Dog bites account for a surprisingly high number of child emergency room visits every year. Some dogs, if left unsupervised, and children do not play well together and the children can sustain serious injuries if the bite is bad enough. The first thing you should always do is call 911 or rush the child to the ER, but once the dust settles on the medical emergency, you should begin thinking about how you legally want to handle the situation and receive compensation for your child’s injuries. The most likely course of action is a dog bite lawsuit, but the situation may be more complicated than it initially seems.
The first step in building your lawsuit is identifying who the owner of the dog is. If it is a stray, this is a moot point and makes the rest of the case nearly impossible, but if you can determine who the owner is through a collar, tag, or by proximity, that person would be the target of your lawsuit. Dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pet, regardless of supervision or not, but it can be more complicated if the dog is being watched by someone or if a company rather than a person owns it.
Secondly, you want to gather documentation of the incident to strengthen your case. This includes witness statements of those who saw the attack, evidence from the scene of the incident, such as blood-stained clothing, and photographs. It is usually a good idea to contact your local animal control department as well, as they can write up a statement on the dog and help all statements’ viability in court.
Any situation where you deal with the injuries of children is complicated and dog attacks can become complicated quickly. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney when pursuing this kind of lawsuit. To learn about how we at the Franco Law Firm can serve you in this role and to schedule a free consultation with us today, please call us at (813) 872-0929.