If you have a beloved family dog, like millions of other Americans do, chances are slim that you believe it would ever bite anyone. After all, who knows your dog better than you? Despite what you may think, any dog is capable of causing a dog bite injury. Even the most well behaved dogs can lash out unexpectedly. If you find yourself in a situation where your dog has injured someone through a dog bite, these steps may be helpful in navigating through what can be a confusing and scary situation.
1. Remain Calm
Keeping calm is going to be difficult if your dog has just bitten someone, but you’ve got to do your best. It will be a lot easier to get your dog under control and provide medical assistance if necessary, if you remain calm. At this point your focus should be on making sure that your animal is prevented from causing any more injuries and that those in need of medical assistance are able to be helped.
2. Call for Medical Help
If a serious dog bite injury has resulted, call 911 right away. Let the 911 operator know where the injured person is located and what kind of injuries that they sustained.
3. Exchange Information
Give your name, phone number and address to the victim and get theirs in return. If there were any witnesses to the bite, ask for their information as well. Additionally it may be helpful for the injured person to know whether or not your dog is current on its vaccinations.
4. Be Prepared to Speak to Animal Control or Police
In many jurisdictions, a reported dog bite requires follow-up by animal control officers or the police. If an officer comes knocking on your door, they may want to see your dog’s veterinary records and hear your side of the incident.
5. Consider What May Happen Next
Often dog bite victims will have medical bills and expenses related to the incident. In serious cases, the bills and medical treatment can be very substantial. You may be contacted by the dog bite victim or their lawyer. In some cases you may be asked to provide your insurance information and in some cases you may be served with a lawsuit. You should consider speaking to a lawyer that handles civil defense litigation cases or potentially your homeowners insurance company if you have one. Many people that have a homeowner’s policy that may provide coverage for a dog bite injury do not want to file claims with their insurance carrier because they know that claims can increase their premiums or even lead to a loss of coverage. In many cases people will decide to let their insurance company get involved once they have been served with a lawsuit or the threat of one.
Our office does not handle dog bite defense cases because we only represent plaintiffs. However if you are the victim of a dog bite in Charlotte, you have rights and there are also steps that you should take to protect yourself. Call our team of experienced dog bite attorneys to discover more about recovering compensation for your injuries. Your consultation is free and hiring our law firm does not require any initial payments to be made to us. We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we are able to help you obtain a settlement or verdict.