Its summer time – the weather is great, people are spending time outside, and the dogs are out to play. This is generally a good thing, but sometimes, dogs can become unpredictable and aggressive, resulting in a dog biting incident. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 4.5 million people are bitten each year. Among the victims are typically children under the age of 12. If you or your loved one are victims of a dog bite, we recommend the following steps:
1. Take pictures of the bite
It may not sound like the most important thing in the moment, but you will want to ensure that you take pictures of the dog bite to show the extent of your injuries at the time the bite occurred.
2. Immediately wash out the wound and bind it
If the wound is not extremely large, you will want to make sure you go sanitize it to prevent any infections from forming.
3. If possible, get the dog owner’s contact information
This is important because at the time of the bite, you do not know the extent of the injury. Getting the owner’s contact information will allow you to inquire whether the dog is up to date on all their shots and request such documentation, if necessary. You will also want to know who to contact in case you may need to seek compensation down the road.
Dog bites are typically covered under an auto, homeowners, renters or animal insurance policy. If you need to seek compensation for serious injuries, it is likely that the dog owner will have some type of insurance that will cover the incident. As harmless as a dog bite may seem, this can become a serious matter. Insurance companies pay out hundreds of millions of dollars a year on dog bite claims alone!
4. If the bite is bleeding so much that you cannot stop the flow by binding it, you may need to call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention.
If the wound or wounds from the dog bite are so severe that the bleeding isn’t stopping from binding the wound, you should seek immediate medical attention to prevent further injury.
5. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to have the bite checked out.
Maybe the injury appears fine at first glance, but you will definitely want a medical professional to check the wound and ensure that no further care is necessary.
Under Colorado law, a dog owner can be held strictly liability for their dog biting someone. This means that even if the owner had no knowledge that their dog is aggressive, or that their dog has a history of biting people, the owner can still be held liability for economic damages – such as medical expenses – resulting from a dog bite. Additionally, if it can be proven that the owner was negligent, or the attack was intentional conduct, you may be able to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Dog bites can be more serious than you might expect. If you have been injured by a dog bite, contact our experienced attorneys at Alhasoon, Glidden & Glidden, LLC for a free consultation by professionals that handle these matters. You may be entitled to compensation.