In the United States, 36% of households own at least one dog. While dogs are loyal companions and wonderful pets, they are still animals and they can bite you, especially if you come into their space. Whether you are bitten while visiting a friend or out in a public place, there are certain steps you need to take in the event of a dog bite.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are attacked by a dog, you should get away from the animal as soon as possible. From there, you will have a chance to examine your wounds. If your injuries are minor, wash the area with soap and water and apply an antibiotic cream and a bandage. If your wounds are more serious and/or bleeding heavily, you may need to call 911 and you will need to see a healthcare provider immediately.
Any time you are bitten by an animal, it’s a good idea to take pictures of your injuries and see a doctor. Dog bites can cause infections and spread diseases like rabies and tetanus. They can also
inspire cause emotional trauma, especially in children, the population most vulnerable to dog bites.
After a dog bite, one of the most important steps is to identify the dog that bit you. If the animal in question is a family pet, it is less likely to be rabid. Additionally, the dog’s owner may be responsible for your injuries. If you can, take a photo of the dog, get the owner’s information, and document your injuries and medical expenses. It’s also a good idea to write down what happened to you and hold on to any clothing that was torn and/or bloodied during the incident.
Report the Bite
Even if you were bitten at a friend’s house and don’t blame the dog, nor the owner, you need to report what happened. This will help state authorities identify dangerous animals and prevent both future attacks and the spread of diseases. Unless your case is particularly severe, the judge will not order euthanasia. In many cases, the dog will not even be deemed dangerous.
If you choose to file a dog bite claim, your report will also help support your case.
If your dog bite happened at a friend’s house, you may not want to hold them civilly liable. However, homeowners and renters alike typically carry insurance that may cover the cost of your injuries without affecting your friend financially. You may be able to handle the whole process via premises liability laws and the applicable insurance policies.
In New York, dog owners have strict liability for medical expenses related to a dog bite. This means, if someone’s dog bites you, they will likely be responsible for your medical bills, regardless of the situation.
If you wish to recover damages related to pain and suffering or other losses, you
may need to prove that the dog owner was negligent, or careless, in some way.
In any situation, an experienced attorney can help you achieve your goals.
Start Your Case Today With a Free Consultation
When a dog bites, you have the legal right to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Whether you just want your medical bills to be paid, or you want the owner to face the full force of the law, our attorneys at Foley Griffin can help.
Tell us your story at (888) 966-8480 and start building your case during a free consultation.