dog bite

Dog and Animal Bites: Medical and Legal Aspects You Need to Know

There are no available statistics on the number of dog bite or animal bite incidences worldwide. But according to studies, millions of people get bitten by animals, most commonly by dogs each year. In the United States alone, an estimated 4.5 million people, including children, are bitten by dogs in a year. While some only need medical treatment, others have to undergo reconstructive surgeries. There are even those who die for not getting medical help after an attack from a rabid dog.


Aside from the pain and risks a person faces after a dog bite, medical treatment requires several visits to the doctor as well as medical expenses. This is why it helps to know if the dog owner or a third party can be held legally responsible.


First Things First

Immediately after being bitten by a dog or animal, it’s important to wash the wound with soap and water. After, the victim should be brought to the nearest hospital or clinic to get medical help. Usually, the wound will be irrigated and cleaned and the patient will be given an anti-tetanus shot, prophylactic antibiotic treatment and rabies post-exposure treatment, depending on the severity of the injury and the dog vaccination.

A person who has been attacked or bitten by an animal or dog should look into legal help. A legal claim and compensation for the damages can help to pay for any medical expenses. In this aspect, an attorney will be able to help. It’s important to provide detailed information surrounding the incident, including the name and contact number of the owner. If there were witnesses when the attack occurred, it’s crucial to get their names and phone numbers as well.


Rights and Claims from An Animal or Dog Bite

A person’s legal right when it comes to animal attacks and dog bites vary depending on the state. There are states which have enacted laws known as “dog bite laws”. These laws aim to put the burden on dog owners for injuries caused by their pets and this is known as “strict liability”.

With this, a dog owner will be responsible for the harm or even death caused by a dog they own; even if they\’re not directly at fault. Conversely, states that have no dog bite statutes, it is up to the victim to prove validity of their claim. For example, establishing that the owner has prior knowledge that the animal is potentially dangerous and could inflict injury.

Meanwhile, any claims for injury or damages resulting from a dog bite incident will be null and void if there was provocation involved. For example, if the victim was an intruder, or the person was provoking the animal.


Third Party Liability

In some dog bite cases, it is not always the animal owner who is responsible for the biting incident. Other people can also be held liable for a personal injury caused by an animal bite. These can include: the parents of the minor, in case the dog is owned by a person under the age of 18, animal keepers or those whose job is to take care of animals (in dog pounds or kennels), landlords who allow tenants with potentially dangerous animals, and property owners who allow animals in the property and ends with someone getting injured from an animal bite.


With varying laws of states concerning animal bites, and the difficulty of proving the animal owner\’s liability, some people are reluctant to file claims against owners. But by consulting an attorney that specializes in dog and animal bite cases, you will be able to know what claims you can make and get the right compensation you or your loved ones deserve.


Shamon Law is happy to provide the following legal services to San Diego 92108, and the surrounding San Diego areas: Wrongful Death, Motorcycle Accidents, Dog Bites, Bicycle Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, Wills, Trust and Estate Planning, as well as Auto Accidents and other legal fields. Call us today at 619-737-2727 and see if we can help you!

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