Whether you have a dog or not, it can be hard to see them as aggressive. In many instances, you may find these animals loving and unconditionally loyal. However, they are still animals, and a dog attack can occur. As such, you must ensure you know how to proceed in these instances. The following blog explores what steps you must take after the incident and how a Sacramento dog bite lawyer can help you ensure the negligent party faces liability. Read on to learn more about these unfortunate circumstances.
If I’m the Victim of a Dog Attack, What Should I Do?
When you are attacked by a dog, understanding how to proceed is necessary to ensure you get the care you need. In general, the first thing you should do, assuming you do not need emergency medical treatment, in which case you should call 911, is to get the information of the owner and their dog. This is imperative, as it ensures you can treat the injuries as necessary.
Knowing the identity of the owner and their dog allows the county to look into the dog’s medical records. Essentially, this informs you if the dog has received their necessary vaccinations, as you may need to get a rabies shot if the dog is not up to date. Additionally, this ensures the wounds inflicted will be treated correctly to prevent an infection.
You must also report the injury to your local town or county animal control officials to file a report. This can help document the injuries you’ve endured. Filing a report also helps provide proof that the animal has a history of violence in the event they attack another person.
Who Can Face Liability?
Some states give dogs a “free bite” to prove they are aggressive. However, this is not the case in all states. In California, the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries the pet inflicts on another person. This is regardless of whether or not the owner knew or did not know their dog was aggressive.
One of the only exceptions to this occurs when the victim is trespassing on the property or they were provoking or abusing the dog prior to the attack.
What Compensation Can I Seek?
If you are attacked by a dog, it’s important to understand that you can seek compensation for the injuries you’ve endured as a result. This includes economic damages, like medical expenses, the cost of prescription medication, rehabilitation costs, and any wages you have lost if you must take time off work to heal after the attack. Additionally, you can recover non-economic damages for scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and humiliation.
Unfortunately, dog attacks are not uncommon. As such, it’s essential to understand that it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through the process of recovering compensation for the injuries and damages you’ve endured at the hands of an aggressive dog or their negligent owner.