Attacked by a Dog: What should you do?

by | Dec 4, 2017

People love their dogs. Man’s best friend! There are more than 78 million dogs in households across the U.S. There are local laws just about everywhere that require dog owners to keep their dogs contained on the property of the pet owners. At a minimum, keep them on a leash in public. These laws help prevent you from being attacked by a dog.

There are several reasons for these laws:

  1. Unattended dogs can be nuisances.
  2. They leave their waste behind
  3. They bark excessively;
  4. They can be nuisances for traffic safety.
  5. The main reason for the containment laws, however, is that dogs are dangerous.  That’s right, dangerous.  Put a dog in an unfamiliar situation, and it can change from sweet Spot to a menacing beast instantly.

People who own dogs should have homeowner’s insurance. This will cover them if their dog, or any pet, harms another person.

What should you do if you are attacked by a dog?

  1. You may get bitten by an unknown dog running loose in your neighborhood.  You might get bitten by a friend’s dog that you have known for years.  What should you DO if such an attack injures you or a loved one?
  2. Once the danger has passed, you must identify the dog and determine its owner.  This might be done through the dog tag information.  However, many dogs now have implanted chips instead.  Animal control can check chip information.
  3. You need to determine if the dog has been properly inoculated for rabies.  You must get examined by a medical professional if your skin is broken due to the risk of infection from mouth-borne germs.
  4. You must report the incident to the police and animal control.

To have a valid case against a dog owner for injuries from an attack, you need to be able to identify the dog and its owner and prove that you did not provoke the animal into the attack.  Generally, it is necessary to prove the owner has insurance to cover the loss.  If the owner does not have insurance, then he/she is either too poor to afford such insurance or he/she is independently wealthy and does not need insurance.  The answer to that question obviously makes a big difference.  Usually, the lack of insurance means the owner is too poor to be able to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Most importantly, you need to hire an attorney to represent you for your damages in your claim with the insurance company.  Many legal issues in dog bite cases can harm your case if you say or do the wrong thing.  At Garrison Law Firm, we have handled many dog bite cases. We know all the questions to ask and all the claims that can be made.  If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, you need to contact Garrison Law Firm right away to learn and preserve your rights.