Victims of a dog attack have several options when collecting compensation. If the dog attacks the victim in front of the owner or while the victim was visiting the pet owner, the pet owner has an option to start an insurance claim to cover the victim’s expenses. However, if the pet owner isn’t aware of the attack, it is important to allow the animal control officer to manage the investigation.
The outcome of a dog attack could vary based on several factors. These factors include the size of the dog, an aggressive temperament, and how the victim is injured. For some victims, the injuries lead to a fatality, and the family must start a legal claim against the pet owner.
Details About the Dog Attack
The victim must provide details about the dog attack to their attorney, and it is vital for them to preserve these details quickly. If necessary, the victim could get their attorney to meet them at the hospital if their injuries are severe. The victim will need to know details about the dog, such as the breed and where it was located. An animal control officer can find out who owns the dog. After a victim has bitten by a dog, they can contact a lawyer to help them.
Evidence of Injuries
The victim must gather evidence of their injuries, and the first and most obvious evidence is their medical records. The records show how severely the victim was injured by the dog. If the victim lost a limb, the court will receive documented evidence that shows the dog attack was the cause of the loss.
Define Their Right to Be in Or on the Property
A commonality in dog attack cases is defining the right to be on or in the property. Typically, the victim must have the property owner’s permission to be on the property or it is necessary for them to enter the exterior or interior of the property to complete their job duties. Pet owners may try to say the victim was trespassing or was on the property without their permission. The owner may also accuse the victim of animal cruelty or provoking the dog to get the animal to attack.
You Must Report the Dog Attack
Victims of a dog attack must report the dog attack. If it is not reported, essentially, it didn’t happen. The victim has the option to report the dog attack to their doctor when seeking medical attention or the victim could contact the county animal control officer and report the attack directly. Once the dog attack is reported, the animal control officer investigates and tracks down the dog owner. The animal control officer will visit the pet owner’s home to collect information about the dog.
Find Out If the Dog Was Vaccinated
There is a risk of contracting the rabies virus if an unvaccinated dog bites a human. If the animal control officer discovers that the dog wasn’t vaccinated, they can order a quarantine. The 12-day quarantine is managed by a licensed vet, and the vet must evaluate the dog for signs of rabies and aggressive behaviors that pose a threat to society.
The vet completes a report for the pet owner at the end of the quarantine that defines if the dog will be returned to the owner. The dog will be vaccinated at the end of the quarantine if the animal doesn’t have rabies. The pet owner must pay all the expenses related to the quarantine and vaccinating the animal.
Did the Dog Have A History of Previous Attacks?
The animal control officer will conduct a search to determine if the dog has been involved in any previous attacks. If the dog was involved in other attacks, the animal control officer can take action and refuse to return the dog to its owner. The pet owner could face a strict liability if their dog was involved in previous attacks and the pet owner failed to mitigate the risk of a new attack.
If a strict liability is applied, the pet owner is required to pay all the victim’s medical expenses, and the victim may get an award based on claims such as pain and suffering.
Did the Victim Sustain A Disability or Permanent Condition?
Any disabilities or permanent conditions caused during the dog attack could increase the monetary award the victim receives. Typically, the injuries must be severe such as a loss of limb, disfigurement, the loss of organ function, or paralysis.
When reviewing the victim’s medical expenses, it is necessary to determine if there will be ongoing medical treatments for the injuries and if these costs will increase after the case is finalized.
Coverage Through Homeowner’s Insurance
Pet owners who own a home may have coverage for these liabilities through their homeowner’s insurance policy. If they file a claim for the victim, it could provide them with enough coverage for the medical expenses and compensate the victim for any losses that have incurred. However, if the pet owner refused to file a claim, the victim is within their rights to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
Victims of a dog attack must act quickly and report the attack to the proper authorities. The victims must seek medical attention to document their injuries and get medical treatment. By reporting the dog attack, the victim can initiate an investigation into what happened and gather more documentation about the dog attack. The animal control officer will find out who owns the dog and if the dog was vaccinated. A report is created for the dog attack, and it is available to the victim’s attorney.
If the dog wasn’t vaccinated, he or she must enter into quarantine to determine if the animal has rabies. A licensed vet oversees the quarantine and will vaccinate the pet if he or she doesn’t have rabies. Any dog that has rabies must be euthanized as they present a serious risk to the public. Victims of dog attacks must follow vital steps to gather evidence of the attack and their injuries before they go to court.