/ Blog/ What should I do legally if I am ever bit by a dog?
While many dogs are quite friendly and easy going, they can also cause severe injuries to humans that could result in costly medical expenses. Wilson Kehoe Winingham is a personal injury law firm that has extensive experience in dealing with dog bites and personal injury claims. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to get what you deserve if a dog or other animal has caused an injury to you or a family member.
All personal injury cases in Indiana are covered by a two-year statute of limitations. Be sure to file your claim before two years have passed since the incident.
Animals, even beloved pets, can be quite unpredictable and dog bites often occur when an otherwise docile pet is excited by the circumstances, causing it to bite someone. Dog owners are liable for injuries caused by their pet if the owner knew or should have known the dog would act aggressively or bite. How this is proven in court depends on the facts of the specific case. If the dog has bitten anyone or is known to be aggressive, this may be enough to prove the owner should have known the dog would attack.
The negligence rule is not related to what the owner actually knew about the dog. Instead, it is used to make the case that the owner did not exercise reasonable care to prevent the injury their dog caused.
While an attack from a dog can be distressing, it is important to follow some very important and simple rules. Following these steps will help make the case later on.
First, it is incredibly important to obtain the identity of the animal that bit you and its owner. Being bitten by a stray means having to go through painful treatment for rabies, and could preclude any possibility of civil damages, because there is no human owner to charge.
Next, ensure that you take photographs of the injuries sustained prior to receiving treatment. Photographic evidence is the first step in establishing the severity of the injuries, and may even allow expert testimony to corroborate that the injuries were sustained by a dog bite.
After this, it is vitally important to seek the care of a physician, who can document the dog bit incident and provide treatment. Doctors can also testify in court to the severity of the injuries sustained and what they believe to be the cause.
Lastly, a report should be filed with the local animal control agency. Be sure to fully cooperate with the investigating officers, as they are some of the most valuable resources in the event of a dog bite.
If the dog bite is severe, the first and most important priority is taking care of yourself and the wounds. If medical assistance is needed immediately, call 911.
Dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets, and they can face heavy civil damages in the event that they bite or attack a human. If a dog has attacked you, be sure to contact the legal team at Wilson Kehoe Winingham today.
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