Although each state handles dog-bite laws differently, there are ways to minimize the fallout if your furry friend wasn’t so friendly to someone else.
If your dog bites someone, then there are steps you can take to limit the damage to your pocketbook, your animal, and hopefully to the person who was bitten.
According to dog bite lawyer In some cases, a dog bite can become seriously damaging to a person’s finances, which is why the steps you take right, in the beginning, might save you from more stress down the road.
There was a time that if you got bitten by someone’s dog, you were okay with having your medical bills paid for and getting an apology from the dog’s owner.
For many, unfortunately, those days are long gone.
To ensure that you don’t end up the victim of an aggressive personal injury attorney, it is critical to do the following things.
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Trade Information with the Dog Bite Victim
If your dog bites someone, you will want to make sure to get their information and know how to contact them.
It is important that you show concern for their injury and that you apologize sincerely.
It doesn’t matter if you think they might have provoked the dog; you starting a fight over whose fault it is might turn the dog-bite molehill into a mountain.
If the victim can prove that you showed no interest and simply walked away, then that isn’t going to reflect well on you if you ever have to have a day in court over the incident.
Call your insurance company immediately
If your dog bites someone on your property, it is imperative that you call your insurance company immediately to let them know about the bite and the specifics surrounding when and how it happened.
Most insurance policies will cover dog bites up to a certain limit, but only if you notify them as quickly as possible.
Many insurance companies have a statute of limitations in place, during which you have to let them know about the bite.
You don’t want to be out of luck for having your insurance cover the dog bite because you made a claim too late and missed your coverage “window.”
You will also want to tell them what happened while it is still fresh in your mind so that in the event the person does try to take you to court for personal injury, things are documented exactly as they happened.
It is more difficult to recreate the events well after the fact when things and events can get blurry.
Suggest They Seek Medical Attention
It typically isn’t the dog bite itself that causes the serious injury in dog-bite incidents.
If an infection ensues from the bite, that infection can have dire consequences.
So not only will you show that you care by encouraging the victim to seek medical help; you will also decrease the likelihood that they will consider it “no big deal” and not address the bite until it is too late and the injury is far greater.
Have Your Vaccination Record Available
If your dog bites someone, you will want to prove that they have had a rabies shot recently.
If you can’t provide proof that puts the victim in a scary position, and it might mean that your dog will be placed in quarantine to be watched.
If you don’t have the records handy, make sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to supply the vaccination records to the injured person.
Offer to Pay
If you offer to pay out-of-pocket immediately, it is a sign of goodwill.
If things get costly down the line, then you can always file a claim to get reimbursed by your insurance company.
But showing good faith by offering to pay immediately after the bite might help to squash any further litigation for the accident.
If you put the bill on a credit card and file a claim, your insurance should reimburse you quickly enough that it won’t hurt you financially at all.
If you don’t have insurance, then if you can stop the avalanche of ligation before it starts – which is even better.
Dog bites used to be something you just apologized for, but they are increasingly becoming a big-time personal injury field.
Make sure that you aren’t caught in the new trend by following the above advice in order to limit your risk.