Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, but sometimes their animal instincts take over and they attack when feel provoked or threatened. There are approximately 4.5 million dog bites in the United States every year, and many of the victims are small children who aren’t aware that dogs can be dangerous.
Dog bite injuries can range from minor wounds that will need to be cleaned and bandaged to serious diseases such as rabies and MRSA. In fact, about 18% of dog bites become infected, so there is a risk that your minor wound could eventually turn into an infection.
Steps to Take Following A Dog Bite
If you have been bitten by a dog, there are certain steps you should take to protect yourself. First, find the dog’s owner and get his name and contact information. Ask the owner whether the dog has had his rabies shots. If the dog has not been vaccinated, or if you cannot find the owner of the dog, you will need to get the rabies shot immediately.
Next, seek emergency medical assistance for your injuries. Even if you think your wound is minor, dog bite injuries can quickly turn into serious infections, so it’s important to see a medical professional. Keep all of the documentation related to your treatment, including medical bills, lab reports, and X-rays.
After your injuries have been treated, file an official report with your county or city authorities. This helps local authorities keep track of dog bite injuries in case there are other victims who have been bitten by the same dog in the future.
Now, it’s time to contact an attorney to discuss your case. An attorney at the Trial Lawyers for Justice can determine who is at fault for your injuries and help you understand your legal options.
Throughout this entire process, make sure you are documenting your injuries with photographs. Take pictures immediately following the dog bite, and then take additional pictures everyday as the injury begins to heal. It may be wise to keep a journal documenting the pain you are experiencing as a result of the dog bite. This documentation will help support your personal injury claim.
Liability For Dog Bites
Each state has its own laws that dictate who is responsible when a dog injures another person. In most states, the dog owner is liable for a victim’s injuries as long as the victim was not provoking the dog or illegally trespassing at the time of the attack. Some states, such as California, only hold the dog owner for injuries caused by a bite. In other states, such as Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, the dog owner is liable for any injury the victim suffered because of the dog. For example, if the dog charged at the victim and the victim tripped and injured himself trying to get away, the dog owner may be held liable in these states even if the dog never made physical contact with the victim.
The victim does not have to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong in these cases. For example, the victim does not have to show the dog owner instructed the dog to attack. Because of the strict liability laws surrounding dog bites, all that needs to be proven is the victim was injured by the dog, and there was no provocation or illegal trespassing at the time of the attack.
Justice For Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, discuss your case with an experienced attorney at the Trial Lawyers for Justice. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Call 866-854-5529 to schedule a free consultation today.