It’s a nightmare scenario. You are a kind, law-abiding citizen just minding your own business. Maybe you’re going out for a walk in your neighborhood, or just sitting on the front porch. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, your neighbor’s dog appears. At first, you don’t think much of it, as you’ve never had a reason to fear the animal before. But this time seems different.
As it approaches, you notice that something feels… off. Before you can even react, you’re suddenly the victim of a dog attack. Depending on the breed of dog, your age, and physical ability, this could mean a variety of different injuries. After all, dog attacks can lead to severe repercussions including but not limited to infections, lacerations, and lifelong disfigurement.
Know Your Rights
Too often, we see victims of dog attacks blaming themselves. “Maybe you shouldn’t have reached your hand out,” or “Your running away probably triggered its instincts” are common excuses from dog owners to explain away why the attack may have happened. Understand that whatever they say, as long as you were not trespassing or directly provoking an animal to attack, you should never have been put into that situation by its owner.
You have a case and are well within your rights to ask for compensation for the pain you have endured. Even if the dog that attacked you belongs to your neighbor, don’t let that cause you so much anxiety that you hesitate to pursue a filing in court. They are the ones who put you in danger, and you should not have to pay for their negligence.
Below are some steps you should take immediately after such an incident:
Step 1: Identify Its Owner
Sometimes a dog attack happens away from the owner’s view. He or she may not even realize their dog is on the loose. The first step to take after being injured by a dog is to find and identify its owner. Ultimately, he or she is the responsible party. If you are unfamiliar with who the owner of the dog is, try to see if it has a collar or some other form of identifiable information. Animal Control can also help you find the owner if the dog has a microchip implant.
Step 2: Contact Animal Control
The truth is, unfortunately, you never know if your neighbors are keeping their pets up to date on their vaccinations. If the dog that bit you has a communicable disease like rabies, your health and safety may be at even more risk post-attack. Call animal control as soon as possible to detain the animal and determine whether or not you need further assistance past your immediately identifiable injuries.
Step 3: Gather Any Evidence
Evidence is what your case is built on. Without it, you could be accused of lying about your attack. If you’re in a position to, take as many photos as you can. Make sure to get pictures of your injuries, of the dog, the attack site, and anything else that can paint the scenario for the courts. If there were any witnesses, get their names and contact information along with a written statement. Additionally, set any torn or bloody clothing aside for court analysis.
Step 4: Seek Medical Attention
If you are in serious condition, then of course take this step first. However, if you are able to complete steps one and two first, you’ll be in a better position to pursue your case once you are healed. Seeking medical attention is important because it provides certifiable documentation of your injuries so that without a shadow of a doubt, the court understands that they are in direct result of a dog attack. Additionally, they outline the scope of your injuries so that you can ask for reparations and have the data to back up your claims.
Contact Gokal Law
Have you recently experienced a dog attack that resulted in injury, trauma, or lost wages? You may be entitled to a case. Contact Alison Gokal of Gokal Law Group, Inc. Our team will diligently investigate your claims, interview witnesses, and give you the support you need to win your case. The sooner you contact us, the more effective we are at getting you the justice you deserve.
Gokal Law Group is a family firm that treats our clients as if they were our own flesh and blood. We fight for our clients as we would our own children, sisters, brothers, and parents. We are our clients’ Warriors, fighting to bring them justice and right the wrongs they have endured.
Each attorney has a specific practice area for which they are tried, tested, and battle-ready. Each has vast years of experience in their practice area, providing them the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and win. Learn more about Gokal Law Group.