In a dog attack case, the first obstacle is to prove that either the dog was running around the neighborhood alone or the victim had a legal right to be on the pet owner's property. Most jurisdictions have leash laws that prevent owners from allowing dogs to run around on their own. To substantiate a right to be on the property, the victim needs permission from the property owner, or the individual had to enter the property due to their job duties.
Report the Dog Attack
Any victim of a dog attack must contact law enforcement or the local animal control officer to report the incident. If the victim has suffered severe injuries such as damaged muscles, the person or someone else should call 911. If there were any signs of rabies, the individual needs medical attention quickly to prevent fatal results. Victims who have suffered due to dog bite injuries get started by contacting a local attorney now.
Seek Emergency Medical Treatment
The person needs to visit an emergency room to get proper medical care. Damaged muscles could require surgical correction to prevent permanent disabilities or muscle loss. If the person needs to seek compensation from the accountable pet owner, the medical records are critical to the claim and show what injuries the victim sustained.
All invoices from the medical treatment show the exact cost of all procedures and medications required for the injuries. If the person needs ongoing medical care, their doctor could provide a cost projection for the services.
Hire An Attorney
An attorney helps victims who were injured in a dog attack start a legal claim if the responsible pet owner doesn't provide compensation through insurance or out-of-pocket payments. The claims allow the victim to collect compensation for economic losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and future wages if the person develops a permanent disability. Any attorney offers sound advice about the cases, and the legal representatives understand if the client has a viable claim against the pet owner.
Gather All Evidence of the Attack
In addition to medical records and invoices for all healthcare-related expenses, the client needs eyewitnesses that saw the dog attack to substantiate the series of events leading up to and during the attack. A report from the county animal control officer is also helpful.
If the dog wasn't vaccinated, the pet owner must surrender the animal to a licensed vet for an assessment. The evaluation is to determine if the dog has an aggressive temperament or shows any signs of rabies.
Understanding Strict Liabilities
Strict liabilities apply to dog attack cases if the dog has a previous history of attacking humans. These records are available through the county animal control officer. If the dog had a previous history, the pet owners face a strict liability, and laws may require the pet owners to pay all medical costs and provide a non-economic award because of their failure to prevent new attacks. Aggressive dogs could be removed from the pet owner's home if the individuals cannot maintain control over the animal and keep others out of harm's way.
In dog attacks, defendants discredit claims if the victim entered the interior or exterior of their property illegally. If the victim was guilty of animal cruelty or abuse, the person doesn't have a viable claim. When going to court, the defendant's legal counsel will try to find any reason to throw the case out.