Who is liable when a child suffers a dog bite?
When the weather is beautiful, a lot of people like to spend time outdoors. And some of them also want to bring their dogs with them. It’s well established that children generally like dogs, but we can’t always say that dogs like children. Your child can sustain serious injuries or diseases from a dog bite. There are even cases where surgery might be necessary. That’s why you must look for a Mesa personal injury lawyer with extensive experience.
According to some research, over 4 million people suffer injuries related to dog bites, and only 17% of those 4 million cases get reported. And over 50% of dog bite-related injuries involve children. This is seriously troublesome information, especially if you’re a parent. Some places, for example, George, treat dog bites as a public health concern.
There’s only so much you can do to make sure that your child is safe from dog bites. But it can never be foolproof. And if you’re a dog owner, you have to take all the necessary steps in socially training your dog. Don’t miss any vaccinations and also make sure that your dog is trained in restraint, both when in the house and outside.
Furthermore, you should never leave a child alone with the dog. This also goes for family dogs as well, as they are no stranger to biting too.
Dog owners need to be certain that their dog is properly trained on how to interact with strangers. They (the owners) need to take necessary measures when they train and socialize their dogs. And even then, they might still be liable under Georgia’s law, in case the attack happens on their property.
In order for a Georgian dog owner to be liable for a dog bite, the parents of the injured child must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was negligence. The victim’s parents must prove that the down owner knew about the aggressive nature of the dog and didn’t do anything in order to restrain the dog and avoid the bite. In cases where the victim provoked the dog, the claim won’t be valid.
There is some flexibility when it comes to Georgia laws. In cases involving dog bites, victims can have trouble proving that there was negligence. Suffering a dog bite is not sufficient enough for you to claim compensation for your injuries. However, if the bite happened in circumstances when a leash was involved, the claim could be determined in the victim’s favor. Various laws require dogs to be restrained in certain areas. So in case of injuries, when the dog should have been restrained, the owner will be responsible for the damages.
The owners may also be liable if they were familiar with past attacks by the same dog, but did very little to prevent those types of attacks from occurring again. Furthermore, the owners might also be liable if the dog attacks someone on their own property.
When your child suffers a dog bite, the first and foremost thing you need to do is to make sure that they get the necessary medical attention. Reach out to your doctor and make sure that you get all the information on the dog’s vaccination, including the last rabies shot. It’s up to the owner to provide the name and contact information.
Contacting Animal Control
The incident also has to be reported to your local municipality’s animal control department. A timely report will ensure that the down owner is taking the necessary steps to quarantine the animal if it represents a danger to the community. Reporting the incident is also important if you’ll be pursuing a personal injury claim. The animal control report could be valuable evidence that will support your claim.
Gathering all the evidence you can find is necessary in order to determine who is liable for the dog injury. Probably the most important evidence is the one gathered at the scene. The strongest piece of evidence is your children’s clothing, which is most likely tattered and bloody. Don’t wash the clothes so that you don’t remove the stains. Instead, put them in a bag, label it properly, including information on time and date when the attack occurred. Taking photos and videos can also serve as strong evidence for the case.
If you can interview eyewitnesses that will improve the credibility, even better. Eyewitnesses have no financial gain for telling the truth. Statements from witnesses are very important and can potentially increase the chances of the case being ruled in your favor. Also, make sure that you get the names and addresses of the witnesses because they might be called in to testify.
Child Injury Claims – Complications
Settling an injury claim for an underage is not without complications. It requires court approval. Even when the child can recover after just a few weeks, there are long-term effects of the attack e.g., trauma or the child might even develop fear from dogs.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Contact Schenk Podolsky to determine if you have a solid case for a personal injury claim. Assuming that the owner is not liable just because you know each other or you are next-door neighbors, is wrong. Settling a personal injury case is not easy. Especially when there’s a minor involved. You’ll need an experienced attorney to help you out.