What to do When Your Dog Bites Someone

What to do When Your Dog Bites Someone

Boy playing with his friendly dog

Being bitten by a dog can be frightening, but it’s also upsetting when your pet hurts someone else. You should have already taken care of the critical first steps: controlling your dog to stop the attack and ensuring the victim got prompt medical care. Now you have several other things to think to handle.

You may be concerned about your legal rights. What if the person decides to press charges? In these cases, a personal injury lawyer can help you defend yourself in court. A lawyer can help explain the laws of your state and which ones might apply to your situation.

What’s the First Thing You Should Do?

When a dog bites someone, people tend to react in shock and eventually panic. Especially as the dog owner, it is vital to take swift action to ensure the incident does not escalate. It is critical to remain calm, even if the bite is severe. Immediately restrain the dog to a crate, or another room, and offer help to the bite victim. The wound needs to be thoroughly cleaned to avoid infection. If the injury is bad enough, call an ambulance.

Exchange information with the victim like you would in a car accident. Make sure to get their name and contact information. It is also the time to provide your homeowner’s insurance information, hopefully including coverage for a dog bite. The best thing you can do is o avoid becoming aggressive with the victim or blaming them, since it may make them angry enough to file a lawsuit against you or involve animal control.

In most cases, the dog owner is responsible when their pets bite people. The injured person may sue for the damages, including any medical expenses associated with the bite. There are times when it is not fair to hold the owner responsible for the injury. Depending on the circumstances, dog owners and their insurance company may be able to fight back by arguing that the injured person:

  • provoked the dog
  • was trespassing at the time of the injury
  • voluntarily risked getting hurt by the dog after warnings

Insurance for Your Dog

One of the best things you can do as a dog owner, especially if you have a large dog, is to talk to your insurance company about whether your insurance policy covers dog bites in general and if your dog is explicitly covered. Insurance companies pay millions of dollars each year to defend dog bite claims made under homeowner’s insurance policies. If someone files a lawsuit claiming your dog bit them, and the incident is covered under your policy, that provides the best financial protection for you.

Responsibility as a Dog Owner

As a responsible dog owner, your job is to make sure that your dog does not bite people. You need to make sure that your dog is properly trained if you plan on taking it out in public, as well as having warning signs if your dog is allowed to run free on your property, even if you have fences. Another good step to take is to contact an attorney if a dog attack does occur. An attorney will be sure you take all of the appropriate actions you need to protect yourself and your pet. Give
One Law Group a call today at (844) 626-1LAW (844)626-1529.

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