Dog Bite Injury FAQ

michaelIf you’ve been bitten by a dog, the first thing you need to do is to take care of the wound that you received. If it’s extremely significant and you need hospitalization, you should call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

What Should You Do After a Dog Bite

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, the first thing you need to do is to take care of the wound that you received. If it’s extremely significant and you need hospitalization, you should call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If it’s not serious enough but the dog has broken the skin or you’re bleeding, you need to place a towel over the injury to stop your bleeding, keep it elevated, wash the bite area with soap and water, apply a bandage and antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. If you see a doctor for your injury, you need to be prepared to give as much information about the dog if you know it as possible, information like whether the dog had all its vaccinations or did the dog have rabies or do you know the owner of the dog, and you also need to provide your doctor with any other health conditions you may have, illnesses or any immune system disorders. The doctor will examine you usually to see if the bite was deep enough to damage any muscles or tendons or nerves and they will also again clean it and remove any dirt or bacteria. You usually take antibiotics for a certain amount of time, a week usually to treat for infection, and then if you believe that the dog bite was not from your own provocation. I you were attacked by someone else’s dog you may have a right to bring a claim, you need to contact an injury lawyer to discuss the potential liability and if you may be able to recover for that injury.

What To Do If My Dog Bit Someone

If you own a dog that has bitten someone, the most important thing to find out first is whether your homeowner’s policy covers what’s called, canine liability and that’s basic dog bite insurance. It would be covered through your homeowner’s policy. Even if you have a small dog, regardless of the size, you need to find out if you’re covered, because all dogs can potentially bite and since the law treats any dog bite or subsequent infection as coming from that dog bite, you may be potentially liable for that injury. The good news is that most basic homeowner’s policies do cover injuries resulting from dog bites. They may also if you don’t own a home be covered under your rental – renter’s policy, as well, so you need to check your renter’s policy to see if you have canine liability. Some policies do specifically omit coverage for dogs, so you need to carefully examine the policy or talk to your insurance agent.

Are Dog Bites Dangerous?

Dog bites can be dangerous. Medical care should be accessed if the dog bite in any way disrupts the skin where it punctures it or tears it or if there’s bleeding. If the skin is not punctured then and it’s just an abrasion, you just need to look for signs of infection before you seek medical care. You also need to determine if the dog may or may not have had rabies and whether you may require rabies immunization or a tetanus shot and usually your doctor can tell you that information. If the dog does have rabies you need to start treatment immediately following the dog bite to limit how much injury you will sustain.

How long does a dog bite take to heal?

A dog bite, depending on how significant the bite is, if it’s just an abrasion it’ll usually heal in a few days. If it’s a deep puncture wound it can take a week or two weeks. Normally that is treated with antibiotic ointment to prevent an infection and so ultimately receiving treatment as quickly as possible will limit the amount of time that future treatment will require.

How Long After a Dog Bite Can You Sue?

Generally, the statute of limitations for a dog attack or a dog injury is just like any other personal injury claim and it varies by each state law. It’s normally a negligence claim for the dog owner who has failed to supervise or restrain his dog, and so each state will have a different amount of time in which you can bring a lawsuit. In Florida the statute of limitations for a dog bite case is four years. That means that your lawsuit against the owner of the dog or what any person that was in control of the dog must be filed in the correct court within that statute of limitations period. Otherwise, your case may be forever barred. If you’re unsure of the statute of limitations or have questions as to this issue, you need to contact an accident or injury attorney right away.

 

How Much Does A Dog Bite Lawsuit Cost?

Normally, if you’ve been bitten by a dog and that dog’s owner has homeowner’s insurance or the homeowner has money that you can recover for your injuries a personal injury lawyer will normally accept that case on a contingency fee basis. That means that you pay no money upfront to bring your claim and the lawyer only collects when they recover money for you. Those monies will be charged once the insurance company or the homeowner or the dog owner agrees to make payment to you for your injuries. So initially the cost out of pocket to you will be nothing if the lawyer agrees to take your claim on a contingency fee basis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Rabies From A Dog Bite

After the first exposure from a dog bite, the symptoms of itching or discomfort like pins and needles pricking the skin occur at the dog bite area. In addition, the person may develop a fever and headaches; these symptoms usually last anywhere from two days to potentially weeks. There’s an acute phase of the disease and that begins to set in any time from two days and longer. The National Institute of Health suggest that the average incubation or latent incubation period can last anywhere from three to seven weeks but those symptoms may not appear for even longer. Other symptoms that you may have if you’ve contracted rabies from a bite include anxiety, stress or tension, delirium, convulsions, extreme sensation at the bite site, hallucinations, loss of feeling in that area of the body or loss of muscle function, fevers, muscle spasms, numbness and tingling, difficulty swallowing. If the symptoms persist it is potentially fatal so you need to seek treatment as quickly as possible from the time you have been bitten.

What are the risks of a dog bite?

The risks of a dog bite potentially are harm to muscles or tendons or bone if the bite is significant enough or deep enough. If it’s not, if it’s broken the skin, you run a risk of infection or rabies. Treatment needs to be undertaken as quickly as possible from the date of the dog bite and will usually require some sort of antibiotic or potentially a tetanus shot to prevent rabies.

What Happens When You Report A Dog Bite

You should contact either the police so that they can do an investigation of the incident or your local Animal Control office so that they can then write a report and determine if this dog has bitten anyone in the past, if there’s been prior incidents with this dog owner and to determine if the dog is up-to-date on all of its vaccinations or if potentially the dog has rabies. Contacting the police or Animal Control is extremely important after a dog bite.

Who Is Responsible For A Dog Bite

The responsible person in a dog bite is either the owner of the dog or the person is responsible for the dog at the time that the incident occurred. That means that if you’re aware of the owner and they were the one who is responsible for the dog at the time of the bite, they may be covered under insurance and the insurance company would be responsible to pay for your injuries. That insurance company could either be their homeowner’s insurance company or their renter’s insurance company, depending on whether they own or rent a home. The same thing applies to anyone who is in possession or control of a dog. Again, their homeowner’s or renter’s policy and that insurance company would potentially be responsible to pay for your damages.

How do you sue someone for a dog bite?

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, you have a right to bring a claim against the person who owned the dog or the person who is in control of the dog.  You can contact a personal injury lawyer to represent you on a contingency fee basis to bring your claim. Normally they’re able to work with the homeowner or the homeowner’s insurance to reach a settlement for money damages for your injury, your medical bills and your pain and suffering. If they are not able to do that they will then file a lawsuit against the homeowner or the dog owner to collect the full value of your damages.

Is A Dog Bite A Crime

Normally, a dog bite is not considered a crime. It is normally a civil action for negligence or failing to supervise or control your animal. There are certain circumstances where a dog bite may be a crime if the dog’s had a prior history of dog bites or were a certain type of breed that is known as more aggressive or more vicious. It depends on the laws within your particular state that would govern whether or not this may be a crime.

What happens when Animal Control is called for a dog bite?

When Animal Control is called for a dog bite they normally open a file and begin an investigation. They interview the dog owner or the person who is in control of the dog. They try to determine if the dog is up-to-date on their shots, whether they have rabies, and they also look to see if the animal has had any prior history of aggression toward anyone else. Animal Control will then complete an investigation and that information from the investigation will be available to you or your lawyer in the event you wish to make a claim.

What Happens When A Dog Bites A Child

When a dog bites a child, the injuries can be more significant than when they bite an adult. Because of the size of a child and a dog’s ability to incur damage, the injuries may be more significant. A child may sustain a greater puncture wound or the bite of the dog may be deeper than it would be on an adult. Again, a child faces similar potential medical issues to an adult, including infection, rabies. If your child has been bitten it is important that you immediately take them to seek medical attention whether through your pediatrician, an urgent care or the hospital.

What Is The Average Settlement For A Dog Bite

The average settlement for a dog bite depends on the extent of your injuries and the amount of coverage that is available through the homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance of the dog owner. Depending on the cost of your medical bills and treatment, the future cost of medical bills and the amount of your pain and suffering, the amount of a settlement will differ. Ultimately, you need to seek a personal injury lawyer who can give you advice as to what they feel the value of your particular injuries are.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Dog Bite

The statute of limitations on a dog bite vary depending upon what state you are located in. Normally, a dog bite is considered a negligence claim and, therefore, similar to a car accident has a statute of limitations set by the legislature of each state. In Florida, for example, a dog bite claim has a statute of limitations of four years. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the statute of limitations in your state.

What Is The One Bite Rule

Some states have a law that is commonly known as the one-bite rule. It means that if a dog has never bitten or been aggressive toward another person in the past, they would assume that the owner of the dog would be unaware that their dog could cause harm to another person. So in some states they don’t hold the dog owner liable if it is the first time that their dog has bitten someone. However, this doesn’t apply in every state. Therefore, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the laws that govern your potential claim for a dog bite.

What Are Common Dog Bite Lawsuit Questions

There are certain suggestions for dog ownership to help to limit whether a dog will bite another person or try to help lower the chances of that occurring. The Insurance Information Institute actually offers seven tips on dog ownership. The first is to consult with a professional, such as a veterinarian, animal behaviorist or breeder, to learn about suitable breeds of dogs for your household or your neighborhood. Second, to spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it and particularly to use caution in bringing a dog into a home that has an infant or a toddler. Third, to have your dog spayed or neutered. Studies show that dogs are three times more likely to bite if they are not fixed. The fourth is to socialize your dog so it knows how to act around people and animals. Fifth is to teach children to refrain from disturbing a dog that is either eating or sleeping. Sixth is to play nonaggressive games with your dog, such as fetch, as compared to playing aggressive games like tug of war that could encourage inappropriate behavior. And seventh, never approach a strange dog and always avoid eye contact with a dog that appears to be threatening.

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Today

At Steinger, Greene and Feiner, our experienced personal injury lawyers have the strong legal backgrounds and extensive legal knowledge that you need to have the best chance of a successful personal injury claim. Whether you are negotiating a settlement outside of court or proving your claim to a jury, you can trust us to use our legal skills to help you get the best outcome possible.
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