LOS ANGELES – LIVING – Pets can be a cherished part of your family. If your dog bites someone, then you might be worried about what is going to happen to your best friend. Dogs are animals with instincts. There are times when they bite out of fear and as a method of protection, which can both be expected. There are also times when they bite without any provocation. In the US, it is estimated that there are as many as four and a half million people who are bitten by family dogs. Of those bite victims, one in five requires serious medical intervention.
The Centers for Disease Control’s statistics indicate that half of the people who are bitten by dogs are between the ages of five and nine. Of dog bites in the US, most of them involve people that the dog is familiar with. Although most bites are rarely serious, it can be highly publicized when a dog bite does cause severe damage to an individual. That has led to some breeds getting a bad reputation and legislation being introduced to curb dog bite incidents around the nation. If your dog bites someone, you may be held liable for some substantial monetary consequences.
If your dog bites someone, the actions you take immediately following the attack can have profound consequences on what happens next. The best thing you can do is to not accuse the victim or to excuse the dog bite, and try to calm the person down. If you start to blame the victim, you could be creating a scenario of resentment, and they may be more likely to try to gain compensation.
The dog-bite victim has the option of hiring a dog bite lawyer Los Angeles, to recover for their injuries if they are extensive enough. But with some kindness and concern on your part, you may be able to settle the situation with very little trouble. Dogs might be man’s best friend, but they are still animals — and therefore unpredictable. Even if they have never shown a tendency to be aggressive, events and specific conditions might make them behave in uncharacteristic ways.
In some states, if your dog bites someone you can both be held liable, and your dog can be quarantined if their vaccinations aren’t up to date, or put down if it is not their first bite or if the bite is severe enough for law enforcement to consider them dangerous. Even if the bite appears to be minimal, dog bites have a high likelihood of becoming infected if not cared for properly. It is critical that you insist that anyone who is bitten by your dog seek medical attention. If the skin is broken at all, an infection can quickly get both serious and costly.
When the person does seek a physician’s care, make sure to pick up the cost of treatment immediately so that you aren’t putting any undue burden on the victim. Either pay their deductible or their entire medical bill to prevent them making a personal injury claim against you. In many states, if your dog bites someone, it is illegal for you to leave the scene before you give the victim all your information and ensure that they are okay. You also should offer to make any financial restitutions necessary to care for their injuries.
If the dog bite happens on your property, it is imperative that you contact your homeowner’s insurance company immediately to notify them of the incident. Your insurer will begin a claim so that they have all the necessary information to defend you if the incident ever gets escalated to a personal injury case. If your dog bites someone and the victim reports the bite to the authorities, law enforcement does have the right to take your dog to an animal shelter for observation. If your dog’s shots are up to date, then they won’t be subjected to rabies treatment, which is why keeping your dog’s vaccinations current is very important.
Many states operate under the strict liability rule, which means that the animal owner is always responsible for the dog bite. But there are exceptions, like when someone is trespassing. If your dog bites someone, it is important that you take the right steps to minimize the fallout, contact your homeowner’s insurance and call a personal injury lawyer for advice, just in case the victim escalates the dog bite to a personal injury lawsuit.