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.