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Animal Bites, Attacks And The Law

Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd.
Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd.

June 30, 2016


Dog barking angrily We never think it could happen to us. But sometimes, a freak accident can occur and you may find yourself the victim of a dog bite or animal attack. If you own a dog or have been attacked by one, it is important to know what happens next.

If You Are A Victim Of An Animal Attack

Immediately following a dog bite or animal attack may be stressful and confusing. However, to preserve your claim against the owner of the dog, try to do the following:

  • Identify the animal that attacked you. If the animal isn’t caught and tested, you may be subject to a series of very painful vaccinations for rabies.
  • Get the name, address, and telephone number of the owner of the animal as well as anyone who witnessed the attack.
  • Seek medical attention. Make sure to keep track of your medical bills and treatments. Don’t forget to photograph the wounds.
  • Do not sign anything until you’ve had the chance to discuss with your lawyer
  • Begin to compile a list of people who could potentially testify to the animal’s aggressiveness behavior.

As a victim, you may be entitled to receive recoveries for current and future medical treatment, psychological counseling, loss of work earnings, and punitive damages. It is imperative that you speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about preserving your rights and remedies. A lawyer will be able to explain the value of your case and help you navigate through the complicated legal process.

If You Are The Animal Owner

The standard rules of negligence create liability for an animal owner who had a reasonable duty to keep the victim safe from attack. Many states also have dog bite laws that may create strict liability for animal owners, meaning that the dog owner will be liable regardless of the fault of the victim. To protect oneself from liability, animal owners should make sure they’re insured. Be sure to have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, but check your policy – some insurance companies don’t cover certain breeds such as pit bulls or rottweilers.

Animal owner’s liability can be mitigated by proving that the attacked victim provoked the attack or assumed the risk, even though the owner provided an adequate warning about the animal. If your pet attacks someone, make sure to stay calm, nice, and be as accommodating as possible. Make sure that the victim gets proper medical attention and get the names and contact information of any witnesses. It is also very important that you avoid making any statements about the situation to ensure you are not automatically held responsible for the attack.

To learn more about animal attacks, whether a victim or if your pet attacked another person, contact us today at Harvey Walner & Associates.

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