Few people ever stop and think about what they would do if attacked by a dog.
However, a dog attack can happen at any moment to anyone. In this post, we’ll share a few steps to follow in the event you’re ever attached by a vicious dog.
(If you have already been attacked by a dog and would like to speak with a lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, click here and request a free consultation.)
Call Animal Control
In the event that you are bitten by a vicious dog, you need to immediately report the event to your nearest county animal control center and your police department. Please ensure that you immediately advise them about the incident and request that they immediately come out and investigate the incident and interview you and the owner of the dog.
Animal control investigators will investigate the situation and report all incidents to the prosecutor’s office. In most cases, where a victim has been involved in a vicious dog attack, the owner can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and proceedings can be initiated to declare the dog to be dangerous. You need to ensure that you cooperate with your prosecutor to secure a conviction.
Provide a Detailed Report
Provide your local animal control center with a thorough report of how the incident occurred and an outline (in detail) of all the unsafe things that the dog did that violated your safety. Please keep in mind that if one of your pets is also a victim of a dog bite incident that you are also entitled to damages that you incurred to treat your animal’s injuries.
An owner of a dog is responsible for the actions of that dog and can be held strictly liable for all injuries caused by their dog. In Ohio, we have a strict liability standard. All you need to prove is that the Defendant was the owner of the dog, that the dog committed the act complained of, and that the act was the cause of your injuries and damages.
Get Proper Medical Attention
It is critical in a dog bite incident that you obtain immediate medical care and treatment (or, if your animal was injured, get your animal to the veterinarian). It is important that you provide all of your treating physicians or veterinarians with a thorough medical history. Provide them with a thorough history of all of the injuries and let them know if the pain is constant or whether it comes and goes. Describe the frequency and extent of the pain for each of your injuries.
By providing all of your physicians and veterinarians with a thorough medical history, they will thoroughly document those injuries in their records. When those records are disclosed to the insurance adjuster, they will help describe the extent of the pain and the nature and extent of all of your injuries and losses.
Talk to the Owner
In addition to reporting the claim to the police, your local animal control center, and your treating physicians or veterinarians, it is critical that you ask the owner of the dog if they had any insurance that would cover you for the losses that you or your animal sustained. Explain to the owner of the dog that it would be easier to resolve any outstanding bills through their insurance company rather than dealing with the incident independently. It is also a good idea to remind the investigating police officer or animal control investigator to ask the owner of the dog to verify if they had any available insurance to cover your losses. Often times, we have found that investigating police officers and local animal control investigators rarely inquire whether the owner of the dog has any available insurance.
Need to Talk to a Lawyer?
If you have been attacked by a dog (or know someone who has), feel free to ask us a question. We’re happy to help you as you deal with this serious situation.