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When Dogs Attack: Protecting Your Rights after Being Bit

Written By: Joseph Dunn

A recent survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control discovered there are about 4.5 million dog bite victims every year in America. These dog bites send over 1,000 victims to hospital emergency rooms in this country each and every day. If you are unfortunately one of the far too many people bitten by a dog, your likelihood of being compensated for your injuries depends largely on the actions you take IMMEDIATELY following your accident.

To ensure that your rights are protected after you or a loved one are attacked by a dog, follow these 5 simple steps:

1.) Be sure to identify the dog and its owner. Gather the owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance information.

2.) Report the incident to Animal Control. Ask Animal Control to conduct a “dangerous dog hearing.”

3.) Identify any potential witnesses to the attack and any potential witnesses who have encountered the attacking dog acting viciously in the past. Get these witnesses’ names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses.
• Dog Bite law in Maryland requires that in order to be held liable, the owner must have knowledge of their dog’s vicious propensities. So gathering evidence of the dog’s previous actions can be crucial to your case.

4.) Take photos! Be sure to include ALL of your injuries, any bruises, blood, bloody clothing, etc. Include photos of the scene as well. You can never take too many photos.

5.) Contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The “Statute of Limitations” begins tolling from the day you are bit. Also, the further time moves along, the more witnesses’ memories fade. It is imperative that a lawyer become involved swiftly so he or she may ensure your best chance at recovering for your injuries.

In addition to the steps to take immediately following an attack, be sure to never do any of the following after a dog attack:

1.) DO NOT give anyone a statement about what happened! This is especially true for speaking with the dog owner’s insurance company.

2.) DO NOT wait to gather witness information, take photos of your injuries, or gather the dog owner’s information.

3.) DO NOT wait to contact GDH Law for a free evaluation of your claim.

If you follow these simple “Do’s and Don’ts” after being bit by a dog you will greatly increase your chances of being compensated for your injuries. However, DO NOT attempt to handle these situations on your own, contact a lawyer to start working on your case right away. The amount and the likelihood of your recovery greatly depends on this.

If you or a loved have been involved in a Dog Attack, do not delay, contact GDH Law today. We can be reached at GDHlawfirm.com or (301)-769-6835.

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