Get Medical Attention
Your own health and safety is always priority after being involved in a serious accident, and a dog bite attack is no different. You should always take care of this before any other matters, especially if you sustained any kind of injuries. You should always pursue medical help immediately if necessary, and this includes any type of wound or puncture, despite how serious you think it may be. In the case of a dog bite, you have no idea how clean the mouth of the animal may be, and this leaves you at an increased risk of infection even if the wound is relatively small and do not show great signs of bleeding.
If possible when pursuing medical attention, you should try to find ways to record and document services that are received. You can ask for copies of your bill along with a detailed list or injuries that received treatment at a hospital or doctor’s office. In the event that the dog attack injured your face, you could possibly consider finding a plastic surgeon for cosmetic needs that standard doctors are not well-trained on.
After injuries have been assessed and treated in order to ensure you are physically safe, you should always try to gather information on the attack. Some of the key pieces of information in these cases are the dog as well as its owner, as this will allow you to discover if there is a risk of rabies along with other diseases.
It is also important to gather data regarding the entire circumstances of the event. If there are witnesses available, take down their names and have them speak to any investigators who may be present at the scene. If none are willing to stay for the report, try to persuade them to stay or take their statement before they leave.
Report to Animal Control or Relevant Government Agency
It goes without saying that all incidents of dog bites should be reported to animal control, it is specifically relevant when the owner of the animal is not identified. These situations require that the animal be found and tested for diseases such as rabies which are harmful to the greater public.
Dog Bite Law in Utah
There are many regulations and laws in Utah regarding dog bite attacks that are in the civil court system. We will take the time now to review some of these laws, such as the time limits for filing a claim related to a dog bite injury.
There are very specific regulations concerning liability in dog bite accidents. This piece of legislation states that “every person owning or keeping a dog is liable in damages for injury committed by the dog.” This is during situations where the owner was unaware that the dog could cause injuries to other individuals. This lack of required knowledge by the owner makes the dog injury statue in Utah a strict liability law.
The law in Utah does not only regulate injuries that are related to dog bites. It also applies to injuries that are due to the actions of the animal as well. An example is if a dog brings an individual to the ground, injuring him or her in the process, the victim of this event can then pursue damages from the owner of the animal under the law. At the same time, the injured party is also able to file a claim on the basis of negligence theory. A claim of negligence states that the owner of the dog did not use a reasonable level of care which resulted in the injuries sustained.
In this way, the dog bite law in the state of Utah is fairly comprehensive. This allows for very few avenues for defense for defendant’s who are facing a suit under the dog bite statute. There is one exception to liability under the law involving dogs that are trained for law enforcement who are “reasonably and carefully being used in the apprehension, arrest, or location of a suspected offender or in maintaining or controlling the public order.”
In the event that a dog bite or dog-related injury claim in Utah is based on the premise of negligence, there are some defenses that could be raised by the dog owner. These include the owner arguing that the injured party was somehow partly or even totally liable for the injuries sustained. This argument is known as “comparative negligence” and may apply if the injured party was somehow provoking the animal during the time of the accident.
Utah is considered a “modified” comparative negligence state. This means that if the injured party is seen to be at fault by less than 50 percent, the law in Utah will require that the court reduce the amount of damages of the injured individual comparatively to the percentage of his or her fault in the attack. In the event that the injured individual is found by the court to be 50 percent or more responsible, they are essentially unable to collect any damages from the plaintiff.
Also, if the injured party was trespassing during the time of the accident, the owner of the dog can state that there are limits due to homeowner liability for the injury of the trespasser.
Dog Bite Injuries in Utah
Dog bite attacks are not always the first thing on your mind. However, 4.5 million Americans find themselves the victim of a dog bite each year. A large majority of these victims are children at 50 percent. Children 5 to 9 are specifically more vulnerable to dog bite attacks than other groups. If a loved one finds themselves the victim of a serious dog bite attack, you need to be prepared to protect them.
Siegfried & Jensen have been practicing for many years now. We proudly proclaim that our firm has a 97 percent success rate with our combined 35,000 cases. We have recovered over $850 million for our clients in order to help get their lives back on track after an accident. Please, contact our experienced dog bite attorneys in Utah today in order to discuss your claim.