You were taking a relaxing walk through the park when you were attacked by an off-leash dog. Or you were delivering food and you were bitten by the customers’ aggressive dog. In some instances your pet was the victim of the attack, leaving it injured, debilitated or even dead. Regardless of how it happened, you need to take action and demand compensation for your injuries and emotional distress.
While talking with a dog bite attorney in Baltimore and getting his legal advice is paramount, you also need to know what questions to ask the dog owner so that you have a strong case. Based on the information you collect, authorities will decide if the dog needs to be rehabilitated and the steps the owner must take to prevent similar future events.
Although you may be tempted to dismiss the event, especially if your injuries were superficial, you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Sure, maybe you were lucky enough to get out of the attack with merely a scratch, but if the dog has aggressive tendencies that the owner can’t control, the next victim might suffer severe laceration. Just think about the impact such an attack could have on a toddler, for example.
A dog bite attorney can help you collect the necessary evidence and guide you through the legal process. They will also teach you what questions you should ask the dog owner so that you build a strong case and get fair compensation.
Here are a few useful questions you need to remember should you ever find yourself in this situation.
Does the Dog Have All Mandatory Vaccinations up to Date?
First thing first: go to the nearest hospital to have your wounds treated properly. Even if the laceration isn’t deep, a dog’s teeth and saliva contains numerous bacteria that could get inside the bloodstream and cause infections. Get the necessary shots as well as a medical report that you can use as proof to demand justice.
Make sure to ask the owner about the dog’s vaccinations and communicate any important information to the doctors. Over 55,000 people die of rabies every year, so it’s paramount to know if the dog is up to date with its vaccination scheme. If possible, get a report from the veterinarian. If the owner cannot prove that the dog has been getting all his shots, you have the right to demand tests.
Has the Dog Shown Signs of Aggressiveness Before?
Don’t expect to get a 100% honest answer. The dog’s owner might omit previous incidents or treat them lightly as a pet with aggressive tendencies has a high chance of being euthanized. Understandably, the owner wants to protect its furry friend and might minimize the severity of the problem. However, if you can prove that he or she is hiding previous incidents and that the dog is dangerous, you could have an easy case on your hands.
Make sure to ask the neighbors or other persons that regularly come in contact with the dog, such as the mail men, delivery men, and so on. Your dog bite attorney in Baltimore will guide you through the investigation and collect relevant proof to back up your claims. Time is of great importance in gathering statements about the dog’s behavior, so start asking for information as soon as possible.
If the dog is still manifesting aggressive behavior (growling, snarling, snapping at people), even if it doesn’t bite, you can record this and use it as proof in your case.
Irresponsible dog owners are a danger to others. Even if you did not get serious injuries from this incident, prevent a child or other vulnerable persons or creatures from being harmed and take legal action against an aggressive dog’s owner. Hopefully, the owner will use this opportunity to educate and rehabilitate the dog, if it is not too late.
Published by Matthew Piggot