What to Do After a Dog Bite
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Pius Joseph with Law Offices of Pius Joseph.
Any kind of animal attack can be deeply traumatic, and dog bites are one of the most common injuries suffered in everyday animal attacks. It’s important to exercise caution whenever you find yourself around an animal you do not know, or one that may not be secured. If you have suffered from a dog bite injury, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your damages in the form of a premises liability accident.
In most states, the dog’s owner is considered liable for any injuries the dog causes.
Property owners owe visitors to their property a duty of care, and this includes taking reasonable measures to prevent an aggressive dog from biting. A duty of care simply refers to the responsibility a property owner has to make the decisions another reasonable property owner in their situation would do. If you have suffered a dog bite injury, reach out to a premises liability attorney to discuss your situation and options for recovery.
However, in some states and under certain circumstances, the injured party may be considered liable. For example, if the injured party was bit after being warned not to approach a potentially aggressive animal, or failed to adhere to “no trespassing” or similar signs, the injured party may not be eligible to receive compensation for their bite.
Steps to take immediately after a dog bite:
- Seek medical care. Immediately after a dog bite, it’s important to wash the wound with warm water and soap, stop the bleeding with a towel, and wrap the wound for a doctor to examine. It is important to seek medical care immediately after receiving a dog bite. In addition to making sure you receive the necessary medical treatment for the bite, this also ensures that an official record exists documenting the existence and legitimacy of the injury.
- Collect contact information and evidence. It’s important to obtain the name and contact information of the dog’s owner immediately after a bite. Additionally, if evidence exists which could support your claim that a dog owner was negligent in preventing their dog from attacking, take measures to preserve it. For example, if there is a broken fence, leash, chain, or missing signage warning of an aggressive animal on the premises, take a picture or video and store it in a safe place where it cannot be lost or deleted. Additionally, if there were any witnesses to the attack, obtain their contact information and record a testimony with their permission.
- Contact animal control. If you have suffered a dog bite injury and suspect the dog may be aggressive and will bite again, it’s important to contact animal control to let them know about the incident. It may be necessary for animal control to intervene and prevent further attacks from occurring.
- Contact a dog bite attorney. Medical care after a dog bite can be expensive, not to mention the psychological injuries which may occur due to the trauma of an animal attack. Reach out to a dog bite attorney to discuss your situation and discover your eligibility for filing a claim. Most of these attorneys offer free consultations and will be able to give you a better idea of how to move forward after a dog bite.