What To Do If Your Child Is Bitten By A Dog

Dog bites can be extremely traumatic experiences, especially when children are involved.  As responsible parents/guardians, you must hold the liable party accountable for you and your child’s well-being.  In this blog post, we will outline the steps you should take after your child was bitten by a dog, address any medical concerns, and discuss the legal implications if an irresponsible dog owner is involved.

Bitten By A Dog

Make Sure Your Child is Safe

First and foremost, you must ensure the safety of your child.  Separate your child from the dog and assess the injuries.  Seek immediate medical attention if you notice that your child’s skin has been broken by the dog bite.  Wounds in sensitive areas such as the face require special attention due to potential scarring and increased bleeding.

Collective Evidence

Immediately collect evidence, including the dog owner’s name, address, and proof of rabies vaccination. Use good lighting to take clear pictures of your child’s injuries. Do this as soon as possible after the incident. Don’t edit the photos.

Does Your Child Need a Tetanus Shot?

Whether your child needs a tetanus shot depends on the dog’s vaccination status:

  • Rabies Vaccination Proof: If the dog owner provides proof of rabies vaccination, your child may not require additional shots.
  • High-Risk Situations: If vaccination status is uncertain or if the bite is considered high-risk, a series of rabies shots might be necessary. Tetanus shots are not typically administered for dog bites, but if your child hasn’t had one in the past 10 years, it may be recommended.
  • Family Dog or No Signs of Abuse: If the dog belongs to your family and there’s no evidence of abuse, CPS is unlikely to intervene. Their primary concern is ensuring a child’s safety.
  • Hospital Reporting: It’s important to note that hospital staff are mandated to report all dog bites, which may prompt an investigation by animal control.

Understanding the State Laws on Dog Bites

It is extremely important to review your state laws because each state has different laws regarding the consequence of dog bites. For example, the laws in Washington State stipulate that the owner is liable for covering the victim’s damages when their dog bites. This responsibility holds regardless of whether the dog had a history of biting or if the owner was aware of its potential to do so.

Who Is Liable for Your Child’s Injuries?

In most cases, the irresponsible dog owner is liable for your child’s injuries.  According to the Vancouver dog bite lawyers at NW Injury Law Center, you must be able to establish liability to receive financial compensation.  They recommend to do the following steps:

  • File a Dog Bite Report: Report the incident to local authorities. Each jurisdiction may have specific reporting procedures. If you do not file a dog report, you will not be able to establish liability with the irresponsible dog owner.
  • Gather evidence:  Make sure to collect all forms of evidence such as medical records from hospital visits, photographs of your child’s injuries, information about previous attacks by the dog and any evidence of the owner’s negligence.  Examples of the owner’s negligence would be inadequate restraint or enclosure like allowing the dog to roam freely without a leash.

Experiencing a dog bite can be a distressing event, but knowing how to respond is key to your child’s recovery and well-being. By taking immediate action, seeking appropriate medical care, and considering legal steps if necessary, you can navigate this challenging situation effectively. Remember, consulting a dog bite lawyer can provide invaluable support in holding irresponsible dog owners accountable for the harm their pets have caused.

We are not lawyers and this is in no way intended to be used as legal advice . We cannot be held responsible for your results. Always do your own research and seek professional legal help.

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