What to Do After a Dog Bite: How an Injury Attorney Can Help

posted byLA Attorneys GroupFebruary 24, 2021

If you have been attacked by a dog and were injured as a result, you must seek legal compensation.

Dog bite cases can be complicated, considering the actions of an animal are sometimes unpredictable.

If you are considering pursuing a dog bite case, read on to find more information about:

Determining Who Is At-Fault in A Dog Bite Case

It may be difficult to determine who is at-fault in a dog bite case because an animal can act unpredictably.

However, in the state of California, owners are liable if their dog attacks someone. Whether there was negligence or not, the owner is strictly liable for the injuries and trauma caused by their dog.

Whoever was in charge of the dog at the time of the attack can be held accountable, whether that was the dog’s owner or a caretaker.

Because the owner is strictly liable, it does not matter if they took precautions to prevent the dog from attacking or had no way of predicting the attack.

These laws are enforceable only for dog bites, not other less severe attacks or injuries, such as scratches.

There are two cases in which it would be difficult to litigate a dog bite case. The first is if you provoked the dog in some way and it attacked you. The second is if you were on the dog owner's property without their permission.

In these two scenarios, your case is void of sufficient evidence that the dog attacked you for no reason.

In the case that you provoked the dog, you may be considered partially at fault for the attack and your subsequent injuries.

For example, if the pet owner has proof that you trespassed on their property or instigated an attack in any way, you may lose your compensation.

Similar to other accidents, however, the case may be scrutinized under comparative negligence law , meaning both you and the dog’s owner may be partially responsible. In this case, the dog’s owner would only partially compensate for your injuries.

What To Do After a Dog Bite

If you have been bitten by a dog, these are the steps you should take following the attack:

First, get medical treatment immediately. If the wound is severe and you are bleeding heavily, call 911 and wait for a first responder.

However, if the injury is less serious, drive to a hospital immediately to get medical attention as the bite could lead to serious infection if not treated properly.

Follow the medical advice from your doctor and get the necessary treatment, keeping a record of the diagnosis and treatment because the medical records of doctor visits, exams, medications, and surgeries will be used to support your case.

Next, gather as much information about the accident as possible. This includes the dog that bit you, its owner, and the owner’s contact information. If any witnesses were present, collect their contact information as well to help your attorney build a solid case.

Finally, take pictures of your injuries. However, if gathering information is not possible at the scene because of the extent of your injuries, have someone gather that information for you.

Next, report the accident to animal control or the police, explaining what had happened and who is liable for the attack.

Finally, contact an injury attorney as soon as possible.

Filing a Claim for a Dog Bite Case

The first step when filing a dog bite claim is to determine which party is at fault. As previously mentioned, this can vary based on the situation, such as whether the dog bite happened on public property or the dog was provoked.

Next, consolidate all of the information you have gathered. This includes all of the information gathered at the scene, such as witness reports and photographs of injuries, as well as a record of medical treatment and doctor’s visits.

Finally, you want to file your claim as soon as possible. In the state of California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. Therefore, the claim needs to be made within two years of the attack.

The timeline for a claim to be processed varies by case and can be hindered by the severity of your injuries and the settlement the insurance company offers.

How an Injury Attorney Can Help In a Dog Bite Case

In many personal injury cases, such as dog bite cases, insurance companies offer a lower settlement than the victim deserves because it was filed at the wrong time or there is not enough sufficient evidence.

Therefore, if you are bitten by a dog, don’t engage in negotiations or accept a settlement from the insurance company without talking to your attorney.

Your attorney will ensure that your claim is filed correctly and the necessary evidence and documents have been gathered.

Additionally, dog bite claims can be complex, and if you are not receiving the compensation you deserve, reach out to a personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit.

Conclusion

If you have been injured by a dog bite and are hoping to receive significant compensation for your injuries and losses, we can help.

Contact us today to find out if you are eligible to pursue legal action, such as filing a lawsuit or insurance claim.

LA Attorneys can help you get the settlement you deserve so that you can recover from this traumatic experience.

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