A dog attack is a terrifying experience by itself, not to mention the mess of medical bills and legal jargon that can drag the process out even longer. If you or a loved one has experienced an animal attack, you deserve the right to seek reimbursement for your expenses, pain, and suffering by the negligent party who failed to control their animal.
Unfortunately, owners of aggressive dogs don’t always agree, so it’s a good idea to have an experienced dog bite attorney like Blaine J. Barrilleaux in your corner to stand up for you and get you the restitution you deserve.
Louisiana Dog Bite Laws
Louisiana law states that an owner is responsible for any damage or injury caused by their pet if the victim can prove that the harm was a result of the owner’s negligence. To sue an owner for their dog attacking you or a loved one, you’ll need to prove:
- the owner knew the dog was a safety risk and failed to take action to prevent the dog from causing harm
- the victim did not do anything to intentionally provoke the animal
If you are the owner of an aggressive dog, you can find out more about owner responsibility and Louisiana’s definition of a dangerous dog.
Because these laws are written in legalese, they can be difficult to decipher. Our dog bite attorneys in Lafayette, LA, and Metairie, LA can help you understand your options and how to proceed if you’ve been bitten.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury
An animal injury is a scary experience. If you or your child has been bitten, follow these steps now.
Putting space between you and the animal and then controlling any blood loss are the top priorities after an animal injury. Move to the other side of a fence or inside your home or car to prevent the dog from biting you again. Call for help from neighbors or bystanders if you are unable to get away from the dog.
Dog Attack Wound Care
If you have shallow scratches from claws or from falling in the street, you may be able to clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a bandage. If the bleeding is more severe or if there is any chance there is a puncture wound from the teeth, you should seek medical attention quickly.
Puncture wounds are a more serious animal injury than scratches because they are deeper and harder to clean, which makes them more likely to get infected. You may need antibiotics to prevent infection or stitches to seal the wound.
While Louisiana does require dog, cat, and ferret owners to keep their animals up to date with rabies vaccinations, not all owners comply. Since rabies spreads through the saliva, a bite wound could be a rabies risk and should be examined by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Witness reports from people who saw your dog bite injury happen could help your case. If possible, try to get the phone numbers of anyone who saw the attack and ask them to write out what they saw right away while the incident is fresh in their minds.
How to Report a Dog Attack
Call the Police
If you do not need serious medical attention from an ambulance, then the police should be the first call you make. The police will examine the area as well as your injuries. It’s important that officers see the scene as quickly as possible, before evidence can be altered or removed. The reports of the evidence they find at the scene could be vital to your case.
Call Animal Control
While you wait for the police to arrive, call Animal Control and report the incident. Describe the animal and everything that happened. They may visit the location and attempt to catch the dog or speak with the owner.
You should inform Animal Control about this animal injury, particularly because of Louisiana’s “One Bite” rule. In most cases, there must be at least two incidences of violent behavior from the dog outside of the owner’s property before authorities can take action against the dog. If you don’t report a dog bite, and then you or someone else is bitten at a later date, the One Bite rule will still be in effect because as far as the law is concerned, this dog has only bitten someone once.
Seek Legal Advice
If you have medical bills or emotional distress as a result of a dog bite injury, our experienced dog bite attorneys can help you get compensation for all that you’ve been through.
How to Avoid Dog Attacks in the Future
Direct Eye Contact
You probably already know a lot about dog body language. For example, a wagging tail shows happiness in a dog, while growling indicates unrest. But a lesser-known fact about dogs is that direct eye contact is a sign of aggression or challenge. You may make direct eye contact with your own pet in a comfortable setting with no ill effects, but direct eye contact with an unfamiliar dog could encourage the dog to prove its dominance over you.
So, wherever possible, avoid eye contact with threatening dogs. And if you must look at them, keep your eyes on the front paws rather than the dog’s face.
Take a Different Route
You shouldn’t have to go out of your way to avoid a dangerous dog in your area, but it may be worth considering a new route that won’t take you past the dog.
Since the laws only pertain to dogs who have inflicted injury outside of the owner’s property, take care to avoid being on the owner’s property, as your case will be weaker if a dog bites you while you or your children are trespassing.
Talk to Your Kids
Make sure your children understand that they must stay off the property that belongs to the dog’s owner. Encourage them not to look at the dog or interact with it in any way, as these actions could be seen as a provocation of the dog. If the victim provoked the dog, the law is less likely to consider the owner at fault.
For more dog bite injury questions and answers, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Speak to an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney Now
The right legal assistance can help you understand your options and get you the most out of a suit against the negligent party. Are you ready to get the legal help you need to report your dog attack in Metairie, LA, or Lafayette, LA? Contact our team of experienced dog bite attorneys today.