A parent’s worst experience is to see their child suffer. You want to take their pain away and make sure they don’t get hurt again.
Some accidents are unavoidable, and if a dog with no leash, collar or tag bites your child there may not be many legal options for you. However, consider some of the strategies below for the best chance at having a winnable case.
Call the authorities
Once you ensure that your child is safe and comfortable, call the local animal control or shelter. The CDC has recommended euthanasia for any stray animal that bites another person. When the animal is in custody, animal control will attempt to find the owner. Failing that, they may euthanize the animal.
Document the event’s details
Write down where the incident occurred, what was going on in the moment, the time of day, who was there with your child and any precautions the property owners took to prevent this from happening. Even if the dog was not theirs, it may be arguable they should have created a safe environment for guests on their property.
Document your losses
Use written statements and photos to document your child’s injuries and suffering. Keep copies of medical bills, days they missed school and any serious new limitation on their freedom of movement. If they are no longer able to participate in sports or other hobbies, document this as well.
Try to find the owner
Talk to neighbors and postal workers. Someone may know of the dog’s home even if the dog doesn’t have identification. If the dog truly has no owner, it may be difficult to hold someone accountable.
All children deserve safety as they play and roam. Following these practices may help others avoid injury.