If you or a loved one has been harmed by a dog, then you should discuss your case with an attorney to determine if the dog owner may be responsible for your injuries.
Medical Bills from a Dog Bite
When a dog owner fails to control their dog and the dog harms someone else, the owner is responsible for the injuries caused by the dog. Medical bills from a dog bite can be costly depending on the severity of the bite. If the bite was large, then plastic surgery may be necessary to correct any scaring or permanent disfigurement that occurred from the bite. A dog bite victim is entitled to be compensated for all of their medical bills and pain and suffering related to the bite.
“One Bite Rule”
A dog owner may tell the victim of a dog bite that they are not responsible because their dog has not bitten anyone before. Contrary to what a dog owner may tell you, their dog does not have one free pass to cause harm to a person. Only an experienced attorney can properly evaluate whether a dog owner may be liable for the bite.
After the Dog Bite Injury
When a dog bite occurs, the first thing you should worry about it is getting appropriate medical care. Most cities and counties will require that the dog be quarantined for a certain number of days. This is to allow officials to monitor the dog for any signs of rabies.
If the authorities are not able to capture the dog or if you do not know where the dog is at, then government officials will not be able to quarantine the dog. Your health care provider may recommend that you receive rabies shots depending on the type of dog that bit you. For example, if you were bitten by a domestic dog wearing a collar while jogging through a residential street, then your health care provider may not recommend a rabies shot. However, if you were bitten in a rural area by a stray dog that was acting erratically, then your doctor may recommend you receive the shot.
When to Contact an Attorney
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a dog bite to receive a free consultation. In the days follow the bite, steps will need to be taken by the attorney to protect any claim that you may have against the dog owner. For instance, sometimes a dog owner will hire an attorney to keep the dog from being put down by city officials. The victim or the victim’s family may receive a subpoena to attend this hearing. It is important to have representation during this process because it may affect any potential civil claim you may have in the future.