What Can You Do When Bitten By a Dog?

Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friends, but that’s not always the case. Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, with one-fifth of cases requiring medical intervention. As most incidents involve children and the elderly, they often end up in court. If you or a family member has suffered a dog bite and you believe legal action is appropriate, there are ways to strengthen the case.

Find the Dog’s Owner and Document the Injury

Find the Dog’s Owner and Document the Injury

After seeking medical help for the victim, the first thing to do is to determine the dog’s identity and that of its owner. Be sure to get their name, address, and contact information. Second, you’ll need to document injuries from a dog bite, and photos provide a visual record that can be used in a court case.

File a Report and Determine the Animal’s History

Next, you’ll have to file a report with the local government. These reports document dog bite cases and start a paper trail for the authorities. After doing so, find out if the animal has bitten anyone else or shown aggressive behavior in the past.

Keep Records

Keep Records

Remember to keep records of all bite-related medical expenses and treatments. Also, document the effects the incident has had on the victim’s life—such as physical pain, loss of income, and more. Finally, call a personal injury attorney and provide the information you’ve gathered. The lawyer can move the case forward and request compensation from the dog’s owner.

Animal Owners Must Follow Dog Bite Laws

Understanding your state’s dog bite laws is important if someone you love has been bitten. A dog attack is a traumatic, frightening experience that may leave a victim with lifelong emotional and physical scars. Dog owners must ensure their animals are confined in ways that prevent them from escaping and attacking people, and they must also ensure the animal doesn’t bite someone who’s been invited into the home. If they fail in either regard, they must be held liable.

What Constitutes Negligence on a Dog Owner’s Part?

What Constitutes Negligence on a Dog Owner’s Part?

During a lawsuit, the court will look at certain requirements, such as:

  • That the dog bit tried to bite or injured someone
  • That the victim was allowed to be where they were when bitten. For instance, if a pedestrian is attacked in public, that person is permitted to file a claim.
  • That the person didn’t provoke the animal

The animal doesn’t have to bite a person to harm them. Jumping on a victim and knocking them to the ground would also form the basis of a legal claim.

Defenses for Dog Bites

There are only a couple of defenses dog owners can use if their animal attacks someone. First, if the victim hurts, teases, or harasses the dog and it bites them, the owner may not be held responsible. Another possible defense is that, if a dog bites a trespasser, the owner isn’t liable.

What to Do After a Bite

If you or a family member are bitten, the first thing to do is to notify the authorities. Then, seek medical attention. The dog that attacked will have to be quarantined to verify that it’s not rabid. After ensuring your health and well-being, the next call should be to a skilled personal injury attorney. If it’s determined that the dog’s owner didn’t perform their duties and the victim didn’t do anything to provoke the attack, consider filing a lawsuit.

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Ariana Smith

I enjoy writing and I write quality guest posts on topics of my interest and passion. I have been doing this since my college days. My special interests are in health, fitness, food and following the latest trends in these areas. I am an editor at Content Rally.

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