As summer descends upon the Southland and more people are out enjoying the sun, area emergency rooms will once again face an influx of dog attacks. Nearly half a million people are hurt or seriously injured in dog attacks each year, throughout the United States. A considerable amount of these attacks occur in and around the Los Angeles metro, with nearly 50% of the cases involving children under the age of 14. As a parent, it is important to keep an eye on both your children and any dogs that they may come in contact with. Should a dog bite your child, it is equally important to know what steps to take to ensure their health and your legal rights:
Seek medical attention – This may seem like a foregone conclusion after a dog attack, but if the bite is minor enough, you may reconsider medical attention. Don’t make this mistake. Dog bites can lead to some very nasty infections, which if left alone, can severely impact your child’s health. Regardless of how small the attack may seem, call your doctor right away and schedule a check-up. If your doctor is unable to see you, head to the emergency room and get checked out.
Contact the authorities – In Los Angeles, you can report a dog attack to a number of different agencies, from the Department of Animal Care to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. However, depending on the severity of the bite, you may wish to simply call 911 and have a police officer examine the scene. The responding officer will file an official report which will come in handy should you pursue legal action at a later date.
Collect evidence – While the police are en route to your scene, or if you decide not to contact 911 directly, you can begin collecting information about your attack. Important facts like the name of the owner, the dog, if it has rabies shots, and anything nearby witnesses may be able to provide, such as photos and contact information. All of this could be of use should you decide to file a claim against the at-fault owner.
Call a dog bite attorney – Don’t delay. If you, or a family member, have been injured in a dog attack, a dedicated personal injury attorney can instruct you on your rights and options. While you may choose not to pursue legal action, an attorney can help make you an educated decision one way or another.
For more information on dog bite claims or to schedule a free consultation today, contact Kahn Roven at your earliest convenience.