Dog Bites and Personal Injury: Here's What You Need to Know

Are you a dog bite victim? It may be time to meet with an attorney. Here's what you need to know about personal injury cases.

Whether you are out on a run, walking your dog, spending time at a park, or doing any other lawful activity, you deserve to feel safe and enjoy your personal activities without fear of injury. Unfortunately, many people are bitten and injured by dogs without provocation. Perhaps you were spending time with your kids at the park when an unleashed dog ran up and bit you or your child. Maybe you were on a jog when a dog ran out of its yard and nipped you. No matter where you were when the injury occurred, there are a few things you need to know about dog bites and the law.

Dog owners, and even landlords who rent to tenants with dogs, may be liable for injuries caused by a bite, attack, or other conduct that causes personal injuries. If the owner, or property owner, is aware that the dog has prior vicious propensity, the law will hold him or her responsible and you may be entitled to damages.

First, make sure you seek immediate medical attention to treat any injuries. Even if the bite seems minimal or insignificant, it is still important that you are treated by your physician as they may need to administer vaccinations for unseen risks. Be sure to keep documentation of the injury, your medical treatment, and your medical bills incurred.

Second, file a report with either the police or local dog control officer. Cooperate with the investigator and provide as much information as possible to identify the dog and what you were doing when bit. They may have access to registration and vaccination records for the dog which may also help your doctor assess what treatment is necessary. Pictures of injuries and any pictures or videos of the dog and the incident will go a long way to support your case.

Next, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as you are able. A personal injury attorney can make sure that the police or local dog control officer take appropriate steps with any dangerous dog proceeding, but in addition, that attorney will know what evidence is necessary to build a strong case supporting your claim for compensation related to your injury. Your attorney will want to know if the dog has bitten or attacked anyone before, so it is important to obtain information about the dog beforehand if you can. The attorney may also investigate other sources to determine this. She or he can also help you understand what type of compensation you can expect. Your attorney can also explain that you might be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries, mental injuries, medical bills, and lost wages, depending on the severity of the situation.

Meet with your attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself and begin pursuing your personal injury case. Keep in mind that each state has a statute of limitations related to personal injury cases, so it is important to file a police or local dog officer report and consult with a lawyer quickly. And as always, be sure to keep any and all evidence you may possess that can help prove your case.