Do you have a dog? If so, you know that they can be great pets, but they can also be quite dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year. Of those, half require medical attention. If you have been injured by a dog bite, it is essential to know your rights. We will discuss five tips for filing a dog bite lawsuit.
1. Notify the Police
After any dangerous incident, you should contact your local police department. This will ensure that there is an official record of the event. As you probably know, dogs are considered property in the eyes of the law. Therefore, it can be essential to prove who owns a dog and their prior history. Having an official report filed by the authorities will help you do this. It may also aid your case if you decide to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog for injuries received as a result of their pet’s actions.
2. Get Medical Treatment
The majority of the people who get dog bites require medical attention for their injuries. After an incident like this, the best thing you can do is seek immediate medical care. This will ensure that your injuries are properly documented and that you receive the proper treatment for them. Also, because dog bites can become seriously infected very quickly, it’s essential to take the time to get checked out right away. If you don’t do so, you may be putting yourself at serious risk later on.
3. Gather Evidence
If you have been injured by a dog bite, you should always gather evidence of your injuries. Take photos of the wounds as soon as possible after they occur and keep all records of any expenses related to your recovery (for example, doctor visits). It would be best to write down what happened before and during the attack in case, there is an official investigation. The more evidence you can gather, the better your chances of winning your case.
4. Understand the Legal Consequences
In many states, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their pets. This means that even if a dog has never been aggressive before, the owner still may be legally responsible for any injuries received from an attack. If you plan on filing a lawsuit, it’s essential to understand the legal consequences of proving strict liability. Your attorney can explain these in more detail what you need to understand the process.
5. File your Lawsuit Promptly
One of the most important things that you can do after being attacked by a dog is to file your lawsuit as soon as possible. The reason for this is that there are typically time limits involved with filing a personal injury lawsuit, and they vary from state to state. If you meet the deadline and cannot provide a valid reason for missing it, you could lose your right to take legal action against the liable parties.
So, there you have it. You should consider the five most essential things when filing a dog bite lawsuit. Of course, your case may differ from the one we have just discussed, so please feel free to contact your lawyer if you would like additional information or any other questions.