When your dog bites someone, it can be tempting to panic. Is the victim OK? Will you get sued? Will your dog get taken away?
While the rush of emotion is normal, remember that how you respond to this scenario plays a key role in the outcome.
While it may be hard to picture your loving dog ever biting someone, it can and does happen. Whether they feel threatened, they believe you are threatened or they are provoked in some way, you must be prepared.
If your dog bites someone, secure the animal away from the victim. Assist them with calling for medical help if it is needed. When it comes to dog bites, even if it doesn’t seem like the wound needs a doctor’s attention, it is better to opt for treatment rather than regret it later. Always show concern for the victim but do not admit fault in any way. This can be used against you later.
Offer your contact information to the bite victim and get theirs in return. If there were witnesses, get their contact information as well. Also proactively report the bite to the local authorities, which may include the police and animal control. By going above and beyond to report the incident and share your personal contact information, you are protecting yourself from any potential future claims that you attempted to conceal the incident.
Also find your dog’s medical records and immediately send copies to the victim so they can be assured they are protected against disease.
Depending on where you live, dog bite laws can vary. Your dog may be required to enter a quarantine for a predetermined period. If the injury was serious, the law may require that your dog be euthanized.
To fully understand local laws surrounding dog bites, contact a lawyer and arrange for representation if need be. Consult a legal professional if the victim has asked for money, the dog bite drew blood, you believe your dog could have an infectious disease that was passed to the victim or the police have contacted you. Also talk to a lawyer if you at all feel like the victim may be leaning toward pressing charges.
Finally, it’s time to contact your insurance company. See if you are covered for this scenario, whether through homeowners or renters insurance. It will depend on where the incident happened and the limits of your policy.
Do you like the idea of preparing in advance for scenarios like this? That’s what we are here for at Four Seasons Insurance. Call us today to explore your protections, our rates and how we can make sure you’re covered for anything life brings.