Dog Bites – When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
What to do when a dog bites you.
Dogs are known to be one of the friendliest animals, but that does not mean accidents can’t happen. According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control, around 800,000 dog bites every year require medical attention. If you are injured from a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation. Our personal injury lawyers break down what you should do after a dog bites you and what qualifies for a lawsuit.
After a dog has bitten you, you should:
– Document the incident. Take photos of your injuries and make notes of how you felt after the bite. Write down everything that happened leading up to the bite and call the police to file a report if necessary. Make sure you have the contact information for the dog owner and any witnesses who saw what happened.
– Seek medical attention immediately. Though you may be able to clean the wound yourself, if the bleeding persists or if there’s significant swelling, these could be signs of a larger issue. To prevent infection and to analyze your injuries, you should see a doctor after a dog bite. Report to your nearest hospital to determine whether you’re dealing with minor injuries or severe damage that requires surgery. You should especially see a doctor if you don’t know the owner of the dog that bit you since you won’t be sure how up to date their vaccinations are.
– File a report. In Pennsylvania, you should contact your local police after a dog bites you. The police will create an official record of what happened and can check if there has been altercations with this animal previously. The penalties in Pennsylvania are more severe if the dog has exhibited dangerous behavior in the past. You should also contact animal control. They can advise the dog owner on the next steps for the animal and determine if the dog is being abused or neglected.
– Contact an attorney. Many factors can affect whether or not you have a legitimate case. Hiring a personal injury attorney experienced in dog bite injuries can help you navigate this complex situation. That’s why we provide FREE case evaluations.
To determine whether or not you have a case, dog bite lawyers will take into consideration:
- Whether you were hospitalized
- If you needed surgery, i.e., plastic, plates, or screws
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damaged during the incident
- If the dog was known to be dangerous or not
“Our daughter was bitten several times on her arms and legs by a neighbor’s dog. She suffered physical injury and psychological trauma. Someone at work told me about Randy Flager & Associates; so I went for a free case evaluation. My husband and I felt safe and secure placing our case in Randy’s hands. When it was over, we received what we believe to be a very fair settlement of $400,000 without a trial, which would have been very stressful on our daughter. We highly recommend Flager & Associates. Not only are they good lawyers; they make you feel like part of the family and that’s very important to us!”
Dog bites and attacks are typically covered under the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. However, laws differ by the state regarding a dog owner’s liability for dog bites. In Pennsylvania, an owner is liable for all damages when a person is severely attacked, or if a person is attacked by a dog that has previously been considered dangerous. Injured victims can recover full compensation if the dog owner was negligent or fails to comply with the state dog laws.