Law

Your Legal Options After a Dog Attack

Most dog owners recognize their responsibility to keep their animal under control. Others reject this obligation and allow their dogs to run wild. The law makes owners liable for any injuries caused by their animal during an attack. Unless the attack was against an intruder or in response to violence against the owner, the owner is liable for damages that result from a dog bite.

Your Right to be Safe

Dog owners walk their animals regularly. They may take a turn in the neighborhood. On a day that is
especially warm and sunny, the owner may take a stroll in the park. You also have the right to roam in these places, and you should be able to do so free of animal aggression and violence.

To be sure, you must take reasonable measures to avoid an attack. You should never pet a dog you do not know, even if you have the owner’s permission. If you have young children, you should put some distance between them and a dog you see approaching.

Owners must take concrete and effective steps to prevent their animals from causing harm to others. They should keep their dogs on a short leash; and if they know that the animal bites, they should put a muzzle on it.

Dog Attack Injuries

If you are bitten by a dog, you must go immediately to an emergency room to receive treatment. The wound will need to be cleaned, treated, and bandaged. You will also have to undergo a course of shots for rabies. If you are the victim of a more severe attack, you may need to spend days or even weeks in the hospital. You will of course lose your income during this period and will see the accumulation of hospital bills, including expenses related to rehabilitative care and prescription medicines.

When you are healthy enough to return to your job, you may be forced to reduce the number of hours you work or take a lower-paying position. The resulting financial stress and strain on your family can be unbearable. You should not have to shoulder this burden alone. The person whose negligence led to the attack should be held accountable.

Filing Suit Against the Owner

If you are thinking of filing suit against the owner of the dog that attacked you, you will need a lawyer. A lawyer can lay out your legal options and help you make the right decision. Dog owners tend to deny any wrongdoing when their animals attack innocent people. The owner will put up considerable resistance and try to put the blame for the attack on you.

Even if you know the owner, they are unlikely to be reasonable about the matter. If the attack occurred in their home, they may claim that you came to it uninvited. This can easily be disproved by emails, text messages, and social media posts. No matter the particulars of the attack, your lawyer will gather the evidence and put forth the legal arguments necessary to get you fair compensation.

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