Did you know that there are almost 77,000,000 pet dogs in the United States today?
We are a nation of animal lovers. However, some dogs are more friendly than others. It is an all too common occurrence – an out-of-control dog lashing out and biting a person.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering what to do next. Is the owner legally responsible? What are your rights in this unfortunate situation?
Read on to find out more about what to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog.
Under the law, a dog’s owner is held responsible if it attacks a person. You can locate a dog’s owner using registration documents, purchase records, or place of residence.
Often, the victim will know the attacking dog. This makes it easier to locate the owner and hold them accountable for their negligence.
Be advised that more than one person or a company/enterprise may own the dog. In this case, the family or company as a whole is responsible.
Can I Sue?
Yes. Providing that the dog was out of control at the time and that you were not trespassing on the owner’s property, you can file a lawsuit and pursue a claim against them.
Dog bites can cause significant physical damage and mental trauma. It is your right to sue for compensation to cover medical bills and other damages resulting from an out-of-control or dangerous dog.
You should liaise with an attorney and tell them; ‘a dog bit me’. They will advise you on dog bite laws, help prove the owner’s liability, and get the justice you deserve.
Can the Owner Face Criminal Charges?
Following an investigation into the incident, the state could classify the dog as dangerous. In this case, the owner may face criminal prosecution.
If the dog owner encourages their dog to bite or ‘sets’ their dog on you, they will likely face serious legal consequences.
Additionally, if the owner is not allowed to own animals or has previously committed similar crimes, they could face mandatory jail time.
It will be up to the relevant authorities to determine whether criminal charges are applicable.
Will They Euthanize the Dog?
Usually, no. Most dog bite incidents are one-off accidents.
Many people would be reluctant to pursue a legal case against an owner if they knew the dog would be euthanized. However, it is the owner, rather than the dog itself, held responsible.
A biting dog will usually only be put down if it presents a clear danger to the public; for example, it has a history of aggressive behavior or training to attack people.
Bitten By a Dog: Know Your Rights
So that’s the 101 on what to do if you’re bitten by a dog.
A dog attack is a serious matter that can have lasting consequences for the victim. If you find yourself in this situation, do not hesitate to ask for legal help and pursue the compensation owed.
We hope you found this article helpful. Be sure to check out our other posts for everything you need to know about law, entertainment, health, and fitness.
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.