Dog Bites: A Lawyer's Guide for Parents of Child Bitten by a Dog

Ten Things to Do if Your Child is Bitten By a Dog

  1. Call 911 or seek immediate medical treatment for your child. In addition to the life-threatening injuries their bites can cause, dogs can have rabies and other diseases for which your child may require an inoculation or tetanus shot.
  2. Call or arrange for a plastic surgeon to meet you in the ER or at the hospital. A board certified plastic surgeon is far more experienced and capable of doing an excellent job minimizing any scarring from the bite areas.
  3. Take photos. I know it's hard to do, but it is vital that you document the damage caused by the dog BEFORE the wounds are cleaned and sutured.
  4. Do NOT speak with anyone other than your child's doctors about the case. In particular, do NOT speak with anyone who claims to be an investigator, insurance company employee, adjuster, or anyone else other that is not one of your child's medical providers.
  5. Do NOT ask friends if anyone knows an attorney. For the most part, lawyers are specialists, focusing their practice on one or two areas of the law. You wouldn't want a bankruptcy attorney handling your child's dog bite case any more than you would want a foot doctor trying to perform plastic surgery on your child's face. You need an attorney experienced in handling dog bite cases. Dog bite settlements and verdicts can reach into the millions and can provide compensation for your child's injuries for a lifetime . Therefore, choosing an attorney to pursue your child's dog bite case may be the most important decision you ever make for your child.
  6. Contact your local State or County Bar Association for a referral to speak with a Dog Bite Lawyer who will speak to you about your child's situation FREE OF CHARGE.
  7. NEVER pay a Lawyer for a consultation or for any legal fees. All reputable Dog Bite Attorneys take accept Dog Bite cases on a contingency basis -- which means that the attorney only gets paid if and when your child's case is settled or won.
  8. Gather as much information as you can about the dog in question.
  9. Hire an experienced Dog Bite Attorney to represent the legal interests of your child. If your child was bitten several years ago and you never did anything about it, don't fret -- the statute of limitations for a dog bite case is tolled (doesn't begin to run out) until your child turns 18 years old.
  10. Cooperate with your child's attorney. As the parent or guardian of your child, you will be the primary contact on all communications with your child's lawyer. Stay in contact with the office and request that you be provided with a status update on a monthly basis.

About the Author

Author and New York lawyer Jason Stern has been practicing personal injury law in New York for more than 15 years. In addition to being a legal expert for Fox News, he has appeared on or been quoted by Good Morning America, CNN, Headline News, ABC, The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, The New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Bottom Line Magazine, Huffington Post, Men's Vogue, and countless other publications and media sources.

If you or a loved one has been bit by a dog, please feel free to contact the author at jason@NewYorkDogBiteLawyer.com. Mention HUBPAGES for a free consultation.

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