While dogs are a common pet in New Orleans, not all dogs are completely docile or safe to be around. Unfortunately, that means that dog bite injuries are not an unusual occurrence. If your child has been injured by a dog, there are a number of steps you may consider taking.
Obviously, the most important thing to do is to tend to the injury. If the injury has been severe, it is important to not only seek medical attention, but also to follow through on all recommendations made by the medical providers.
After attending to the initial medical care of the injuries, try to find out if the dog has had its rabies shots. Once these important health concerns have been addressed, you can then look to protect your child’s rights should you need to pursue damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
As soon as it is practical, you should attempt to obtain the name and address of the dog owner. If the owner is willing to share any information with you regarding his or her homeowner or renter insurance, you should also document this information. Insurance may help to pay for medical treatment needed by your child as a result of being bitten.
You should also contact the local police department regarding the incident. They will prepare a report documenting the bite and may conduct further investigation. Also, you should obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses who saw the dog bite your child. If any of the witnesses know the dog, ask them if they have ever seen the dog previously demonstrate any sort of aggressive behavior, such as biting, growling, or jumping on people. This information may help to establish that the dog posed an unreasonable risk of harm should you need to sue as a result of your child’s injuries.
If you have any additional questions regarding how to protect your rights following a dog bite incident, we would be happy to consult with you. Our number is 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.