A dog bite is a type of injury where an aggressive dog has attacked you. If you have been involved in a canine attack and it was not your fault, then you can claim compensation for your injuries.
Dog breeds like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepherds can be dangerous. The owner of the animal is responsible for the actions of their pet, even if their pet never previously displayed a dangerous or violent disposition. In many cases, the pet owner is liable for your pain and suffering.
What to do if you are involved in dog bites?
Here is a small guide to help you understand what to do if you or someone you know have been bitten by a dog. Take the following steps to strengthen your case before filing a personal injury claim.
- See a medical professional – It may sound obvious, but many people never visit a doctor. If there has been even a minor injury, you should always visit a medical professional. The doctor and other medical reports will make a considerable difference in establishing your claim for compensation. Medical documentation will also help to determine the amount of money you deserve to receive for the injury.
- Report the accident to the police – If a dog has attacked you or any of your family members, you should consider reporting the incident to the police or animal control. Reporting any such accident is always a good idea and will also strengthen your case. Visit a local police station or report the incident over the phone.
- Obtain evidence – Evidence plays a very crucial role in the eye of law. You can share this evidence with your attorney following the accident.
It is better to have relevant documents to prove your losses
Keep the following records and evidence, if you can. These will help you to prove the negligence of the pet owner and receive compensation:
- Take photographs and videos of the dog and injury – Capture bite marks, bruises, photos of the dog, and of the area immediately around the animal and location of the incident. Take pictures as soon as possible. You should also consider taking photos before and after you receive medical treatment.
- Get witness statements – If there were people around, you should record their statements. You can ask them to write down and document the incident. Eyewitness statements play a crucial role and can make your case stronger. If there were any witnesses, make sure to note their name and address.
- Gather medical bills and records – Keep a copy of all medical treatment, prescriptions, therapies, and test notes. Record all doctor’s appointments and notes. Documentation is necessary. You should always keep a record of all your follow-up treatment.
- Preserve the evidence – Do not wash the damaged clothing or other items involved in the incident. For instance, keep the bloody and torn clothing in a separate box. This can be used as evidence later. Keep the clothing that you were wearing that day. Keep the clothes in an unwashed state. If your clothing were damaged, it may help to illustrate the viciousness of the attack and strengthen your case.
- Make a note of the exact circumstances – We recommend writing down and making notes of the situation as soon as possible after it occurs. Write down what happened before the accident and after the accident. Details are important. No detail is too minor. People often forget or dismiss important information as days pass after the incident. Therefore, it is helpful to record every aspect of what happened.
- Obtain the dog owner’s details – Get the contact details of the owner who is responsible for your injuries.
Will legal representation help in such cases?
These incidents can be traumatic for an individual. They can negatively impact an individual’s life in both mental and physical ways. Some people even develop an intense fear of dogs for the remainder of their lives. A dog bite injury should always be treated immediately because dangerous infections can be life-threatening to victims.
If you have been bitten by a dog, you can consider filing compensation for your damages. The dog owner or the insurance company will be responsible to compensate you for expenses related to your injuries. Strict liability means that the law has established that a dog owner is responsible for an injury the dog causes to a person or a person’s property.
A person’s property may include other domestic animals or livestock. Liability applies whether or not the owner knew the dog had a vicious propensity.
Canine bites are pretty common. Only a small percentage of victims are compensated for their injury. Many people are not compensated for their injuries because dog bite cases are complex. These cases are not easy to prove.
There are some exceptions to the theory of strict liability for dog bites. In some situations, you may have to prove that the owner’s behavior was negligent. If the owner was aware that the dog is dangerous or carries a tendency to cause injury, then they may be found negligent.
If you can prove that the careless behavior of the owner was the reason for your injuries, you may be able to receive compensation. You can even speak to an attorney to understand how to prove liability in such cases. In most cases, you will have these two options:
- File an insurance claim – You can file an insurance claim with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company for compensation for your medical expenses.
- File a lawsuit – You can file a lawsuit against the owner for several types of damages.
Either option will be beneficial; however, if you have minor injuries, then it may be challenging to obtain compensation from the insurance company. In that situation, you should speak to an attorney to determine if it is worth filing a lawsuit or not.
Lawyers understand the types of claims that get approved
They are also well-equipped to handle complex claims so that you do not have to. An experienced attorney can assess the facts of the case, including available evidence and medical documentation, to determine whether the cost of litigation outweighs the value of any potential compensation. Therefore, speaking to an attorney will help you understand whether it is advisable to pursue the claim.
If you have major injuries, it may be easier to recover compensation because there will likely be more medical documentation. You should always focus on gathering evidence to make your case stronger.
Injuries caused by domestic animals can be severe for many victims. Victims can suffer a lot of expenses like hefty medical bills, lost wages, etc. Consult a Philadelphia dog bite lawyer to determine whether you should expect to receive any compensation for your losses.
We have handled a substantial number of lawsuits and gained significant compensation for our client’s due to canine bites.