When A Dog Bite Heads To Court

One minute you are taking a jog through the neighborhood, and the next minute you are bandaging a dog bite you encountered. There are about 4.5 million dog bites that occur each year, according to the CDC. When this happens to you, it can be confusing knowing what your next steps should be. With so many dog bites every year, the law makes it clear who is responsible and what action should be taken. If you've been bitten by a dog, here are some tips that will help you move your personal injury case forward. 

Contacting a Lawyer

When it comes to taking a dog bite to the next level, it can be confusing whether you should call a lawyer or not. The easiest way to determine this is by deciding if the dog bite was unavoidable. If you were at fault by going into the person's yard, then you may be at fault. If the dog attacked you while you were walking by, then the owner could be at fault. You also want to consider what type of injury was sustained. If the bite has long-term effects, you should give a personal injury lawyer a call. You also want to find out the dog's history. Your lawyer can help you determine if you have a case or not. 

Your State Laws

All states differ when it comes to dog bites. Typically, your state will either have a "one-bite" rule or adhere to the "strict liability" law. You need to determine which side your state tends to side with. For states that follow the "one-bite" rule, you really need to find out the dog's past biting history. You can retrieve this through your local animal control chapter if the dog has a past.If it is the first time a dog has bitten anyone, then the owner would not be responsible for any damages. If the bite was in a "strict liability" state, then the owner will likely be held responsible for the injury. This is important when deciding who is responsible for medical expenses, injuries, and other expenses. 

After the Attack

Once the attack has occurred, you need to notify the dog's owner and get all their information. If there are any witnesses to the attack, you will also want to get their information as well. Once this is done, you need to seek medical treatment for any injuries you have sustained. All treatment should be documented so you have it when you go to settle your case or visit court. This will also need to show any expenses that pertained to the bite. Once you have done all this, you should speak with your lawyer about your next steps. 

To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer like Schlicter & Schonack LLP