Dog bite injuries can be both physically and emotionally traumatic. Knowing how to handle a dog bite injury in Maryland is crucial to getting proper medical treatment, preserving evidence, and seeking compensation for your injuries.
This blog post will discuss the steps to take after a dog bite injury and the legal aspects of pursuing a personal injury claim.
If you need help through the process in Pikesville, reach out to an attorney. Call the Law Office of Justin A. Wallace at (410) 996-4488 or submit an online contact form today.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Injury
In the aftermath of a dog bite injury, navigating the steps to file a claim and safeguard your rights is crucial. Understanding the proper procedures can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Let's explore these essential actions to take after a dog bite injury to empower you in the pursuit of justice:
- Seek medical attention: Your health should be your top priority. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even if they appear minor. A medical professional will be able to properly assess, treat, and document your injuries, which will be essential when pursuing a claim.
- Identify the dog and its owner: If possible, obtain the dog owner's name, contact details, and insurance information. If the owner is not present, try to gather information from witnesses or neighbors.
- Report the incident: Notify your local animal control or police department about the dog bite. This action will help create an official incident record and may prevent future attacks.
- Document your injuries: Take photos of your injuries and any damage to your clothing or property. Your attorney may instruct you to keep a journal detailing your pain, emotional distress, and the impact of the injury on your daily life.
- Gather witness information: If there were any witnesses to the incident, obtain their names and contact information.
- Consult with an attorney: An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and advocate for fair compensation for your injuries.
Understanding Maryland’s Dog Bite Laws
In Maryland, dog owners may be held strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of whether the dog had a history of aggressive behavior (Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1901). This means that the dog owners are presumed to have known, or should have known, that their dog was dangerous. The burden will shift to the defendant to prove that there was no indication that the dog would injure someone.
Exceptions to Strict Liability
Exceptions to the strict liability rule exist.
These include the following:
- Trespassing: If the injured person was trespassing on the dog owner's property when the bite occurred, the strict liability rule may not apply.
- Provocation: If the injured person provoked the dog, for example, by hitting or teasing it, the strict liability rule may not apply.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Dog Bite Case
If you have suffered a dog bite injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. It's essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and advocate for your rights.
Maryland has a three-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim (Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-101). This law means that you must file your claim within three years of the date of the injury. Failure to do so may result in your claim being barred, and you may be unable to recover compensation for your injuries.
Take Action Now
Dog bites can cause serious injuries or even death. Knowing how to handle a dog bite injury in Maryland is crucial for protecting your rights and pursuing fair compensation for damages. By seeking medical attention, documenting your injuries, and consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can seek a favorable outcome for your case.
Schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Justin A. Wallace in Pikesville by calling (410) 996-4488 today.