When Children Are Injured by Dog Bites Or Dog Attacks

dog bite cover

What should you do when children are injured by dog bites or dog attacks? There are a number of things you need to do, regardless of the severity of the dog bite or mauling. Let’s address them in chronological order.

Seek Medical Attention

If a child is severely mauled, everyone knows to seek medical attention. However, you should seek medical attention for the child with a minor bite. The dog bite punctures the skin while introducing a number of bacteria into the body. They’re prone to infection, and this isn’t something first aid can completely prevent. Furthermore, many dog bites are deep puncture wounds or tears. These injuries should not be treated with bandages. They often require stitches. Delaying a visit to a medical professional increases the odds of both scarring and infection.

Document Everything

Your child’s medical records are one major piece of any potential lawsuit or insurance settlement. However, you should collect other, related documentation. Determine who was a witness to the case and record their contact information. Any attorney you hire will want this information. Has the dog bitten other people? Find out who as well as when that happened. If there were police reports, get that information. Learn if the animal bit or mauled other pets. This is evidence in your favour, too, since it demonstrates that the dog is aggressive. Have police or animal control been called out because their aggressive dogs were chasing people? Get the information about the event, including witness information. And proof that the dog’s owners were negligent in letting aggressive animals run free or not taking care to keep them contained strengthens your case.

dog bite child

Consult with an Attorney

Unfortunately, hiring a lawyer is often necessary when your child has been bit by a dog. It may be necessary to force the dog owner to pay the medical bills, counseling and anything else your child needs. It is often necessary to work with an attorney to force the pet owner to take responsibility for the animal. Do they need to be cited for failing to fix the hole in the fence their dog repeatedly escaped through? Do they let the animals roam, not caring who or what is harmed? You could file civil suits and criminal charges against someone. If the dog was taken by authorities and put down as a threat to others, recognize that you can still sue them for the attendant damages. Someone who has failed to properly socialize their dogs or abused them with the intent of making them more aggressive could have all other animals taken away from them, too.

Don’t let someone’s claims that the dog is oh so sweet deter you. Any dog can bite. Aggressive breeds come with higher insurance premiums because they’re more prone to do so. But a dog that’s been trained to attack or intimidate others could be any breed. A dog that’s been abused or injured may bite as a defensive reflex. And the owner still has culpability, as long as the victim didn’t provoke the animal.

Credits: Photo by from PxHere

  1. What if my senior dog was provoked by an 8 yr old boy with Autism who came up and bit my dog in the ear while she was sleeping on my lap.

    • Hi Ann,
      That sounds awful and I hope your boy was okay. Maybe a trip to the vet to see what is disturbing your senior dog?