Dog attacks are one of the top reasons for children’s emergency room visits. Many dog bite injuries affect children’s faces, heads, and necks, and can often require stitches. If your child has been injured by a dog, it’s important to know what steps to take.
Get Emergency Help
Even for minor bites, it’s imperative to seek medical care. If the bite is severe, you should call 911 and tell the dispatcher your child has been attacked by a dog. You may need to answer some questions, but the dispatcher can send the help you require.
If your child doesn’t need immediate medical attention, it still is important to bring them to urgent care or the emergency room for medical evaluation. Rabies and infections are a serious threat after a dog attack, so your child should be seen by a physician.
Identify the Owner of the Dog
Many dog attacks happen in a child’s own neighborhood, which makes it easier to identify the dog and its owner. In a park or other busy, public area, however, it can be more challenging. Try to find the owner of the dog, and if needed, inform them of the attack and our child’s injuries. Get their name, phone number, and address, as well as the contact number, company name, and policy number of their homeowners' insurance.
File a Complaint with Animal Control
If a dog has attacked our child, it’s important to file a report with your local animal authorities. Your report can ensure that the city or county takes the necessary precautions to prevent another attack or quarantine the dog. It also can verify the date, time, and circumstances of the dog attack, which can be useful to pursue an injury claim. If there have been any other reports made against the dog or its owner, those can also be useful evidence of negligence.
Collect Evidence of the Attack
Photographs are powerful evidence of an attack, especially when they show the extent of your child’s suffering. A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when used to demonstrate your child’s injuries. Photograph your child’s injuries the day of the attack and throughout their recovery period. Take pictures of their ruined clothing, blood on the ground, or other emotionally triggering scenes from the attack. Photographic or video evidence of the dog itself, holes or damaged fencing that allowed it to escape its yard, or other signs of negligent ownership can also be helpful for your case.
Witness statements are another crucial piece of evidence, especially from those who have no financial or personal interest in your claim. These Good Samaritan witnesses should provide as detailed of an account as they can, especially fit hey can testify that your child didn’t provoke the dog to attack. Ask each witness to sign and date their statements as well.
Get Legal Help
You child’s claim is too important to simply trust that an insurance company will do the right thing. Insurance companies want to reduce their financial expenditure, which means that you can trust the company won’t want to pay you a fair amount for your child’s injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney has the knowledge and skill to pressure companies into fair settlements. They also can represent you in court if your case needs to go through litigation to be resolved. Your lawyer is an invaluable resource to help you navigate the complexities of your personal injury claim.
At The Law Offices of David Henderson, my team is passionate about providing effective, client-focused legal counsel. I am an Anchorage personal injury attorney with more than 15 years of experience and have obtained millions of dollars I verdicts for my clients. Schedule a free consultation to learn how I can help you, too.
Contact my office today by calling (888) 295-6566.