Dogs can be some of our closest companions, but they occasionally bite their owners and strangers. If you don’t know what to do after a dog bite in Kentucky, this article can help you. In general, you should seek medical attention, gather information about the dog’s owner, alert the authorities, and consult an attorney about your right to recover financial compensation for your losses.
Seth Gladstein of Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience representing personal injury victims, and he has recovered millions for his clients. Seth can help maximize your recovery in a dog bite case.
A Dog Owner’s Liability for a Dog Bite
Dog owners in Kentucky are strictly liable for their dogs’ actions, including any injuries their dogs cause. If a dog bites someone, the owner could be required to do the following:
- Provide the victim with their contact information and proof of the dog’s current rabies vaccination status;
- Notify the local authorities within 12 hours of the bite;
- If the dog has a history of aggressive behavior, take additional precautions, such as keeping the dog in a secure enclosure or muzzling the dog in public; and
- Compensate the victim for the harm they suffered.
In general, owners of dogs who bite others must pay for the bite victim’s medical bills, wage losses, pain and suffering, and out-of-pocket expenses associated with the animal attack.
After a Dog Bite or Animal Attack: Next Steps
Enduring an animal attack is harrowing, but you should act quickly to address the effects of a bite or injury to prevent further harm and preserve your rights to legal remedies. Take the following steps into consideration when you want to know what to do after a dog bite injury:
- Go to the doctor. Receiving medical care is paramount after a dog attack. Dogs’ teeth and jaws can break bones, tear flesh and ligaments, and introduce infections into your system, so you should seek medical care immediately after a dog bite.
- Speak to an attorney. You can face several legal obstacles when seeking the compensation you deserve in a dog bite case, so having an attorney is often vital to the success of your claim. And the sooner you speak to an attorney about your injuries, the better your chances of winning everything you deserve.
- Collect information from the dog’s owner. As soon as you can after a bite attack, get contact information from the dog’s owner. What you collect should include information about the owner’s homeowners insurance policy (if applicable) and the dog’s vaccination history.
- Report the incident to your local health department. Kentucky law requires dog bite victims or their healthcare providers to report animal attacks to the health department within 12 hours of the attack or by the department’s next working day.
- File a claim on the owner’s insurance policy or file a lawsuit in civil court. Sometimes, you can reach a satisfactory settlement by negotiating with the dog owner’s homeowners insurance carrier, but you might have to take legal action in court to recover adequate relief.
- Gather evidence regarding your losses and the owner’s liability. Your attorney can help you gather evidence necessary to prove your claim.
You have only one year to file a complaint against the owner of the dog that bit you, so you cannot wait around to assert your rights. Seth Gladstein can timely file your claim and help ensure that a dog’s owner pays what they owe you after a dog bite.
Steps to Reporting a Dog Bite
As we mentioned above, you or your healthcare provider needs to report your dog bite within 12 hours of an attack or by the next workday. In your report, you will likely need to provide the following information:
- Your contact and background information,
- When the attack happened,
- Where you were when the bite occurred,
- The physical characteristics of the dog,
- Where on your body you suffered the injury,
- The contact information for the dog’s owner,
- The dog’s breed and sex, and
- Information about any medical attention you have received.
Your local health department has forms for reporting bites. You can also call the Division of Environmental Health and Protection for more information.
We Can Take Care of You
When you suffer the trauma of a dog bite, someone should be there to take care of you. At Gladstein Law Firm, we are passionate about protecting victims in personal injury claims. We also have the experience to safeguard your rights. Seth Gladstein has been in practice for almost 20 years and has recouped significant compensation for injury victims. If you need help, please give our firm a call at 502-791-9000, or contact us online to schedule a consultation.