If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance where your dog has bitten another person, you can quickly be left in a panic and wondering what exactly you should do. To protect yourself, as well as your dog, it is essential that you get legal help from an attorney who specializes in dog bite accidents, but there are several things that you should do immediately.
5 Important Steps After an Animal Attack
- Stay calm and confine your animal to a crate or another room.
- Help the victim wash the wound and be sympathetic. Offer to contact a family member or friend but avoid laying blame or getting defensive. Remember – what you say may be used against you if legal or civil action is taken.
- Exchange contact information and provide any applicable insurance information to the victim. If there were witnesses, obtain their contact information as well.
- No matter how minor the bite appears to be, the victim should still seek medical care. Dog bites that look mild on the surface can actually be quite serious and you should contact a medical professional for the bite victim and depending on the severity of the injury, an ambulance may be required.
- Contact you veterinarian to obtain your dog’s medical records and inform local authorities of the incident.
In Utah, dog owners are ‘strictly liable’ for any injuries caused by their animal – meaning that regardless of the animal’s past behavior, you are responsible for any personal injury caused by your dog. However, in Idaho there is the ‘one bite rule’ which means animal owners can be held liable for injuries if the injured party can show that the owner ‘should have known’ that the animal was dangerous. While laws do vary from state to state, the following conditions typically apply in dog bite cases.
- You must show proof of your dog’s rabies vaccination history.
- Your dog may required to undergo a quarantine and this will likely be longer if the rabies vaccination is not up-to-date.
Remember, the victim may decide to file a civil suit against you and/or press charges and in either event, you should immediately hire an experienced dog bite lawyer. Attorney David L. Morgan knows the laws and loves pets of all shapes and sizes and if your dog injured an individual or another animal, he will work tirelessly to protect both you and your beloved pet. Contact the Morgan Law Firm for a free initial consultation and find out how we can help.