Children who are ages 5 years old to 9 years old are the leading victims of dog bites that cause serious injuries. In most cases, dog bites are to the face of children when the child is 10 years old or younger. These attacks often come as a shock to a child’s parents, and it is easy to become so stressed that you aren’t sure what to do when this happens to your child. If your child is bitten by a dog, there are four things you should do.
Seek medical care
Your primary focus is likely going to be to get your child medical care. Dog bite injuries are the second leading accident-related reason for children to go to the emergency room. There are a host of risks that come with dog bites. Your child could end up with an infection because of the bacteria in the dog’s mouth. Disfigurement and emotional trauma are also possible. Prompt medical care can sometimes help to minimize the risk of complications. It can also provide the link that proves the injuries happened at the time of the attack.
Determine who owns the dog
Determining who owns the dog that attacked is important. This is the person you can turn to for answers to very important questions. It also lets you know whom to hold liable for the damages associated with the attack. When you locate the owner, you should find out if there is an insurance policy in place that will cover the costs associated with the dog attack.
Find out if the dog is up to date on shots
When you talk to the dog’s owner, you should find out if the dog is up to date on shots. This is especially true for rabies. If the dog isn’t current with shots, the dog may need to be quarantined to determine if there are any signs of rabies or other diseases that might transfer to the child because of the attack.
Report the incident
You should report the dog attack to the local animal control. It is important that this organization has a record of attacks, especially if the dog would attack again. Dog owners in Massachusetts have a duty to keep others safe from their dogs. This offers some good protection against all victims of dog bites, especially when the victim is a child. Typically, a child who is younger than 7 years old wouldn’t be presumed to have done anything to provoke a dog, according to Massachusetts law.
Attorney Peter M. Goldberg is the founder of and managing partner at Goldberg & Weigand, LLP, and has been in private practice since 1986. He takes pride in the fact he deals directly with his clients on a daily basis working to get their cases resolved to the fullest extent of their rights. Peter practices personal injury law and workers compensation law in Massachusetts.