What to Do if You are Injured by Someone’s Dog
Getting bitten or injured by a dog can be very serious in many ways. Not only will you be dealing with the physical recovery from a dog bite, but many victims can develop severe anxiety around dogs. If you have been injured by someone’s dog, chances are good you have a claim for personal injury. Quite simply, if you are in a place where you were legally allowed to be, and you do not do something to taunt the animal or provoke it, follow these steps to receive legal compensation for your injuries.
Step One: Get Medical Attention Right Away
Dog bites require immediate medical treatment. In addition to assessing and bandaging the wounds and stopping any bleeding, you will likely need antibiotics. If the rabies status of the dog is unknown, you may need treatment to prevent that as well. Fully follow through with advised medical treatments and gather the bills you receive. If you are suffering any emotional or psychological trauma following a dog bite, such as PTSD or anxiety, make sure to seek appropriate treatment for that as well.
Step Two: Take Pictures and Get Witness Names
If you are able, get a picture of the dog, your immediate and visible injuries, and anything else that you think is important. In addition, if there were any witnesses to the dog attack, make sure to gather the names and contact information. Find out if they can confirm what happened. Document an open gate, an unused leash, or anything else that gave the dog the ability to attack. It is helpful to have proof that you had a legal right to be where you were (in other words, that you were not trespassing on the dog’s property), and that you did not provoke the dog.
Step Three: Get Information from the Owner
At minimum, you will need the name, address, and phone number of the dog’s owner. If the owner has liability insurance, get that information as well. Find out if the dog is up to date on any and all vaccines, especially rabies. Even if you don’t think you are severely injured, it is better to get all the information as soon as possible in case an injury claim needs to be pursued.
Step Four: Report the Incident
Dog bite victims have a responsibility to report the incident to animal control. Many victims, especially those bitten by a dog they know, are worried about what will happen to the dog. If it’s the first time a dog ever bit someone, your report will prevent others from being bitten in the future. In the case where the dog has bitten before, especially if the owner was aware and did not take the proper precautions, both the owner and dog can face serious additional penalties.
What Legal Action Can You Take Against a Dog Owner for a Bite?
The dog owner is responsible for his/her dog and any injury that dog may cause. That includes compensation for the injuries you sustain. If you are seeking legal action and damages after a dog bite, the best place to start is with an attorney who has experience in dog bite claims. Your attorney can help guide you through the process. The first step is usually to file a claim with the animal owner’s insurance company. A properly documented injury claim will allow your attorney to be able to negotiate a settlement. However, if the negotiation process is not successful, you may need to file a lawsuit if a settlement can’t be reached.
Dog bites can be serious and result in lasting damage. If you or someone you love is the victim of a dog attack, you should not have to suffer financially. Arthur Law Firm has a successful record representing victims of dog bites, and we can help you through the legal process ahead. We fight hard for victims of dog bites because we know what you’re up against. Contact us at (419) 782-9881 for a free consultation right away. We can help you get the compensation you need and a settlement you deserve.