Injured by a dog (“a dog bite case”) . . . now what?
Commonly referred "dog bite" cases don't just involve actual bites, but any injury caused by a dog. It is important to know how to approach such a injury to ensure proper compensation from the appropriate liable insurance companies.
What are "dog bite" cases?It is a common misconception that injuries caused by dogs must only involve a dog bite. While dog bites are certainly more common than other injuries, they are not the only injuries that are entitled to legal relief.
In Utah, dog bites and injuries are strict liability claims. This means that liability does not depend on actual negligence or intent to harm. It isn*t necessary to allege or prove that the dog has previously been violent. However, if the owner or keeper is aware of the violent nature of the dog, it may increase the financial settlement with the insurance.
Typically such cases are compensated from the home owners or renters insurance. It doesn*t matter if the injury occurred in or around the home of the owner or keeper of the dog. This is important to note as people tend to take their dogs on many recreational activities such as hiking and camping.
A dog injured me, what now?So if you were bitten or injured from a dog, what are your next steps?
First, contact the local animal control over the jurisdiction where the injury occurred. They should conduct an investigation and create an official report. This report should include the identity of the owner or keeper of the dog.
Second, seek immediate medical attention. Whatever medical attention that is reasonable and necessary for you to recover, should be pursued. Particularly in cases of dog bites where the skin has been broken, immediate medical attention at a local emergency room is extremely important. There is a high risk of infection and possible transfer of infectious diseases such as rabies.
Third, make sure to document all of your injuries. Take detailed photographs of the injury even as it starts to heal.
Lastly, contact an experienced local personal injury attorney to assist you in obtaining the compensation that you deserve.