Category: Dog Bites

Holiday Season Dangers: Dog Bites

Dog BiteDuring the holiday season, visits from friends and family members are a common occurrence. Unfortunately, reports of injuries caused by family pets tend to increase during this time, and in most cases, the injuries could have been avoided.

If a dog owner doesn’t exercise the right safety precautions, they may be unable to stop their dog from attacking another person in the event of an unexpected trigger or uncontrollable provocation. Dogs are supposed to be kept on a leash when in public and, if potentially a danger to others, should be restrained behind a fence. Especially in the case of potentially dangerous breeds, dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pet and may be held legally liable if that pet injuries someone.

A dog bite or attack may leave a person with considerable injuries that may require immediate medical care. Depending on the extent of the injuries, a person may need to go through a significant treatment and recovery process that can be physically, emotionally, and financially taxing. However, compensation may be available for these injured individuals through a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

Legal Recourse for Dog Bites

Bites and attacks may leave a person with a sizable medical bill to address, as well as other expenses and a lack of income due to time spent away from work recovering. Compensation may be able to address the following financial concerns after a dog bite or attack:

  • Medical treatment expenses, including skin grafts and antibiotics
  • The cost of staying in the hospital while recovering from an attack
  • Long-term care in the event of particularly vicious attacks or falling injuries
  • Emotional damages and psychological therapy
  • Lost wages due to time spend off of work for medical operations and recovery

If an attack is particularly serious and causes life-long disability or disfigurement, a person may be entitled to pursue compensation that will support them for years into the future. While it may be difficult to consider legal recourse following a tragedy like a dog attack, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your claim with an experienced personal injury lawyer. This way, you will not be forced to pay out-of-pocket for medical bills, lost wages, and other unforeseen expenses following an avoidable accident like a dog bite.

When Dogs Attack!

If you are attacked and hurt by a dog, you have the right to take legal action against the dog’s owner and obtain financial compensation from them for your injuries. If you are attacked, the following are some steps you can take to prepare for legal action per the “one bite rule“.

  • Obtain contact information from the dog owner – Whether or not you are thinking about filing suit, it is a good idea to get the name and phone number of the dog in question’s owner. If you discover that you are suffering from anxiety later on, or have an injury you weren’t initially aware of, you may decide to go ahead and pursue compensation.
  • Obtain contact information from witnesses – If you decide to pursue legal action, it will be necessary for you to call on the testimony of any witnesses that saw the attack. A witness may be able to back you up if the dog’s owner tries to claim you provoked their pet. If you don’t know who the owner is, the witnesses may be able to help you or animal control find out who the owner is.
  • Keep documentation of any related medical attention – If you visit a hospital to treat your injuries, make sure to keep a record of your visits, hospital bills, etc. You’ll need to have that information in order to be compensated if you win your case.
  • Report the attack to animal control – If the dog poses a danger to others, it is important to have animal control identify who the owner is and possibly quarantine the dog temporarily. A lot of cities have laws for dog attacks which require owners to have their dog observed by animal control for seven to twenty days to determine if it is rabid.

If you have been attacked by a dog, in addition to these steps, you should contact a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer and begin discussing which course of action is best for you.