If someone asked you, “What is the most common pet in American culture?” You would probably shrug and reply, “A dog.” While dogs are definitely in the top three, they are not actually the most popular pet. In case you were curious — fish are the most popular, ranking at 142 million. After that comes cats at 88.3-million. Then, the beloved dog comes in third at 74.8-million. Nevertheless, dogs are some of the most adored pets in our society.
But, what happens when the dogs we love and know to be a kind and cuddly attack, someone? Are there laws in place to see to it the situation is handled fairly for both the owner and the injured?
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year. Though dogs are generally considered friendly animals and even “man’s best friend,” they — like any other animal —can become provoked and bite someone in the effort of defending themselves are the people they are trained to protect. Whether you are a dog owner or a dog bite victim, it is always helpful to understand the legalities behind dog bites and how to handle a dog bite case. With that in mind, here are a few urgent steps anyone should take immediately after being attacked by a dog.
Record the Scene
First and foremost, it is important to document the scene of the incident. Take photographs of the injury, if possible. You will also want to take pictures of the dog that bit you if you can. Some things that are a good idea to make note of include the breed, approximate size, color, and the name of the dog just in case you have to identify it later. It is estimated that 70 million dogs are living in households here in the United States. That being said, ensuring proper identification is an integral component of your case.
Seek Medical Assistance
If the injury needs immediate medical attention, it is always best to call 911 as soon as possible. Treating your injuries properly is essential to building the details of your case, as well. Not to mention, your health should always be the number one priority. Likewise, you will want to make sure that you follow up with any recommended physician visits or medical advice according to the instructions and guidance provided by your medical professional.
Get the Owner’s Information
Next to children, senior citizens are the second most common victims of dog bite injuries. But regardless of the victim’s age, it is critical to gather all relevant information from the owner of the dog. Your dog bite attorney will need to see these details to ensure the owner compensates you properly. So, make sure to get all of the owner’s information, such as his or her proper name, phone number, and address. In 2017, insurers across the country paid nearly $700 million in claims related to dog bites, according to estimates from the Insurance Information Institute. That means that compensation for your injuries could be owed to you, as well. Once you have completed these basic steps, you should contact an attorney. Ideally, you should hire a dog bite attorney that has specific experience with handling these types of cases. You should also make sure to report the incident to your local animal control, but do not provide in-depth details until you have talked with an attorney.
To get the ball rolling on your dog bite case, contact Patrick O’Hara. Patrick is an award-winning attorney who has even been recognized as a Rising Star for five years by Super Lawyer. He is no stranger to dog bites and wants to help you work towards getting compensated. Call him for a consultation today.