Dog bites are often painful and expensive. It happens unexpectedly, and if you have been bitten by a dog or the other way around where your dog has bitten someone else, the medical bills may become overwhelming. The money would be the last thing that you want to worry about while recovering is money and medical bills. Fortunately, there are several ways to make medical expenses from a dog’s bite covered.
What you should know
Are you liable if your dog bites someone?
Dog owners should have to pay medical bills for the victim’s dog bites. This is often due to the dog’s owner not having liability on the dog or because the dog owner wants to minimize damage and avoid paying medical expenses for the victim’s dog bite.
Will the owner be held liable if I got bit by their dog?
If your dog has bitten someone else, you should be held responsible for the victim’s injuries. Dog bites are very complicated cases, involving many different rules of law and including expensive medical bills.
Is a dog bite a crime?
Dog bites are considered a crime in some states. They’re unfortunate injuries that can occur when you least expect them. They’re most often the result of dog owners failing to adequately control their dog or simply not taking responsibility for their dog’s actions.
One of the most important things you can do to make sure that your medical expenses are paid after a dog bite injury is to document the damage or record the incident.
With all the pet dogs in U.S. households, a study shows that more than 800,000 Americans get medical treatment for dog bites every year!
What happens when my dog bites someone?
Stay calm and cooperate.
If you are in a similar situation, act responsibly. Taking the proper steps will help minimize the legal risks to both you and your dog. Make sure the victim gets medical attention. Offer to take them to the hospital and pay for their medical bills. In the meantime, take steps to protect others from your dog by confining him. In many states, it is illegal to leave the scene if your dog bites someone. Instead, act responsibly and communicate with the victim.
The victim may take time off for their medical diagnosis, treatment, or recovery and get reimbursement if they are currently working. If the injury impairs their ability to work in the future, they should also be compensated for that future income (referred to as a “loss in earning capacity”).
What if someone else’s dog bites me?
In some states (under the “dangerous dog laws“), judges may require the owner of a dog to take special precautions if the dog has hurt someone or threatened that person. The judge might order that the dog is put to death if it is likely to cause serious harm. If an owner doesn’t follow these rules, they could face criminal penalties and go to jail.
Also, here are some tips to keep in mind if a dog bites you:
- Get the personal information of the owner of the dog. If they have liability insurance, you will need their number.
- If you see a dog running loose, get the name and contact information of any people who might have seen what happened. You may need them to back up your story later if you and the owner have disagreements. If you don’t know who owns the dog, animal control can find the dog from your description and then find its owner.
- Report the incident to animal control authorities. They need to know who owns the dog and if it has attacked people before. You might be able to work out a deal with the dog owner or even win in court if you have proof that it is aggressive, but first, contact the authorities so they can make sure it is not rabid.
- Take pictures of the dog, your injuries, and anything around you that might help prove your story.
- If your injury is severe enough to be taken care of by a doctor, go to one quickly. You also need to be sure if the dog has taken its puppy vaccinations for rabies. Keep records of where you’ve been and the bills that come in.
How much is a dog bite worth?
It depends. Many variables can influence dog bite treatment costs, including how severe your dog’s bite was, where you took the victim for treatment and if X-rays or tests were required to determine if dog attack wounds are grave.
Depending on the dog’s bite, dog bites treatment costs could range from $50 to over $7000.
Getting bitten by a dog can be scary, but the truth is that you’re going to need help with the medical bills. You should first try to get in touch with the dog owner because many insurance companies will reimburse them for their expenses connected with treating your injuries. If not, then it’s time to contact a lawyer who can advise on injury cases and offer second opinions regarding where to file a civil lawsuit against these dog bites.
And in any case, make sure you talk with your health insurance company about what they can cover. Limitations on various situations, such as having preexisting conditions or how much coverage has been purchased ahead of time.