Dog bites may not seem like a prominent case of personal injury. However, when considering that over 800 000 Americans receive treatment for dog bites each year on average, the unfortunate instance is far more common than most could imagine. What’s more, the vast majority of American households have at least one dog. Unfortunately, dog attacks are often severe, especially if the attacking dog is considered a dangerous breed.
Suppose you or your child has been bitten or attacked by any breed of dog after receiving vital medical attention to ensure infections don’t set in. In that case, your next priority should be to hire a dog bite lawyer to evaluate the value of your case. Once you have hired a lawyer, your next priority will be providing evidence that proves the liability of the dog’s owner.
Collect Contact Details And Statements From Witnesses
You will need to identify the owner of the dog. In addition, you will need their name, contact numbers, address, and potentially their identification number. If the dog owner is willing to provide you with this information, the process will likely be relatively smooth. On the other hand, if you cannot collect information from the owner, your next step is to visit your nearest police station to report the incident. You must provide authorities with any information you might have so that they can locate the owner on your behalf. If you can collect statements from any witnesses, this will prove that the malicious attack is the owner’s liability.
Photograph the Injuries And Medical Records
It is vital to collect as much photographic evidence of the injuries sustained as possible. Your photographs should be clear and dated. However, you can also collect photos of blood-stained clothing, broken or dilapidated fencing where the dog may have escaped their property or even an open gate. If you can, you should record a video of the dogs’ behaviour following the incident. However, be sure the dog is restrained when attempting this and avoid aggravating the animal in the process.
Obtain A Detailed Police Report
Even if the dog owner seems to be civil and cooperative about the incident, you should still obtain a detailed police report. Without a police report, your claim might be dismissed. If you cannot contact authorities immediately to get a police report, you should do so as soon as possible.
There are certain mitigating aspects in dog bite cases that can have your claim dismissed. These include instances where the dog has been provoked into attacking; teasing or taunting dogs will instigate an attack regardless of the dog breed or other circumstances. Other aspects include the dog acting out of natural instincts beyond the owner’s control; the victim was previously warmed about the dog but disregarded the warning. If the victim was caught trespassing on the property illegally, in which case, the dog was merely protecting its territory as most dogs do.
Hiring an injury lawyer specializing in dog bite cases is the best way to ensure you can prove the dogs’ owner’s liability. Even if you have managed to gather all the relevant evidence, a lawyer will ensure you can get maximum compensation for the traumatizing experience. While post-traumatic stress disorder is common in children after a dog bite, adults are also impacted by emotional distress.