Now, that spring is just around the corner in Western Pennsylvania, more children will be spending more time outdoors, enjoying warmer weather. More dogs will be spending more time outside too. Unfortunately, children often are the victims of serious dog bite injuries in warmer months. In fact, more than 50% of dog bite victims are children and children also are more likely to need medical treatment after a dog bite attack.
If your child suffers an injury in a dog bite attack, you may not know what to do in the moments after the attack. You may feel overwhelmed and in shock. However, it’s important you take the following six steps after a dog bites your child:
- Separate the dog and your child, so your child is no longer in danger of suffering another dog bite attack.
- Call 911 if your child suffers a serious injury in a dog bite attack and seek medical treatment even if your child’s injury seems more minor. Even if your child only receives small scratches in a dog bite attack, they are more at risk for developing an infection or rabies if a rabid or unvaccinated dog bites them.
- Identify the dog’s owner and notify them about the dog bite attack. If the attack happened on their property, get their homeowner’s insurance company contact information so you can file a claim to cover your child’s injury costs.
- Contact animal control to report the dog bite attack. You want animal control to have a record of this attack, to prevent further attacks that may injure someone and bolster your personal injury claim for the attack.
- Keep evidence of the dog bite attack. If your child’s clothes were bloodied or torn during the attack, keep those as evidence of the attack. Take pictures of your child’s injuries and document how those injuries heal. Write down what any witnesses to the dog bite attack say about what happened and if your child didn’t provoke the attack. You should have the witnesses sign and date their statements about the attack.
- Consult a personal injury attorney if your child suffers a serious injury in a dog bite attack. You want to make sure you get full compensation for your child’s medical bills after a dog bite attack. You may want to pursue pain and suffering damages if your child was disfigured in the attack or has PTSD as result of the attack.
You need to stay levelheaded in the moments after the crash to ensure they are safe and receive the medical help they need. Then, you need to protect your child’s best interests, so you can receive the compensation needed so they can fully recover from their dog bite injuries.