Pets can be seen almost anywhere in your neighborhood, and while these little dogs can bring happiness to their owners, you know that these pets can still bring danger and fear. It’s a fact that dogs do bite, and they can bring certain illness to their victims. As a parent, you don’t want your child to suffer that kind of pain. You don’t want your child to be hurt by a dog. But if your child is actually bitten by a dog, do you know what are the legal considerations you should consider? Do you know what you should and shouldn’t do to sue the party responsible for the accident? This article can help you answer those questions.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article should not be taken as legal advice and should only be used as a resource to provide information about legal considerations if you or your child gets bitten by a dog. You should always seek for the services of a lawyer specializing in animal bite cases to give you a more in-depth view of this matter.
Who Is Liable?
If your child is hurt because of someone else’s negligence, of course, you would exhaust all of your efforts to ensure that someone is held responsible. If a party needs to be sued, as a parent, you will. But before you actually sue someone because your child is bitten by a dog, you need to know first who is liable for the situation.
- Before you can sue the dog owner for what happened to your child, you need to be able to prove that the dog owner is liable. However, dog bite liability varies from state to state so you can’t expect that what your friend experienced during dog bite cases can be the same as yours.
- There are states where owners are strictly liable for dog bites. This implies that a dog owner is always held liable for a dog bite even if the owner is not negligent or reckless or didn’t know that the dog would bite. In these states, the dog owner is always responsible for the dog bite no matter what the circumstances are.
- On the other side of the coin, there are also states which are more lenient with their laws on dog bites. In Texas and Oregon for example, the dog owner is not liable for “one bite” made for the first time, especially if they have no idea that their dogs can actually bite and cause harm. But these dog owners are on notice for the next time their dog attacks and can be held liable afterwards.
- Since state laws are different, it’s best that you gather information about what specific laws your state follows. This will give you an idea of what you should do whenever your child is bitten by a dog.
- But if you want to be at ease knowing that what you’re actually doing is correct, you can always seek the help of an attorney who has years of experience in dealing with dog bite cases. They’ll be the best person to ask for advice about your situation. Once you hire someone to work with you, you won’t be stressed as much since a professional is working on your behalf.
If your child is bitten by a dog, you have the right to sue. But before you do so, make sure that your child seeks medical attention right away. There are infections brought by dog bites which can worsen by the minute, so keep in mind that your child’s health is taken cared of first. Unlike workers’ compensation, it’s essential for a party to be held liable too so someone can shoulder the expenses your child might incur from the hospital.
What Can You Do To Avoid Dog Bites?
Lawsuits can become taxing, and usually, the process can last for years. For you to avoid being in that situation, you can be cautious to keep your child from getting bitten by dogs. Here are some tips for you to do that:
- Teach your child how to look for signs of anxiety of dogs: Not all dogs liked to be hugged, and you should let your children know about this. Yes, dogs can be cuddly and irresistible, but they may attack whenever they’re held in certain ways. You can also do your own research and look for signs of anxiety among dogs and once you see any of these in a dog, make sure that your child is nowhere near him. Protect your child from what you know and never let them around anxious dogs.
- Learn about yellow ribbon: Once you see a dog wearing a yellow ribbon on its leash, it means that you or your child should approach this dog with caution. It doesn’t necessarily follow that when a dog wears a yellow ribbon on its leash, the dog is automatically dangerous. You just have to be careful when interacting with this dog because chances are, this dog doesn’t like being cuddled.
- Don’t let your children chase dogs: Children are playful, but dogs don’t always feel the same. If a dog walks away from your child, let your child understand that the dog is not initiating a game for him to be chased. If your child continues to chase a dog after he walked away, the dog might feel in danger and protect himself by biting your child.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your child safe all the times. You’re willing to do all means available to ensure that nothing bad happens to your child, and knowing the legal considerations if your child is bitten by a dog is very useful for you in more ways than one. Sure, your child might be safe and sound now, but it pays if you know all of this information beforehand. You will know what to do rather than be caught up in the moment once your child is actually bitten by a dog.
About The Author
Sabrina Wright is a vibrant young law writer currently writing her next big project. Her modern outlook on the law field is reflected on her informative pieces. Sabrina loves cooking and often invites her friends over for barbecue.
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Also published on Medium.