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Columbia Dog Bites Lawyers

Most dogs are friendly and serve as kind domestic pets for families. These animals are well known for their loyalty and energy. If you don’t spend time sharing funny or touching stories about your beloved dog, chances are you know someone who does. However, even the kindest dog can become aggressive when scared, threatened, or provoked. Millions of people receive serious dog bites each year, and the event is often unexpected and painful. In the aftermath of the attack, victims might be forced to seek treatment at a hospital and then lose time from school or work recovering. A dog bite in the moment is traumatic enough, but the impact of a dog bite can severely alter your quality of life.

A dog bite victim can require agonizing, costly medical treatment. Some examples of procedures that victims often need include:

  • The application of sutures to close puncture wounds
  • The setting of broken bones
  • The application of casts or slings for fractured bones
  • The use of injections to prevent infections
  • The administration of antibiotics
  • The use of injections for rabies
  • The prescription of painkillers

Any emergency hospital or clinic visit can cost more than most people can afford. Thankfully, the legal system can award damages to dog bite victims.

Legal Liability for Dog Bites

Dog owners can be held liable, or legally responsible, when their dog bites someone. Sometimes, dog bite victims feel helpless, as if they have no way to recover the costs of medical bills or recovery. After all, you can’t exactly take a dog to court for monetary compensation. You can, however, hold the owner accountable for their dog’s behavior. The law specifies that owners have a serious responsibility to ensure the safety of people around their dog.

Consider the fact that owners have a duty to make sure that their dog should not be physically able to bite someone. They also need to train their dog to be obedient and not aggressive. To ensure the safety of other people around their dog, owners should:

  • Keep their dog on a leash when out in public
  • Keep their dog contained while on private property in a kennel or a fenced-in yard
  • Treat their dog well (dog abuse leads to aggressive behavior)
  • Not neglect their dog
  • Actively train their dog not to bite and to quickly obey commands

When a dog owner behaves negligently or irresponsibly, the dog might have the opportunity, and the inclination, to bite an innocent person. If a dog has bitten you and you wonder if you can hold the owner responsible for your injury, you should contact a dog bite attorney. The legal team at Truslow & Truslow is ready to discuss the specifics of your case and explain your legal options.

Checklist for Dog Bite Victims

If a dog bit you, here are some simple steps you can take to handle the incident safely and effectively:

  1. Determine the Dog’s OwnerIf you do not know who owns a dog, you cannot hold that person accountable for their pet’s actions, so it is important to secure the name and address of the dog’s owner. It is also important to jot down the names and addresses of any witnesses of the incident. If the person with the dog is not the owner, be sure to write down the name and address of the person who had custody of the animal. Take extra care to seek medical attention if the dog was a stray or you can’t identify the owner.
  2. Take PicturesDocumenting the incident is essential, especially if you plan to file a claim for compensation after the incident. Photos of the wound can be valuable evidence for the insurance company or your future attorney.
  3. Seek Medical AttentionIt is essential to receive medical help following a dog bite, especially if the dog was unfamiliar to you, the bite is deep, or your wound is exceptionally bloody. While you may feel comfortable washing and sterilizing the wound at home, performing first aid yourself is not advised. Dog bites can have far-reaching consequences, including serious infection and other diseases, such as rabies. Depending on the severity of your wound, you may need stitches or rabies shots.
  4. Speak with the Owner’s Insurance CompanyIf the dog’s owner has insurance, the insurance company may get in touch with you. At this point, take down the name, address, and phone number of the company. Also, ask for your claim number and the amount of money available to you.
  5. Contact a Columbia Dog Bites AttorneyMore often than not, you can receive compensation for your injuries that someone else’s negligence caused. However, insurance companies often fail to offer dog bite victims the amount of money they deserve. A qualified Columbia personal injury attorney from Truslow & Truslow can help you handle the insurance company so you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. Contact us at (803) 256-6276 to discuss your case.

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