Discovering that your child has been bitten by a neighbor’s dog can be a distressing experience. It’s important to act quickly and take the necessary steps to ensure your child’s safety and wellbeing. In Phoenix, Arizona, there are specific measures you should follow to address the situation effectively.
Arizona follows a ‘strict liability’ approach in dog bite cases, which means that the dog’s owner is typically held responsible for any injuries their pet causes. In this post, we outline some of the essential steps to take if a neighbor’s dog has bitten your child.
Step 1: Ensure Your Child’s Safety
Your child’s safety is of utmost importance. After a dog bite incident, immediately remove your child from the vicinity of the dog to prevent further harm. Find a safe location where you can assess your child’s injuries without being near the dog.
Step 2: Seek Medical Attention
Even if the bite seems minor, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Dog bites can lead to serious infections, and a medical professional will properly evaluate the wound and provide appropriate treatment. Contact your child’s pediatrician or visit the nearest emergency room for prompt care.
Step 3: Gather Information
While ensuring your child’s wellbeing, it’s also essential to gather information about the incident. Identify the dog’s owner and obtain their contact details. Plus, gather the names and contact information of any witnesses. This information will be valuable if you need to take legal action in the future or report the incident to the police.
Step 4: Document the Incident
Record details about the incident while they are fresh in your memory. Write down the date, time, and location of the dog bite incident. Describe the events leading up to the incident and note any specific behaviors displayed by the dog. Take photographs of your child’s injuries and any torn clothing or personal belongings as evidence.
Step 5: Report the Incident
Contact the appropriate authorities to report the dog bite incident. In Phoenix, Arizona, you should reach out to either the Phoenix Police Department or Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, depending on the severity of the situation. Provide them with all the information you have gathered, including the dog owner’s details, witnesses’ information, and any documented evidence.
Step 6: Communicate with the Dog Owner
Open communication with the dog’s owner is important, especially if they are your neighbor. Remain calm and express your concerns about the incident and your child’s injuries. It’s possible that the dog’s owner may be unaware of their dog’s aggressive behavior. Discuss steps they can take to prevent future incidents and ensure the safety of others in the neighborhood.
Step 8: Explore Dispute Resolution Options
If both parties are willing, it may be worth considering engaging in mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods. These processes are designed to help facilitate communication and reach a mutually agreeable solution without resorting to a lengthy court battle. Mediators or arbitrators can help mediate negotiations and find a resolution that satisfies both parties involved.
Step 9: Educate Your Child About Dog Safety
Empower your child with knowledge about dog safety to prevent future incidents. Teach them how to approach dogs safely, including always asking for permission from the owner before petting a dog. Encourage them to recognize the warning signs of an aggressive dog and how to react appropriately in those situations.
Step 10: Support Your Child’s Emotional Recovery
A dog bite incident can leave a lasting emotional impact on your child. Offer emotional support to your child as they recover from the traumatic experience. Consider seeking counseling or therapy to help them process their emotions and develop coping strategies.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
To ensure that your rights are protected and to explore potential legal avenues, consult with our personal injury attorneys. At Monge & Associates Accident Attorneys, our team of Phoenix personal injury attorneys is well-equipped to help you navigate this tricky situation.
We’re here to guide you through the steps involved, help you decide the best options for you, and to handle all the legal intricacies of your case while you focus on helping your child recover and move on from the incident. We’ll advocate for your child’s rights and seek maximum compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any other damages resulting from the incident.
Plus, we can set up mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution options to help make the process easier. We know how important your child is to you, and we’ll fight for the justice they deserve.
We have offices in 30 locations across 18 states, including Phoenix, Arizona; Atlanta, Georgia; and Chicago, Illinois. Contact us today on 800-421-0174 for a free consultation.