How to Limit Your Liability If Your Dog Bites Someone
September 28, 2015
Good pet owners invest in dog training to ensure they know how to control their furry friends in public; however, even the best pet owners do not have control over their dogs at all times. At the end of the day, dogs are still animals, and they have minds of their own.
It’s virtually impossible to guess what your dog is thinking, and you never know when something may set him or her off in the wrong way. Dogs are more likely to respond to people whom they can trust, and dog training in Atlanta can help strengthen the bond between man and beast.
No matter how well trained your dog is, though, he or she may still snap every once in a while. Read on to learn how to limit your liability if your dog bites someone:
Exchanging information is crucial following a dog bite. If your dog has clearly bitten someone, there is no use in denying responsible. Step up and show genuine compassion for the victim, and make sure he or she does not need immediate medical attention before writing down your information. Dog bites often lead to personal-injury cases, and if the court finds evidence that you deliberately tried to shirk responsibility, the judge is not going to look favorably on you or your pet.
It’s also critical that you remain calm at the scene. Give the victim your contact information and ask for the same in return. Consider filing a police report, as well. Though you may be hesitant to put your own liability in writing, a police report can ensure that the victim does not elaborate about the bite later down the road.
After the incident, you should contact your insurance provider to determine exactly what kind of coverage you might have should the situation escalate. Many homeowner insurance policies cover dog bite claims up to certain limits, and some rental insurance policies do, as well.
After determining your insurance coverage, reach out to the victim and follow-up on the bite. If he or she has not already gotten medical attention, encourage him or her to do so immediately. A minor cut could turn into a major issue if it gets infected, and then you would be on the hook for even more damages.
Document everything regarding the bite, and keep your files organized because you may need them one day. Be sure that your pet is vaccinated and make copies of all vet records to prove it should the case go to court.
Having a pet is a huge responsibility, and pet owners are liable for everything their dogs do. The best thing you can do following a dog bite is acknowledging that responsibility and ensuring the victim recovers as soon as possible.