25:00):



Doug Mory (25:00):

Would you agree?


Natalie Colliersmith (25:02):

I would, I would agree. I would get to the same conclusion that you got to, but I think that you don't how just have to be bitten. So I mean, if a dog jumps on you and, and knocks you down, or if a dog I mean that's the only explanation or example I can come up with. But the tripping on the feet maybe is a, is a little more cuz that'd be essentially tripping over, you know, if you tripped over a rug, a rug or, you know, carpet or whatever. So yeah, I, I agree in the, in the result of your analysis.


Doug Mory (25:36):

Well, thank you. I appreciate it. That's, and that these cases some of these cases are not as cut and dry as others. I mean, this, these are, they're questions for juries and questions for judges, and the law is still trying to sort this out. We talked earlier about 10 years ago, 11 years ago now, the was Supreme Court case that changed the law, and then five years after that statute, that changed it further. So this is one of those areas where there's a lot of interesting hypotheticals. 


Natalie Colliersmith (26:00):

But it is, but it is true. And I want people to know that your, the law does still entitled to you entitle you to compensation if you are injured and not just bitten by a dog. Yes. So that's, you know, a dog runs out from a, a house and knocks you're walking down the street, a dog runs out of the you know, is let out of the home, runs you down, jumps on you and knocks you over, you fall down, you break your arm or something like that, that is still within the purview of, of dog bite law, and you don't always have to be bitten or like, you know, blood drawn or some vicious attack. I mean, any sort of injury the law still allows you to be compensated for


Doug Mory (26:40):

A hundred percent. Yes, yes. It's not just bites. So we were talking earlier now, before I really interrupted you a few minutes ago about negligence and, and the whole idea that I made a joke about the first bite rule Yeah. That, that for a landlord or or anyone to be found liable under negligence Terry, not just landlord. The first prong is that they must have known or should have known about the dangerous propensity of the dog. Right. Okay. What else?


Natalie Colliersmith (27:12):

The, the attack has to have occurred within will honor or on or about the property, which actually I think the law, the, the case says within the owner's or the landlord's immediate control. So it has to occur essentially on or near. And again, there's, there's a lot of cases on the nuance of exactly where the location of the attack occurred and whether or not that falls within the control of the landlord. But it, it has to be in somewhat immediate reach of the actual property itself. If it happens acro down the street or you know, across the street there can be some, some room to defend those, those negligence claims. So it's got to be somewhat near to the, the property itself.


Doug Mory (28:11):

Yeah. In, in Benningfield, I think it was some, one of the dissents one of the things things they were joking about is, well, joking, but a how about near close to relative concepts? You know, what if it's three houses down or if it's four houses down south.


Natalie Colliersmith (28:25):

I think in Bening Benningfield it happened like across the street


Doug Mory (28:28):

Cartilage or something. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, and, and the point here is the, the idea behind this is to hold, we didn't spend a lot of time on landlords, but to hold the landlord responsible for that, which is foreseeable, and that which is under his or her control, obviously the landlord's property, and then la places un about on or about like adjacent to his or her property, would be under landlord's control. Now, in fairness, if you put your dog in your car and you drive 20 miles away to say Cherokee Park, and you're walking your dog and Cherokee Park, and the dog bites somebody that really has nothing to do with landlord, landlord doesn't have any say over who gets to go to Cherokee Park. So the point of this is, again, what can the landlord reasonably foresee and what can the landlord reasonably control?


Doug Mory (29:17):

The landlord can reasonably control that which happens on or about his or her property. Now what happens at Cherokee Park or you know, yellow Yosemite or anywhere else? So that's why it says on or about, and much ink has been spilled on how far or about is my 2 cents. To me, they should clear it up and just say, if the aggressive behavior began on or about the property, if a dog starts in its yard, the yard owned by the landlord and chases somebody to me, the attack began at the point of the chase not seven houses down where the dog might have caught the person. But that's, that's my 2 cents on that. So yeah, but so on or about the landlord area under control of the landlord. Right, right. And I would add to it just any, that the landlord failed to take reasonable steps, although you'd always find that listed in all the cases, but there's a reasonability and a foreseeability really inherent.


Doug Mory (30:19):

Not all negligence is, you know, was the landlord reasonable? Did the landlord, to me, the law in, in this, in any area discourages and should discourage absenteeism. You know, you, you, you can't just say, well, I, I had no idea what was going on at my property. You shouldn't be allowed to do that. At least there, the landlord ought to take reasonable steps. If I were, if I were representing a landlord, if I were in-house counsel for a landlord, I would advise them to take reasonable steps to make sure that either A, there weren't dogs on the property, or b, if they were, they weren't they, they didn't have any dangerous propensities.


Natalie Colliersmith (30:57):

Yeah. So those are the two, really three, but, but two mainly the two elements that we have to prove against claims for negligence against the landlord to, to keep the landlord on the hook for a tenant owner's dog. So it's a little easier for landlords to get to, to not be held liable in these type of suits. It's not the end game, you know, it really just depends on the facts of each individual case. So we always do our best to, to make sure we're focusing on every possible avenue of, of recovery for our clients and, and making sure we're keeping everybody in to the extent we can and within the facts for our case. So


Doug Mory (31:42):

Let's talk about damages. What are the damages that somebody can recover on an animal attack?


Natalie Colliersmith (31:49):

They're pretty similar to, to most other negligence cases or injury cases. So your medical bills, any medical bills that, that you incurred as a result of, of your treatment for the injuries caused by the animal. Any lost wages, if you've missed work because of your injuries you're able to recoup your lost wages and then that good old pain and suffering. So that's <laugh>, that's one where we, you know, it's, it's can be difficult to, to quantify in some cases. But the law allows you to recover for your pain and suffering, emotional and physical stress over the injuries and the recovery and all, and all that kind of stuff


Doug Mory (32:32):

I found in my practice, if you agree, dog bite injuries tend to be different than car wreck injury, slip and fall injury premises liability injury. Yeah. A podcast as a fan, somebody's talking loud in the <laugh> premise liability injury, you know, slip and fall injury, car wreck injury, and the like in that some of these injuries can be longer lasting in a, in a cosmetic way. I don't mean cosmetic in a trivial way, but, you know, scars, especially visible ones those can really devastate somebody. Yeah, I mean, you know, we, we are, you know, whether we like to admit it or not, we are in many ways an appearance driven society. And there, there are real consequences. Very serious ones do some of these cosmetic injuries or appearance injuries. And once again, this is where good lawyers who deal in these types of cases know how to pursue this type of client,


Natalie Colliersmith (33:31):

Right? Also, there, there can be, you know in a, in, not all, but in a lot of of dog bite or attack injuries, there is some sort of wound or, you know, like a, a flesh wound or something like that. So in a lot of cases, the medical bills can be somewhat deceptively low, right? In that, you know, you've got a, you've got a big cut or a big, you know bite wound that maybe you need stitches and you just need time to heal. There's not a whole lot of of treatment, which is kind of contrasted with like a car wreck injury where, you know, maybe you go to the hospital and then you have a follow up family care doctor, and then you have maybe some physical therapy, some, you know, you have ongoing treatment a lot of time with dog bite injuries.


Natalie Colliersmith (34:17):

There's just not a whole lot of treatment to, to do. You just kind of have to sit and wait for things to heal and see kind of how the, if there's any scarring and how that kind of plays out. So you know we talk about a lot about the, the value of cases is usually driven by the medical bills, which can be a little trickier in a dog bite case where you know, you just don't have a whole lot of medical bills. Cuz like I said, there's not a whole lot of treatment to, to obtain. So we try our best. I think we, I think we do a good job. I think we have good success for our clients in recovering, you know the appropriate amount of pain and suffering that might not be reflected in the amount of medical bills.


Doug Mory (35:00):

I, that's a great point, and I think it segues into the last thing we wanna talk about is what do you do? Just if you, what, what do you do in this, in the moment where you're attacked by, after you're attacked by a dog? Just like last, last week, last podcast, number one call 9 1 1. The most important thing more, far more important than your legal case is your medical needs obviously. So call 9 1 1, get the cops there, get an ambulance there if needed. It's very important you seek medical treatment immediately. You'll need a doctor to examine and see if you need any kind of shots. You know, just did a great job earlier with the tetanus blog at Check that out. But really, it, your doctor can advise you there. It's also important to get the police involved because, you know, we talked last week about, we were disappointed that we were hearing stories about cops maybe not showing up to some accident scenes.


Doug Mory (35:57):

In my experience, the police do a very good job on showing up to dog bite animal tax. And that's important for a lot of reasons. One, it helps to establish ownership of the dog. You know, the police can go in, you know, who owns this dog who's taken responsibility for it. Two, the police can, then an animal control can assist in finding out, well, has this animal had its shots? Has it been vaccinated against rabies? And the like, which is information you'll need for your health. And three, animal control can then get involved and find out, you know, is this owner or landlord or whatnot doing what they need to be doing? And if not, there are criminal penalties involve citations and fines and, and the like, that the owner may have to pay. I will tell you, as a civil lawyer, it helps your case if the person has to go to court and admit to ownership of the dog.


Doug Mory (36:48):

But far more importantly, the societal benefit of this is the owner of the dog then has to take some responsibility and say, yes, it's my dog. No, it shouldn't be out biting people. You know, I'm, I'm gonna fence it in better or I'm gonna, you know, so on and so forth. So get animal control and the police out there, call 9 1 1, file a report, follow up, make sure that's done. In my experience here in Jefferson County, at least the animal control does a good job of that. And go to the doctor, get checked out. Don't, don't just don't sit on your rights and don't sit on your health. Make sure you get checked out.


Natalie Colliersmith (37:23):

Yeah. And I will say some of the criminal penalties for own dog owners are a little lighter, I would say like diet criminal charges. Some people, and some people are have, you know, not, you know, when your dog, a dog bites you, that's you're upset. Especially, you know, if there's significant injury. And sometimes the penalties, it's usually a fine or something, but, so the criminal penalties is not like anybody's necessarily probably going to jail over this. They probably will have to show up and admit ownership and probably pay a fine and have some other restrictions placed on the dog, you know, like Doug said. But the most important, so we as your dog bite lawyers, we make sure that the criminal charges are followed through with to the extent we can participate in that. But the, the main and the main point of that is really to just to secure the ownership of the dog.


Natalie Colliersmith (38:20):

Because sometime later, maybe once a civil suit is filed, the dog owner you know air quoting owner would say, oh no, that's not my dog. I don't, that is somebody else's dog. I have no idea who, whose dog that is. So if there's a criminal, criminal charges in a criminal case that where they have not raised the defense of not being the owner, well then they can't go in the civil case and say, well, that that wasn't my dog. So that's the important part. While we don't practice, Doug used to practice criminal law, but we don't really do that now in our, in our firm. But we do, that criminal part can be relevant and very important to the civil case against a dog owner.


Doug Mory (38:55):

Exactly. Right. Well Jess, you're the host. What do you think? You think we helped anybody here today?


Jessica Colliersmith (39:01):

Yeah, I think it's great. I I do wanna say that this also applies to children. So, yes, you know you know, children get bit by dogs all the time cause they're bothering the dog, whatever. So you know, if you're a child or something that's bit, well, you know, this, this all applies to, to them as well.


Doug Mory (39:19):

Thank you. I, I, I forgot. This is really important. Dog bites have a one year statute of limitations. Okay? One year you have one year from the day of the bite, one year to file a lawsuit or else you lose your claim. Now, that's not true with children. Children have longer by children. I mean, if you're under 18, you have up until your 18th or 18th birthday a year from a year from 18th or excuse me, thank you, a year from your 18th birthday. However, this is, this is huge. Don't sit on this, don't sit on this. You, you will not, your memories fade. The the credibility of what you're saying fades to people, even if it's a hundred percent true. It's very, it's so important. Justice Wright, thank you. It's so important, especially with kids. Get into the pediatrician, get 'em checked out, file a police report, animal control. Call a lawyer. Obviously we'd like you to call Mory & Colliersmith. If you don't call us, call someone, call a lawyer. Pursue this ma, make sure that your child's rights are being protected here because you know, there could be some money there down the road for your son or your daughter. And, and that's important. He or she has every right to be compensated if attacked by an animal. So make make sure you do follow up on that for adults. One year statute of limitations. You, you gotta move on this. Can't sit on it.


Natalie Colliersmith (40:34):

Yeah. And I would just throw into that, make sure you're documenting your injuries. Take pictures. Yes. Especially if there's, if it's a a, a wound type situation and there's scarring involved, make sure you're taking pictures so you can document how that's changing. And, you know, the, some people ares that are, are very visible even months, years later. So make sure you're documenting your injuries. That's


Doug Mory (40:55):

A fantastic point. Make sure you're taking photos. Make sure you're taking photos. That's huge. The photos are say a picture worth a thousand words. Make sure you're taking photos. Anything else we'll leave out.


Jessica Colliersmith (41:05):

No, I think that's great. I think, yeah, let's do a fun fact. Okay. A little fun fact


Doug Mory (41:10):

For us. I do. Well, the the inspiration for this fun fact comes from a trip I took with my kids to Great Wolf Lodge trivia contest there. And I missed this question and I looked it up cause I was just incre. I couldn't, well, I don't wanna spoil it. According to a 2020 Rover survey, what percent of dog owners will dress up their dogs for Halloween?


Natalie Colliersmith (41:35):

Well, I know the answer now, but my first answer before knowing


Doug Mory (41:40):

What fourth wall


Natalie Colliersmith (41:41):

<Laugh>, sorry, would


Doug Mory (41:42):

Theater of the mind we talking


Natalie Colliersmith (41:43):

About what the answer should be is a hundred percent. Because if you have a dog and you're not dressing up for Halloween, what are you doing? What are you doing with your life? Your dog deserves to be dressed up. So while I know this is not correct, it should be 100%.


Doug Mory (41:59):

The, the great wolf lodge one had a multiple choice, and I don't remember all the numbers were, but the a the low one was 10%. I put 10%, huh? I I literally thought it would be 10% or less, fewer, less. I could not believe the answer. Believe it or not, 66%, 66% of people will dress their dogs up for Halloween.


Natalie Colliersmith (42:24):

See, that seems low to me. Oh, <laugh>, why would you not? I mean, what? I don't understand a person that would not dress up their dog. The


Doug Mory (42:33):

Don't wanna wear an outfit.


Natalie Colliersmith (42:34):

Some dogs like it.


New Speaker (42:35):

No. Did they tell you this?


Natalie Colliersmith (42:37):

Yeah, penny. Penny told me. She, we, she, listen, it's February and she already has a Halloween costume.


Doug Mory (42:44):

Oh my God. <Laugh> Penny. You wanna wear an outfit. <Laugh>. No.


Natalie Colliersmith (42:49):

Yeah, you're right. No, most dogs hate it, but it's okay. That's all right. It is.


Doug Mory (42:54):

It ok. You admitted it. You you admitted it. Most dogs hate


Natalie Colliersmith (42:57):

It.There you go. Yeah, I will say our other dog, he's not a fan. He'll do it, but he, he is not a fan. But you know, it's all for the pictures. Do it for the gram. Yep. Gram


Doug Mory (43:06):

<Laugh>. 66%. That's two-thirds.


Natalie Colliersmith (43:09):

And how much of revenue did you say that brings in.


Doug Mory (43:12):

Half a billion dollars. Yeah, it's wild's. Half a billion dollars will be spent this year in America on dressing your pet up for Halloween. Ah, well, if you're, Hey ju, if you're, if the pet, if the pets themselves could talk, I'm sorry, they don't want to dress up, especially if


Natalie Colliersmith (43:31):

They got treats, maybe they would


Doug Mory (43:33):



Natalie Colliersmith (43:33):

No, no. Same situation as, you know, a trick-or-treating. No,


Doug Mory (43:36):

No, no. I'm sorry. I, well, I, I dissent. I dissent. But all right, well, that's our fun facts slash trivia question for this week. Yeah. Jess, anything else?


Jessica Colliersmith (43:46):

Nope. Great job, guys. Very informative.


Doug Mory (43:48):

Thank you. Check out that Mory & Colliersmith blog. Jess does a real good job, that tetanus information very helpful. I'm gonna be more there in the future. Car wrecks personal injury premises liability, slip and fall. Motorcycle wrecks can be big. And we're talking a lot about that motorcycle wrecks down the road dog bites, et cetera. So, yeah.


Natalie Colliersmith (44:08):

Yep. We got a lot of fun stuff coming up. So I hope this number, episode number two was even more least boring. I'm gonna figure out a good way to say that. <Laugh> I this every time, this is the second time. It's, it's not good. But we're getting even more more fun as, as episodes go


Doug Mory (44:25):

On. Someone very close to me said, I, I said too often than the first one. So I, I, I hope I did a better job in this one. We'll see.


Natalie Colliersmith (44:34):

Awesome. All right, thanks.




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