In case you have been bitten by a dog, or have been involved in a vicious dog attack, you should take careful steps after the incident to make sure everything is correctly recorded, where you may decide to pursue a lawsuit. There can be several parties involved in your dog bite case, including dog owners, dog sitters, property owners, and in some rare cases, animal control authorities. This tends to make the dog bite cases particularly challenging to litigate; even more so if the victim is unaware of the laws in Virginia regarding dog bite injuries in his or her particular county, city, and state.
The initial step to take after a dog bite is to seek medical treatment. If your injuries do not require medical treatment, then there is no reason to file a claim. Nevertheless, irrespective of the severity of the injuries you sustain, you should always report the incident to animal control authorities. The dog’s owner must be held responsible for the dangerous propensities of his or her dog, and the attack needs to be documented.
After getting medical treatment for your injuries, it is extremely important that you identify the dog and its owner. You’ll need to get the relevant contact and insurance information from the owner, in addition to verifying that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. If the dog has not been vaccinated, you might be required to receive rabies treatment; an often-painful procedure that should be avoided if possible.
Identifying the owner of the dog is paramount, especially if he or she has been negligent concerning leash laws, or other pet ordinances, in your specific city or county within Virginia. If the dog attack occurred while the dog was in the care of another person, you would need to identify that caregiver, as well. This additional step could be crucial to your case in court.
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Be sure to write down all contact and insurance information that the dog owner gives you, as well as the registration or tag number of the dog (which should be clearly printed on the dog’s collar). If the owner has insurance, be sure to get the name of his or her insurance company, as well.
Do not, under any circumstances, be satisfied with the owner’s offer (or his or her insurance company’s offer) to take photos. You also have to take pictures of your injuries, as well as the torn or bloody clothing and the scene where the incident took place. It is always advisable to take a picture of the dog snapping, barking, or trying to intimidate. Such photos will be valuable evidence for your case in court.
Insurance companies often try to settle dog bite cases outside of court, for less money than what you deserve for compensation. A dog bite injury requires extensive medical treatment, for short and long-term, as well as time off from work for healing. Often, the victims of dog bites are entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, foreseeable losses, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
If you have been the victim of a dog bite injury, consulting an experienced Virginia dog bite attorney could make a significant difference in the compensation and attention you receive in court. Negligent owners; especially those who keep a dangerous pet, should be held legally responsible for their actions, and a qualified dog bites attorney at Parrish Law Firm, PLLC http://www.theparrishlawfirm.com/dog-bite-lawyer/ has experience with dog bite cases in Virginia and will help you in the proper lawsuit.