Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
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What to Do as that Victim of a Dog Bite or Animal Attack
To preserve your claim against the owner of the dog, try to do the following:
- Identify the animal that bit you. If the animal isn't caught and tested, you may be subject to a very painful series of rabies vaccinations.
- Get the name, address, and telephone number of the person who own the animal and everyone who witnessed the attack.
- Get medical attention. Keep track of your medical bills and treatments.
- Photograph the wounds if possible.
- Don't sign anything until you're had the chance to discuss your matter with a lawyer.
Possible Recoveries for Victims of Dog Bites / Animal Attacks
Victims of dog bites or other animal attacks may be able to recover for:
- Medical treatments and medications
- Future medical treatment
- Psychological counseling
- Loss of work earnings
Animal Owner's Legal Responsibility for A Dog Attack
An animal owner may be legally responsible for the attacks of their dog or other pet. To protect themselves against liability, the animal owners should:
- Get Insurance - if you own a dog or other potentially dangerous animal, be sure to have homeowner's or renter's insurance. Check your policies. Some insurance companies do not cover animals or certain breeds of dogs.
- Become familiar with your state, city and community ordinances on dog ownership.
- Some states have "strict liability" statutes, which mean that if your animal attacks or bites someone, you are legally responsible by virtue of your ownership of that animal.
- Other states require proof that the animal had a "propensity for violence" and that you knew or should have known about this animal's behavior before you become liable.
- Some statutes make special rules for pit bulls, rottweilers, chows, akitas or other similarly aggressive breeds.
What to Do If Your Animal Bites or Attacks Someone
- Stay calm and be as nice and accommodating as possible.
- Make sure that the victim gets medical attention.
- Get the names, numbers and phone numbers of witnesses.
- Avoid making any statements about the situation.
- Locate and preserve your animals medical records including proof of rabies shots.
Seeking Legal Help
If you or a loved one are a victim of a dog bite or other animal attack, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer immediately to learn more about preserving your rights and remedies. A lawyer will be able to explain the value of your case and help you navigate through the complicated legal process. Most lawyers who handle these types of personal injury matters work on a contingency basis.
If your dog or other animal attacks someone, and you believe you will be sued for the victim's injuries, you should speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.
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Last Modified: 03-01-2016 12:30 PM PST
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