Maryland Dog Bite Lawyer
Being attacked and bitten by a dog or other animal is a terrifying experience. Pre-fright trauma of the pending attack as well as the actual attack and efforts to defend against the dog, are all compensable in Maryland. It is important to immediately document all relevant information and injuries including who the owner of the dog is and where the dog resides as soon as possible.
There are different insurance policies that may be accessible to help compensate a victim of a vicious dog attack and therefore the more information available regarding ownership the better. One of the initial questions people ask is if they need a lawyer to assist in a dog attack. The answer is, if the matter is severe enough to warrant compensation, then you should have a lawyer review the case. It dog bite cases it is important to retain a lawyer if there are serious or ongoing injuries because insurance will have to be located to compensate the victim. Many times it is not entirely clear where insurance resources may be hiding and thus a full and complete investigation must be done as early as possible.
Contact a Lawyer for a Dog Bite
To determine whether you should retain a lawyer for dog bite, it depends on the severity of the situation. However, if you are unsure it is best to contact a lawyer and let them explain your legal rights. Among the important considerations are:
- Did the dog bite result in serious or permanent medical injury? Did you have to go to the hospital?
- Was the dog provoked by the injured party? If so, recovery is unlikely.
- Did the attack happen on public property or did the dog break free from it’s own property?
- Was the dog on a leash or restrained when the attack occurred?
- Was the dog a Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler or other dangerous type of dog?
- Does the particular dog that attacked the victim have a prior history of bites?
If a dog attack results in death, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death action in Maryland based upon the specific facts of your case. Contact a Maryland lawyer as soon as possible to determine what your legal rights are.
Steps to take after a dog attack
- Get the owner’s address and determine if they live in a single family home or apartment building.
- Apartments may have additional insurance to help compensate for this type of injury.
- If possible, take a picture of the owner, of the dog, and the injuries sustained. This is important if the owner may provide false information later on.
- Locate any witnesses to the attack.
- If there are witnesses to the dog attack (other than the owner), be sure to obtain their contact information. Witnesses will have an important role in explaining what really happened as owners will typically change the story quite a bit.
- Seek medical treatment and take pictures of all injuries.
- All medical injuries must be clearly and immediately documented in medical records and with pictures. Over time physical injuries will heel so pictures become very important to share the nature and extent of the attack.
- Keep all medical records and Bills together in order to document the injury
- In order to provide a clear picture of the nature of the injuries, all medical records, bills and photos must be maintained to give to the insurance company and to provide in court should that be necessary.
- Report the attack to the appropriate Animal Control Agency
- It is important to report the attack to local animal control because they keep track of animal attacks. If the dog falls into a class of dangerous animal, the owner will be held strictly liable for the injuries. But if the breed of animal is dangerous, like a lab for example, if there are prior instances of biting, this changes your legal standing in court. It is important to document with Animal Control.
- Check Animal Control Records for Prior Dog Bite Incidents with this Dog
- As indicated above, checking Animal Control Records is important because if the dog is not a “dangerous breed” then the owner needs to have notice of the animals propensity to bite. In order to be on legal notice, Animal Control records go a long way to prove that point in court. It is important to check these records after an attack. Conversely, if the animal is a dangerous breed, like Pit Bull, owners are automatically on notice.
- Keep a Diary of all injuries, documents, and pictures of the injuries
It is important to clearly document everything to prove the full nature and extent of the injures received later on to the insurance company or in court. The physical injuries will probably heel in time but the emotional injuries will always be present. Call the Law Offices of Bruce Robinson & Associates 410-484-1111 for a free review of your situation.