Dog Bite Attorney Serving San Diego
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog and the injury is serious seek medical attention immediately.
It is also important to understand that some investigation on your part will greatly help your legal case and, try to follow the following:
- Find out who owns the dog and get as much information from them as possible. Their name, phone number, address, etc.
- IMPORTANTLY, even if the bite did not occur inside the dog owner’s home or not, ask the owner for his homeowners’ insurance agent name and number so that a claim can be made.
- Find out if animal control has been called, if not call them. Also, once the dog is in the custody of animal control, find out if the dog has been quarantined.
- See if animal control has any records of previous bites by the same dog and if so, request copies of these records.
- Request animal control and the dog’s owner to not put the dog to sleep until someone on your behalf has had the opportunity to have the dog examined by an expert.
- If possible, take pictures/video of the injury, the dog, the location of where the injury occurred. Basically, you want to document the scene and the injury as best you can.
- Get statements from all witnesses who saw the injury and/or dog bite occur, or witnesses who may have saw how the dog was behaving just prior to the bite happening.
- Go the neighbors of where the dog lives and get statements from them of what they know about the dog and the dog’s characteristics.
After a dog bite injury is reported the local animal authorities should come and pick up the dog and place and place it in quarantine. Usually tests are done on the dog to see if the dog has rabies or any other diseases. A report will be generated and you will need to get a copy of that as soon as you can.
If this dog is a repeat offender or has otherwise been picked up by animal control before, there probably are records of the event and you will want to get copies of those records too.
It is important that the dog not be put to sleep so that you can have an expert evaluate the dog. If the owner or animal control tells you that they are going to put the dog down, an attorney can get a court order to prevent this in order to allow the examination of the dog first. The examination would be for the purpose of determining whether the dog had clear dangerous tendencies that the owner should have been aware of.
If you can take photos of the dog, in a safe way, do so as soon as possible. The photos help to prove that this exact dog was the one that injured you. Also, take photos of the place where the injury occurred so that, whether it was at a park, on the street, or in the dog owner’s home, so that we can get a good representation of the scene of the injury.
Obviously, witnesses are very important. Try to get statements from all people who saw the bite. Ask them if they saw or heard the dog growling; if the dog was being aggressive or hostile; or any other things that they may have seen or heard before the bite occurred.
Similarly, get statements from neighbors of where the dog lived. Find out what they know about the dog and if they had ever observed the dog acting aggressive in the past.
Get the name and phone number of the homeowners’ insurance policy so that you can file a claim. If the dog owner refuses, try to reason with the owner and explain the reason for having a homeowners’ insurance policy is for events such as this and that providing the information is for the benefit of everyone involved.