Dog Bite Lawyers
Animal bites can leave children and adults with severe scars and nerve damage that remain for a lifetime. Emotional injuries, infection, painful lacerations, punctures, abrasions, crush injuries, facial and other fractures are not unusual either. Victims may be forced to undergo painful, lengthy, and expensive rabies treatments. The medical bills following an animal attack can be significant. Years after an attack, they may need plastic or cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of scars.
Who can you turn to for help when you or a loved one has been injured by an animal through the negligence of its owner? The lawyers at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen have handled hundreds of animal bite cases and can advise and counsel you how to proceed with your claim. They understand the serious and long term impact such injuries can have on individuals and their families.
Contact us for a free consultation at 1-866-388-1307. Our attorneys routinely handle dog bite and animal bite cases.
The attorneys at Allen, Allen, Allen and Allen know the Virginia laws and ordinances which impose liability on negligent animal owners for injuries their animals inflict on innocent victims. In some towns or cities, local ordinances require that dogs walking or running on public streets be secured by a leash and under the control of the owner or an attendant. A pet owner may be held responsible when the owner allows an unattended, unleashed dog to attack and injure someone. Likewise, an owner must use reasonable care to prevent injury to persons who may come in contact with his animals while visiting his home or property. This is especially true when the owner or caretaker knows one or more of his animals has a tendency towards dangerous or vicious conduct or when the owner is aware that one of his pets has attacked or bitten a person in the past.
What should you do immediately after an animal has bitten or attacked you?
- Identify the animal and its owner. If you are physically unable to do so, ask a bystander or family member to obtain the information. This may be critical to your health. If you cannot identify the animal that bit you, it cannot be checked for rabies. As a result, you may face painful rabies treatment. Furthermore, if you decide to make a claim for injuries sustained during an animal attack, you must know the identity of the animal's owner or caretaker in order to file a lawsuit against him.
- Identifying the animal's owner and the place where the animal lived at the time of the incident is also essential for a proper investigation of your claim. This information will help your Allen and Allen lawyer and investigators answer many important questions. What did the owner and neighbors know before the attack that the dog or animal was vicious and likely to attack others? Had this particular animal ever bitten a neighbor or others before your attack? If so, who and when? Was the dog allowed to roam freely in a town or city where there was a leash ordinance in effect?
- Report the incident promptly to the local animal control department. Officials may investigate the circumstances surrounding your attack and take action to prevent future attacks on others. Department records may also reveal that the same dog or animal which bit you had been involved in prior attacks. Information regarding the animal's prior conduct may help your Allen and Allen lawyer win your case.
- Obtain the name, address and phone number of eye witnesses who saw the dog or animal attack or who came to the scene shortly thereafter. Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen investigators may interview these witnesses to determine if they have valuable information to support your case. Our investigators may also locate neighbors who know whether the dog or animal had attacked other people in the past.
- If you have contact with the dog or animal owner after the incident, ask him about insurance. His homeowners' or renters' insurance policy may provide you coverage.
- Get prompt medical treatment if your injuries involve more than superficial cuts or lacerations that will heal without scarring in a few days. You may need to be tested immediately for rabies. Watch out for infection. If you sustained a severe facial cut or laceration, one which requires stitches or debridement, ask that a plastic or cosmetic surgeon perform the procedure. Most scars, even with plastic surgery, will never fade completely. However, plastic surgeons are trained to minimize permanent scarring.
- Take photographs of your injuries while they are fresh, within a day or two of your injury if possible. It is equally important to photograph your lacerations, bruises, scars, and other injuries as time passes. It usually takes a year or more for scars to reach maximum medical improvement. Your Allen and Allen attorney may want to show an insurance claims representative or a jury how severe your injuries were during the first few weeks after your attack and how long it took for your injuries to heal.
When an animal causes personal injury, it can be difficult to determine whether there is an actionable claim against the animal owner or caretaker. The attorneys of the Allen Law Firm can review the facts of your case and evaluate them. Call us at 866-388-1307 for a free consultation or contact us by email. We want to help you.