A dog bite can potentially cause a serious injury. It is estimated that at least 4.5 million people are bitten each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 of the victims experience bites serious enough to require medical treatment. Most often, bites occur on residential property, but they can occur anywhere that a dog and person come together. So, what should you do if you’ve been bitten by a dog?
Take These Immediate Steps
Responding to a dog bite injury is no different than for any other injury; begin by seeking medical attention immediately. Even the smallest bite can carry viruses or bacteria that result in serious infection and complications. Also contact the police or other local law enforcement agencies if you are the victim of a canine attack. It is important that a police report is filed to establish the facts. Collecting all pertinent information about the dog is also crucial. At minimum, note the name and address of the owners, their insurance information and specifics about the animal’s breed. Take pictures of the dog if possible, and also of your injuries, your clothing and the area in which the dog attacked you. Document as much as you can at the time of the incident. If witnesses were present, be sure to note their contact information as well.
The Next Steps
Once you have been checked out by a doctor and you’re out of harm’s way, contact your local animal control office. This isn’t only for your protection, but for the protection of anyone who may come into contact with the animal in the future. The animal control agency will investigate the attack and can take further action if warranted. Obtain a copy of your police report and any other documentation that may be available. You will need this information to help your lawyer in the review of your potential claim.
Dog bite liability may not always be the easiest to prove because of the laws that govern dog registration, dangerous breeds and leash and muzzle requirements. Research the animal laws in your area to establish what the owners are obligated to do to contain their animal. Generally, if you can prove that the attack was not provoked, you weren’t trespassing, and it is not a trained police or military dog, you may have a chance at proving liability.
If you have an Idaho dog bite injury case you’d like to explore further, contact Montgomery Dowdle Law Offices to schedule a consultation. Their experienced legal team can review the facts of your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your dog bite.