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What to Do if Your Kid Is Bitten by a Neighbor's Dog

child bit by dog attorney

Did you know that dog bites are the main cause of emergency room visits for children? In fact, when it comes to dog bites - the statistics say that more than 50% of all dog bite victims are children. While some of the incidents occur at random places, in general, this is not the case. In most cases, these scenarios occur either in the friend's house or in their neighborhood. 

These situations are intrinsically stressful, both for the kid and for the parent. Having that in mind - if your kid happened to be bit by a dog, you must know what you need to do. In this article, we are going to help you by explaining all the steps that you need to make.

Act quickly!

Preventive measures are very important, but we aren't going to talk about that here. The reason for that is the fact that injuries as these can happen even in the most unexpected situations.  Having that in mind, after the incident occurred, the first thing that you need to ensure is medical treatment. If the injury in question isn't major, you should take action on first aid measures. Make sure that you clean the area properly to lessen the possibility of an infection. If the injury is serious, it's vital that you go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Find out the dogs’ vaccination status

It’s vital that you make sure that the dog in question is vaccinated as soon as possible. If you know the owner, make sure to ask them. Never overlook this aspect! If the dog isn’t vaccinated, inform your doctor immediately. 

If possible, make sure that you gather evidence

Acting quickly applies to the legal process as well if you choose to pursue compensation. We're going to talk about that in more detail later, but right now - let's focus on the first steps.

If there is time for you to do so, try and find as much evidence as you can of the incident. Brent Stewart, an attorney from Stewart Law Offices explains that evidence that you gather has a huge impact on the injury claim. In fact, taking time to collect the evidence might be the main aspect of getting compensated appropriately. 

So, what is a good piece of evidence? First, if your kid's clothing was damaged or if it has blood on it - don't wash it or throw it away. Preserve the clothes in a bag and keep them safe. If possible, take pictures and videos as well. The most helpful images are those that accurately depict the scene of the incident. Having a photo of the dog would be very helpful as well. Make sure that you take pictures of your kid on the day of the injury as well as throughout the recovery period!

Don’t overlook the witnesses!

If there were any witnesses to the attack, make sure to get their contact information. If they are willing to help you by making a statement, it will greatly help your claim. 

The most important aspect of evidence gathering is how detailed the description of the attack is. So, write the statement of the witness down. As detailed as possible. The witness should sign the statement at the bottom of every page.

What about getting compensated?

You should know that claims involving children have a good chance of resulting in proper compensation. And there are good reasons for it! When it comes to children, incidents like these tend to result in severe trauma way more often than in adults. 

Treatment that follows is, in a lot of cases, both hard on the victim and can cost a lot. Getting compensated is related to the entire process and should cover various aspects. A credible, experienced attorney should be able to help you ensure that you get reimbursed for every aspect. So, this includes, of course, medical bills. But it also includes therapy expenses and out-of-pocket expenses. It even includes pain and suffering as well!

There are some variations to how much you are going to get compensated, and this mostly depends on the circumstances that have led to the attack. For instance, if the dog was provoked and has no history of violence, the probability of getting fully compensated is lower. 

Ultimately, it is hard not to panic if something like this happens to your child. The only way in which you can ensure that the severity of the situation is amortized is by being informed. Having that in mind, continue doing your research on topics like these! Hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst might seem like unnecessary stress to some. But, if you do find yourself in a situation where the information that you’ve gathered is useful - you will surely be happy that you did your research. Good luck!