You need to go see an attorney because a variety of things can happen: you can be sued for the injuries the girl sustained; your dog can be seized by animal control and you can be fined for not having proof of raised vaccination. Waste no time in scheduling an appointment.
The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
Hopefully the girl will be ok. You did not indicate if you have insurance. If you do and a claim is presented simply forward them the letter.
Please note that we are not forming an attorney - client relationship and the advice is meant to be general. Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky 1616 Walnut Street Suite 2110 Philadelphia, PA 19103 http://www.phillyinjurylawyer.com/
People injured by dogs many times hav a cause of action against the dog owner. If you have home owner's or renter's insurance, contact your carrier to alert them of the potential claim. If the girl was trespassing, you may be off the hook!
Good luck to you.
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
I agree with my colleagues.
You should submit a claim to your own insurance company of the incident. You also need to meet with an attorney.
What can happen depends on the facts of which there are few in your post. What you should do is review the specific facts with your attorney to find out what your legal options are.
Facts that may be relevant may include: how did the girl end up on your property? For example, there would be a different result if she ran onto your property from the streets versus she was there visiting you with her parents.
Why did the dog bite the girl? If the girl was hitting the dog and it bit her, that would be different than if the dog bit her unprovoked.
Can you find the person from whom you bought the dog? Perhaps that person still has the vaccination records. Otherwise, the girl likely will have to get a series of rabies shots while your dog is quarantined to check whether it has rabies.
Does the dog have a history of biting people? If the dog has a history of biting people or other animals, you likely will be liable for not controlling the dog. You may even face criminal law charges.
If you have insurance coverage, you need to timely report the claim to your insurer.
You should review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.
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