Getting bitten by a neighbor’s dog, or a dog with a clear owner is scary enough. But getting bitten by a stray dog can be both more frightening and more legally complex. In this blog post, we will discuss what to do if you are attacked by a seemly stray/unattended dog and what your legal rights are after such an encounter.
5 Steps To Take After A Stray Dog Attack in Washington State–And What To Do About Stray Dogs
Stray dogs are literally a different kind of beast than a trained dog with an owner. Here are our best tips for what to do about an aggressive stray dog, before and after an attack.
- Do not approach stray dogs. Stray dogs may be rabid, sick, hurt, hungry, abused, scared, traumatized, anxious, or protecting puppies. All of these possibilities mean that they could be prone to attack, even if they are not “bad” dogs. Animal Control officers are specially trained and have special tools for helping these animals.
- After an attack, try to keep track of the animal. Containing the stray is important to verifying if the animal is sick and also to verify if it has an owner. In addition, tracking the animal until Animal Control can collect it can prevent others from being injured. With that in mind, don’t try to contain the animal if you are hurt, and don’t endanger others in order to keep the dog contained.
- Seek medical care immediately. Even if your wounds do not look serious, you should seek medical attention from a doctor. Stray dogs can carry diseases like rabies, and getting rabies shots may be required after your bite. In addition, stray dog attacks can lead to infections, due to the bacteria found in dog saliva. On a legal level, documenting you injuries is also important.
- Talk to a dog bite attorney. Even if you aren’t sure if you have a case, talking to a dog bite attorney can make certain that you know your rights and get the compensation that you deserve. It can also give you peace of mind that you took all necessary actions after an injury incident.
Who Is Responsible For A Stray Dog Attack?
It’s a misconception that no one is legally responsible for a stray dog attack. Even if the dog doesn’t have an owner, you could have a premises liability case depending on where you were attacked. The property owner where you were attacked has a legal responsibility to keep you reasonably safe, and if they didn’t you may deserve compensation.
You should also consider that just because a dog does not have tags and does not have an owner in the vicinity doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a stray–it may have escaped from its yard or owner and is roaming. This is why it is important to keep track of the dog in the wake of the attack if necessary–the owner may be located, or the dog may have a chip to track its ownership.
Contact A Seattle Dog Bite Attorney Today For Legal Assistance
A dog bite can be devastating, both in terms of medical bills and in terms of pain, suffering, and trauma. After a serious dog bite or animal attack, it is vital to know your rights. If you or your child has been the victim of a violent dog attack, a Seattle dog bite attorney can help you review your case, understand Washington State dog bite law, and, if applicable, help you recover fair compensation. To learn more about your case and how much it may be worth, contact The Ye Law Firm today. We offer free, complimentary legal reviews.