Animal and dog bite attacks require a full and prompt investigation so that none of the important facts and information will be lost:
Identify the animal
Rabies is the most important reason to identify the animal that bit the victim. If the animal is not identified and tested for rabies, the victim may have to undergo painful six-shot rabies treatment. Also, if the animal is a danger to others, it may need to be confined or destroyed.
Identify the owner of the animal
The owner may be held responsible to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages caused by the attack. It may be necessary to prove that the owner was aware of the dangerous nature of the animal and its tendency to bite and attack.
Identify all other parties who may be responsible
In addition to the owner of the attacking animal, others who may be responsible include landlords who allowed the dangerous animal to live on their property or who failed to repair fences, the animal caretaker or trainer, any person who angered or provoked the dog, law enforcement agencies if a police dog causes injury when ordered by its trainer to apply "unreasonable force,” or other government agencies such as animal control agencies for failing to keep an area safe from dangerous dogs or for exposing people to dangerous dogs at the pound.
Identify all insurance coverage that may be responsible to pay
Insurance that may be available to pay damages includes homeowners or other property liability insurance, self-insurance for government agencies, commercial insurance for landlords and businesses.
Investigate the "attack history” of the dog
This is essential information if someone claims that the victim provoked the dog into attacking. About 15 states allow a dog "one free bite.” Under these circumstances, it is important to show that the dog bit others or showed a propensity to bite, before this biting incident.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog attack, you may be entitled to:
- Payment for past and future medical treatment expenses, including mental health treatment
- Loss of past and future income and earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Other expenses caused by the attack
Additional punitive damages may be available if it can be proven that the responsible party knew that the dog was dangerous to others but intentionally did nothing to prevent attacks from happening.
To speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, fill out and submit the contact form on this page for a free and confidential case evaluation or call us toll-free at (888) 285-3333.