Dogs are beloved pets to millions of families across the country. However, every year, nearly 350,000 people are attacked and injured by dogs and need medical attention. 30 to 35 dog attacks result in the death of the person being attacked.
Although bringing suit against neighbors or other dog owners may seem unneighborly, you know you need to protect your family and seek compensation after a dog attacks your child. A settlement or court judgment can help pay for any medical bills, lost wages and other expenses you may incur after your child’s injury. It is important that you act fast to preserve your case and to protect your child’s rights.
1. Get medical care
Dog bites can cause infections and may transmit rabies. Children may be susceptible to nerve or tissue damage and may be more vulnerable to infections. Call 911 for an ambulance and try to control any bleeding while you are waiting.
2. Find out if the dog belongs to someone or if it is stray
Dogs are most likely to attack people when they are closest to their own territory, such as their yard or home. If your child is attacked by a dog, it probably lives somewhere nearby. It may also be a stray, which means that your child needs to receive rabies shots to prevent a rabies infection. When you find the owner, get any information you can about the dog, including its license number. This will allow you to find information about past attacks.
3. File a dog bite report
It is in your child’s best interest and the interest of public safety to report the bite to animal control or the police. This way, there is a record of the incident on file, which you will need to prove your child’s case in court. It also provides valuable information for anyone who is attacked or bitten by the dog in the future.
4. Gather evidence
Take photos of your child’s injuries as soon as you can, while they are still fresh. Speak to any witnesses and ask them for their contact information and let them know that you are contacting a dog bite attorney. Keep copies of your medical discharge forms and bills, as well as a journal of the injury’s progression, the pain it causes and how it affects your child’s life.
5. Call an injury lawyer
An injury lawyer may be able to help you secure compensation for your child’s medical bills and pain and suffering. You may also be able to recover lost wages if you had to miss work to care for your child. Besides you and your doctor, a dog bite attorney will be your child’s most important advocate. An experienced injury lawyer will help you fight for a fair settlement or court judgment.