Most of us love dogs, They’re so cute and cuddly, and they make us laugh! No one ever wants to be attacked by an animal of any kind, but it seems even worse somehow when it’s man’s best friend causing the harm. Sure, we’ve all heard about dogs that have attacked someone, but we often make excuses for them:
- The person wasn’t familiar with dogs.
- The dog was protecting its owner.
- The dog felt cornered.
- It was one of those “aggressive” dog breeds; therefore, it’s in their nature.
We never think that we could be the victims of a dog attack. So, what do you do if you are attacked and injured by a dog? After all, it does happen.
Seek Medical Care
The first, and most obvious, step following a dog attack is to seek medical care. You don’t know if that dog had rabies, or was carrying some other type of disease, and your injuries could be serious enough to require surgery or other medical treatment. Always see a doctor after being bitten by a dog, if just to get some antibiotics in your system.
File a Claim
After you receive medical treatment, you may deal with the aftereffects of a serious injury. Perhaps you’re missing time from work, or you’re worried about how you’ll pay the medical costs of your injury. Or, you may suffer from the mental trauma of a jarring dog attack. You may be eligible to file a claim to obtain compensation for your injuries.
In most states, dog owners are liable for the injuries their dogs inflict upon others—even injuries other than dog bites. For instance, if a dog jumps on you and causes you to fall and hit your head, you could seek compensation by filing a claim.
The laws that address dog owner responsibility often vary from state to state. Some states have a strict liability policy, meaning that the dog owner is responsible for any damage inflicted by the dog, no matter what.
Other states hold to the “one bite rule,” which gives the dog owner a pass if he or she had no prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressiveness. Even with the “one bite” rule, you could still hold a dog owner liable, especially if your injuries are serious. Your case might be more complicated to prove, but not impossible.
Dog Bite Compensation
Being injured by a dog can leave you with all sorts of damages:
- The medical treatment needed for this type of injury, such as surgeries, medications, follow-up aftercare visits, etc.
- You may have missed time from work, which means a loss of work wages.
- You may have suffered a permanent disability if the injury was very serious.
- You could develop permanent scarring and disfigurement.
- You could be dealing with emotional and mental trauma following this kind of incident, which is not uncommon.
Legal Help When Seeking Compensation
If you are thinking about filing an injury claim for a dog bite, a good lawyer can help you get things going. The only time you wouldn’t be eligible to file a claim is if you were provoking the dog, or if you were on the dog owner’s property without permission.
Lawyers can assist with filing the claim, interviewing witnesses, investigating and proving the case, as well as negotiating fair compensation with any involved insurance companies.