If a dog attacks you or someone else, it is within your rights to take any action necessary to end the attack. In some cases, you may even need to kill the dog when it’s legally justifiable. Although most dogs won’t attack unless provoked out of fear, anxiety or protectiveness, there are many ways a dog owner may be held liable for dog bites. Bite victims can build a case with a dog bite attorney if they suspect the owner is at fault.
Taking Action Following Dog Bites
The first thing you should do after you or someone else has been attacked is to get the name and phone number of the dog’s owner, along with witness information for possible testimonies. Even if you don’t plan on filing a lawsuit immediately following an attack, you may find that injuries develop over time and decide to build a personal injury case. If you don’t know who owns the dog, then the local animal control department may be able to locate the dog based on descriptions you provide, and find its owner that way.
Once you have the names and contact information of a dog’s owner and any witnesses present, you should seek medical attention for any injuries sustained if necessary. Contact medical professionals immediately if you suspect the dog was infected with rabies or other diseases. Many cities may require a dog that’s recently bitten someone to be quarantined away from people and other animals, preventing them from making physical contact with others if they are infected with rabies.
You should also gain access to animal control department records after an attack. Local records may reveal that the attacking dog has a history of attacks. Dogs that have repeatedly attacked people may be labeled “dangerous” in some states and cities and require euthanasia if a judge orders it.
Building a Case
With help from a licensed dog bite attorney, you can gather all medical reports, witness testimonies and animal control department records to file a lawsuit against the owner of an attacking dog. Dog bite lawyers will be able to use all of the information gathered to help you recover the highest compensation from liable owners and prevent future attacks.