DO THE RIGHT THING AFTER YOUR DOG BITES SOMEONE
In addition to the calls our attorneys get from someone recently bit by a dog, we also sometimes get calls from dog owners whose dog just bit someone. We got one of those calls yesterday. The caller said his dog bit a neighbor, and now the neighbor hired a lawyer. He was upset that the neighbor hired a lawyer for the dog bite injury because he had already “done the right thing.” He said several times in the conversation that he had done the right thing. When he finally said what he had done, our lawyer found out that he had gone to the neighbor’s house, offered to pay the medial bills, and asked for pictures of the dog bite injury.
Our lawyer did not correct the caller on the phone, but we do not agree that he really did the right thing. In our opinion, the right thing when your dog bites someone starts with a sincere apology. “Oh my God! I am so sorry that my dog bit you! Nothing like that has ever happened before. Are you OK?! What can I do to help? ” An apology like that should be the starting point of doing the right thing. Then, following through on helping, going with the neighbor to the hospital, visiting the neighbor when they get home, bringing food, etc. Also there should be a real discussion, including whether the dog should be put down. That last part is hard, but it has to be considered.
In addition, if the dog bite is more than a puncture wound and is going to leave a real scar, the dog owner should volunteer his homeowners insurance information to the person the dog bit. The homeowner’s insurance will cover a dog bite or dog attack, and make sure the victim is compensated for any permanent scarring or injury, and that future medical treatment will be paid for.
Finally, don’t get mad at the person your dog bit if they hire a lawyer to help them with the claim. Nobody wants their dog to bite someone, and nobody wants to be bitten. But our lawyers know that dog bite and dog attack incidents happen. Accept responsibility for the situation because it was your dog that bit someone.
Our lawyers represent many people in Minnesota each year who have been bitten by a dog. Our primary responsibility is to make sure the dog bite victim is fairly and completely compensated for the injury. We make sure medical bills are paid, lost wages are reimbursed, and compensation is paid for any permanent scarring and possible future medical treatment.