You have always been close to your neighbors and like the place you live. One day, you decide to go for a walk when the neighbor’s dog barrels out of the front yard and in your direction. In the past, the dog has never shown signs of aggression—but the next thing you know, you’re getting attacked.
What should you do if you are bitten by a neighbor’s dog? Do you have a personal injury claim?
Most dog bite disputes fail to make it to a court of law. In many situations, the victim brushes off the incident and does not attempt to seek any type of justice, which is a mistake when the injuries may lead to future problems.
In other instances, the parties involved in the dog bite may negotiate a settlement outside of court. The settlement might cover medical expenses related to the incident. If the dog handler refuses to settle, you should consider filing a personal injury claim.
Dog bites are quite dangerous and can lead to future complications. For this reason, you should consider a personal injury lawsuit if the dog handler is not compliant. It may be your only route to financial compensation, as well as to preventing another dog bite in the future.
Dog Bite Accidents
In general, dogs are lovable animals that bring a lot of joy and fulfillment to people’s lives. However, any animal is capable of destructive behavior, and sometimes dog bites turn into serious encounters.
If you have been injured by a neighbor’s dog, you should consider legal action if the owner of the canine is unwilling to negotiate a settlement. While most victims attempt to avoid court at all costs, it is sometimes your only reasonable path to fair compensation.
Dog bites may lead to missed time from work, medical bills, and emotional trauma. Furthermore, dogs that demonstrate aggressive behavior in the past may repeat the same action—leaving others (like young children) in potential danger.
Overall, dog bite accidents are not harmless. Neighbors who fail to keep their pets corralled and trained must be held accountable, so the incident does not repeat itself. Furthermore, you deserve compensation if the dog bite led to more severe injuries, such as lacerations or even infections.
Stewart & Stewart serves victims of personal injury claims daily. We provide an initial consultation to clients free of charge, with absolutely no commitment. The goal is to meet with you and discuss the details of your case, as well as potential avenues for justice.
Local Animal Laws
After the dog bite, it may take some time for you to feel normal again. You are likely to be dealing with some level of shock and horror, as well as the trauma of suffering from pain and injuries. What is your next course of action?
Most communities enforce animal laws to protect humans from animal attacks. While most dogs are friendly and loving, they can still attack or bite humans if provoked. Therefore, a number of communities enforce leash laws or other restraints to prevent dog bites.
As a result, you and your legal team may be able to prove that the neighbor violated a local animal law. Speaking with an attorney allows the legal team to review any possible violations that will help build your case.
Steps to Take Following a Dog Bite
Whether you are an animal lover or tend to stay away from pets, getting bitten by a dog is a traumatic experience. Moreover, you may experience pain and suffering from a dog attack, as well as lost time from work.
Dog attacks can lead to serious injuries like infections, broken bones, extreme lacerations, and lifelong disfigurement. Consequently, you should not delay taking action if you are injured by a neighbor’s dog. Here are the proper steps to take to file a personal injury claim:
1. Identify the owner of the dog. The dog owner may or may not have witnessed the incident. However, if the canine belongs to a neighbor, you should at least be able to identify who is responsible for the animal.
2. Contact animal control. Most local jurisdictions require victims of dog bites to report the incident to animal control. This notifies the organization about potentially aggressive animals in neighborhoods, and further action can be taken if necessary.
3. Seek medical attention for your injuries. Do not hesitate to call 911 (even if you are afraid of how you will cover the medical expenses) or visit an urgent care center as soon as possible. A doctor can provide you with an official diagnosis and record of your injuries, which will strengthen your case if you choose to file a personal injury claim.
4. Collect evidence of the dog bite attack. If possible, take photos of the dog, scene of the attack, and your injuries. If there were witnesses, you should also try to exchange contact information. The more evidence you have, the better!
5. Contact a personal injury attorney.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney
Stewart & Stewart has successfully represented numerous victims of dog bites. Our attorneys have years of experience handling personal injury claims in a court of law. We’re on your side and are prepared to work closely with you to build a winning case. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.