Dog bite injuries can happen to anyone when an owner behaves negligently, but oftentimes, the victims are children under the age of 12. In fact, dog bite injuries account for more child emergency room visits than bone fractures, burns, or any youth activity. Dog bite injuries tend to require stitches, rabies shots, and even plastic surgery. However, while the wound will heal, children can end up suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) long after the incident itself.
Below are some helpful tips on what you should do after your child sustains a dog bite injury:
- Dial 911: After a dog attack, it is important to call 911 if your child needs emergency medical assistance. If your child’s injuries appear to be minor, he or she might not need to get whisked away in an ambulance, but you absolutely should go to a doctor to make sure the wound is examined and treated. Even a seemingly inconsequential wound can become a terrible infection, or worse if the animal had any diseases.
- Identify the dog’s owner and insurance company: Since the majority of dog attacks occur in a child’s neighborhood, finding the dog owner’s name should be somewhat easy if he or she is not present. It is important to notify the owner that his or her dog attacked your child and to explain that the attack resulted in injuries that required medical treatment. Additionally, obtain the name, policy number, and contact information for his or her homeowner’s insurance company.
- Contact the animal control department: Filing a complaint with the local animal control department is a vital step you must not neglect to take. First, informing the city will ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect the public from future attacks and, second, it will verify the date of the incident and the nature of the bite. If you pursue a personal injury claim, this will provide a solid foundation for your case.
- Gather as much evidence as possible: Photographs are an invaluable form of evidence so, if possible, try to take as many as you can at the scene. If there was a hole in your neighbor’s fence where his or her dog escaped or blood on the ground, capture those details. You should also try to get a photo of the dog and, most importantly, your child’s injuries. Be sure to continue to take pictures of your child’s injuries over the course of the next few days. If there were any witnesses who saw the attack, ask if they took any pictures or videos. In this day and age, many people have their cell phones out and capture events while they are occurring.
Dog Bite Injury Attorneys in Lynchburg and Danville
If your child was bitten by a dog, you need to seek the assistance of a skilled legal professional to pursue fair and just compensation on your behalf. At the law office of Randall J. Trost, P.C., our personal injury attorneys in Lynchburg and Danville are well-versed in dog bite law and will fight to ensure that the individual responsible for your child’s injuries is held accountable.
Get started on your dog bite injury case today and call our law office at (434) 738-2300 to schedule your free initial case evaluation.