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What you should do after a dog bites you

When you're bitten by an animal, there are many laws in place that determine who is liable for your injuries. In most cases, it's the owner of the animal who can be held liable for any injuries you suffer. Your priority should be to get medical attention, but your attorney can begin a claim immediately following an attack.

You might be worried about bringing a claim against the person whose animal bit you for a few reasons. First, you might think that your neighbor, friend or the other party will suffer financially if you do so. Fortunately, insurance companies, like those that provide homeowner's insurance or car insurance, tend to pick up the costs associated with an animal attack. Another reason you might want to avoid a claim is feeling that the animal could be put to sleep. In many cases, animals that have only lashed out once are unlikely to be put down unless they're a real hazard to others around them. There are other possibilities, like leashing them or retraining them, that courts will also consider.

The owner may have specialty animal insurance specifically for his or her pet. These, like other insurance companies, tend to cover a first-bite incident only. Be sure to talk to the owner about how many times attacks like this have happened. In most cases, a dog may have no history of aggression, so your claim should not face any trouble. If the dog has been violent in the past, then your attorney may have to help you seek compensation through other means.

Source: FindLaw, "Animal Bites: Who Pays Damages?," accessed March 23, 2017

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