Dog attacks can result in severe and long-term injuries causing pain, disability and disfigurement and requiring emergency medical care, surgeries, and recovery. This page provides information from dog bite attorneys about what to do if you have suffered from a dog attack.
Dog Attacks Are Caused by Negligent Dog Owners, Not Dangerous Dogs
Common sense tells us that we must hold pet owners accountable for serious dog attacks rather than the animal. Pet owners have a responsibility to ensure their dog is under control or is adequately restrained. When a dog attacks a person, the owner who failed to protect visitors to their property can be held accountable. This page provides information about where, why, and how dog bites occur, as well as tips to adhere to should you be attacked by an unrestrained dog.
In order to legally hold a pet owner accountable for a dog bite, you must prove liability to the owner. Insurance companies representing dog owners will go to great lengths to prove their client is not liable in order to shirk responsibility for dog attacks. Follow these steps to ensure you receive proper medical care and preserve necessary evidence:
- Seek Medical Treatment Immediately. If a dog bite requires medical attention, go to the hospital or consult a doctor right away. Not only will you get the best medical care for a full recovery, but you will establish the beginning of a paper trail to document your injury. This establishes the serious nature of the injury and creates documentation by a professional that can be used to support your claim.
- Contact the Local Police and animal control agency to file a report of the dog attack. An investigation into the incident by local authorities may strengthen your case, perhaps helping to determine the owner of the dog and getting witness testimony and contact information.
- Document Your Injury. Take extensive photographs of your injury site immediately after the incident and as the wound area evolves and the dog bite heals.Also, write down your own account of the incident right away, and document anything else that happen in relation to the injury. Keep any relevant receipts and medical forms, too. Any written documentation of the dog bite injury may strengthen your case later.
- Don’t speak with the pet owner's insurance company. Anything you say may be later used against you. Likewise, and most importantly, don't sign insurance company forms such as a medical authorization or settlement agreement without consulting with an attorney first. These forms may enable the insurance company to access information they can use against you or may limit your legal options should you later wish to file a dog bite lawsuit.
- Hold out for the claim you deserve -- severe dog bites can have long term health implications. Be sure to consult a lawyer before accepting a settlement. The insurance company may rush you to accept in order to keep the payout amount low.
Where Do Dog Bites Occur?
Dog attacks can take place anywhere -- on the pet owner’s property, out in the neighborhood, or at a park or other public place. In general, if there is evidence to suggest that a dog owner’s failure to restrain their pet resulted in a dog bite, the owner is liable for the safety of others. People working in jobs that require workers to enter private property routinely, such as mail carriers, delivery workers, and utility workers, should be safe from aggressive animals while performing their job. Dogs that have a tendency toward aggression should be properly restrained even on the owner’s property. Most dog bites can be prevented with responsible dog ownership.
The U.S. Humane Society estimated that 39% of American households have one or more dogs. The largest demographics of dog bite victim are children and persons who enter private property for their job. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that approximately 386,000 dog bites require emergency medical attention each year in the United States.
Dog Attack Lawyers Help Individuals and Families
With extensive experience in the realm of family safety and personal injury litigation, our attorneys are uniquely qualified to represent your family’s interests. We bring empathy and sensitivity to our work when we represent individuals who have been victim of a traumatic accident. Committing our extensive resources to preparing each dog attack lawsuit for trial, we ensure the best results for our clients. Once entrusted with your case, our lawyers will work tirelessly to bring a positive end to the trauma your family has suffered. If you or your family member was injured or harmed due to an irresponsible or negligent dog owner, a dog bite lawyer can help by answering your questions and giving you a sense of your legal options.
Dog Bite Lawsuits
If you or a family member was harmed as a result of negligence on the part of a pet owner, you may be eligible to file a dog attack lawsuit. Pet owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control and can be held accountable if they failed to restrain an aggressive pet. We provide legal representation for dog bite lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning that we charge no fee unless we win compensation on your behalf.