Animal Attack and Dog Bite Claim Resources
Considering that 48 million Americans own pets, it comes as no surprise that dog bites and animal attacks are common. Pet owners never want to think about a dog attack on a loved one, family member, other pet, or an unsuspecting stranger. Unfortunately, injury cases can and do happen.
This article helps animal owners understand what resources they can use after an animal attack. The following resources cover dog attack prevention, treatment options for the victim of a dog bite, and insurance options to protect a pet owner after a dog bite incident.
Dog Bite Law and Legal Rights Resources
Dog bite victims and pet owners each have legal rights in animal attacks and dog bite cases. After a dog attack, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area, even if you were trespassing on private property. Some states may not allow compensation or medical bills repayment if you were attacked on an owner's property without permission to be there. Still, an experienced lawyer in your state would know.
Make sure to review FindLaw's Dog Bites and Animal Attacks section for in-depth articles on legal rights and liabilities, such as:
- Dog Bite and Animal Attack Laws By State: Strict liability, one bite rule, and comparative negligence are legal theories pet owners should know. Pet owners are responsible for the actions of their animals, but how much responsibility is up to each state.
- Who Pays For Animal Bites: In most cases, a pet owner's insurance company pays damages and medical expenses under the homeowner's or renter's insurance policy.
- Types of Animal Bite Injuries: Know about all types of animal attack injuries you can raise in a personal injury claim. These include disfigurement, wrongful death, emotional distress, and PTSD.
- Proving Knowledge of a Dog's Viciousness: A dog bite lawyer or personal injury attorney can help determine if the owner knew their pet was a dangerous dog.
- ASPCA: Breed-Specific Legislation: Summary of the ASPCA's opposition to breed-specific dog bans. It includes statistics and alternatives to these laws.
Medical Attention Resources
After an animal attack, your priority is ensuring you are safe. Call local animal control and 911 first.
Knowing where to turn in the heat of the moment could protect you and your loved ones. Disclaimer: Ensure you seek medical care from a licensed doctor in your state.
- Prevention and Treatment of Dog Bites: The American Academy of Family Physicians advises what to do if an animal bites you. This website includes initial wound management, antibiotic treatment, and a discussion of rabies.
- Public Health Information for Dog Bite Prevention: The American Veterinary Medical Association provides statistics and comprehensive resources to help prevent dog bites.
- Animal Bites in Children: This site gives tips for caring for children with animal bites.
Dog Bite Injury Prevention Resources
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Information and CDC statistics on dog bite injuries and fatalities in the United States. Includes tips on how to prevent animal bites and vaccinations.
- Dog Bite Prevention: Tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on avoiding dog bites. It includes information about how to read a vicious dog's body language.
- Dog Bite Liability: The Insurance Information Institute shares statistics and legal issues surrounding dog bites. It includes the estimated cost of dog bite claims.
- Breed-Specific Dog Laws, State-by-State: Click on your state to learn more about prohibited dog breeds (if any). These state or local laws sometimes prevent the presence of pit bulls and Rottweilers. Prohibited dogs are illegal. You may be able to file criminal charges against the dog owner after an attack in those states.
Dog Attack Compensation
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself and your pet is to have insurance. Liability insurance policies are the most common way a dog bite victim receives compensation for damages. The average dog attack settlement in 2022 was $64,555 per claim.
- Who Pays for Animal Bites: Homeowner's insurance and renter's insurance are often used to cover a dog bite claim. Dangerous dogs or certain breeds usually do not receive coverage.
- Dog Owner Liability Insurance: This is available for those whose general homeowner or renter's insurance policies don't cover dog bites. Some companies include X Insurance, Einhorn Insurance Company, and Insure My K9.
- Pet Partners: This nonprofit offers resources for volunteering your pet for therapy. It includes training, education, and insurance.
- Dangerous Exotic Pets: The Humane Society provides general information about exotic animals that are sometimes kept as pets, with summaries of state laws.
Finding a Dog Bite Attorney
If you need to file an animal attack lawsuit or know your legal rights, finding an experienced attorney is your first step. They can help you navigate personal injury laws related to animal attacks.
- FindLaw Animal and Dog Bites Lawyers Near You
- Bar Directories and Lawyer Locators: Use your state's bar association website to find licensed dog bite attorneys in your area. For example, the Illinois State Bar Association lists Chicago dog bite lawyers in a directory. You may have to search for contact information in your web browser, but you'll get a list of individual attorneys near you.
Grief Support Resources
Pets are family members. We grieve their wrongful deaths, too. This is especially true if the death was sudden and a result of a dog attack.
- How to Cope with the Death of Your Pet: The Humane Society of the United States provides information on grief. It includes support groups and ways to memorialize your best friend.
- Pet Compassion Careline: This is a 24/7 pet grief hotline and resource for pet owners.
- Grieving a Pet: The American Kennel Club provides grief resources. It includes how to help your surviving pets in their mourning process.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are protected.