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What Should I Do If My Child Was Bitten by a Dog?

We generally think of dogs as loving companions, earning them the title “man’s best friend.” In fact, for many, a dog is essentially part of the family. However, when an owner is negligent, accidents can happen and a dog could attack or bite a person. In many cases, dog bite victims are children, who account for more than 50% of these incidents. These painful injuries might require stitches, rabies shots, and even plastic surgery to correct extensive damage. Beyond the physical pain of an injury, dog bites can even cause a child to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that could last for years, well into adulthood.

What should you do if your child is attacked or bitten by a dog? We have compiled a list of helpful tips that can get you through the immediate aftermath of this terrible event:

  • Dial 911 for emergency assistance: Dog bites injuries can be potentially severe, so you might need to call for emergency medical attention. However, even if your child’s injuries are not severe enough to warrant an ambulance, you absolutely need to take him or her to the hospital or a doctor as soon as possible. Even a seemingly small wound could get develop a severe infection.
  • Identify the dog’s owner: In most cases, dog attacks happen in a person’s immediate neighborhood, so it should be easy to find out the dog owner’s name. After you have taken care of your child and seen to it that he or she received medical treatment, you will need to notify the owner of the attack and explain that your child was seriously injured. You should also inquire about the name, policy number, and contact information for the dog owner’s insurance company.
  • Contact the animal control department: Filing a complaint with your local animal control department will help ensure that proper measures are taken to try to prevent a similar incident from happening again. Additionally, an official complaint will help verify the date of the incident and the nature of the bite, both of which will provide crucial evidence in a personal injury claim against the dog owner.
  • Gather evidence: When possible, try to take as many photographs as you can, including pictures of the scene, the surrounding area, and other details such as a hole in the dog owner’s fence where the dog might have escaped. Take a picture of the dog and, most importantly, take pictures of your child’s wounds. You should continue to document your child’s wounds through photographs in the following days. Witness statements are also an invaluable source of evidence, so if anyone saw the incident happen, be sure to get their names and contact information.

Dog Bite Attorney in Oneonta

If your child was attacked and bitten by a dog, you need to take legal action against the dog owner for his or her negligence. At Scarzafava & Basdekis, our dog bite attorneys in Oneonta are prepared to effectively represent you and ensure you secure the compensation you need to get your family through this difficult time. You should not pay for someone else’s mistakes.

Get started on your case and reach out to Scarzafava & Basdekis today by giving our office a call at (607) 432-9341. We provide free initial consultations!

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