Our last post introduced some recommendations for responding to a dog bite. It is important for victims to do everything they can to minimize the risk of infections while simultaneously creating a reliable and documented record of what happened.
This means that victims should try to identify the animal and its owners, seek prompt medical attention and file a bite report with the local government authorities.
After these initial steps, victims can focus on preparing for a potential lawsuit. While some conscientious dog owners will agree to an appropriate settlement, lawsuits are often necessary to force a dangerous animal’s owners to take responsibility.
Based on the initial identification of the dog, victims should look for information about the owner and the animal itself. One important factor is whether the dog has a history of bites – a local agency responsible for domestic animals is a good starting place. The agency may have already received reports or complaints about a specific dog.
Victims should also carefully document every aspect of the injury. This includes photographing the injuries. With severe bites, victims should probably consult with a medical professional before unwrapping any bandages. Torn clothes can also be important evidence. It is important to keep a careful record of all medical costs – a journal is one good way to maintain a clear picture of the expenses incurred after a bite injury.
Finally, it is important for victims to consult with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases. Dog owners and their insurance companies may seek to settle a case quickly with an unfairly low amount – an experienced lawyer can help victims recover the full amount to which they are entitled.
Source: CTV News, “Victim of unprovoked dog bite sues Mounties,” Jonathan Woodward, Mar. 8, 2013