What to Do After Being Attacked by a Neighbor’s Dog

The last thing any person expects is that they will be bitten or attacked by their neighbor’s dog. Most people have neighbors, and considering that millions of households in this country have one or more dogs, it is not out of the realm of possibility that a dog bite injury could occur.

Sometimes dog bites occur purely by accident. In other cases, the negligence of a neighbor can directly lead to a dog attack. Regardless, if you are bitten by your neighbor’s dog, you need to know what steps to take to ensure that you are properly cared for and that you recover the compensation you need.

Steps to Take After the Attack

There are various steps you can take after a dog bite occurs that can help ensure that you recover the compensation you need. This includes the following:

1. Identifying the Dog Owner

If there is a dog running loose from a neighbor’s house, your neighbor has a responsibility to retrieve the animal and contain it. If you are unsure of the neighbor’s name, you can ask for it as well as their contact information. You can also ask for the dog’s vaccination records. In the event the neighbor is not cooperative, you may have to call the police to get them involved in the situation.

2. Contacting Animal Control

If you need to find the animal control number for your particular municipality, go to an Internet search bar and type in your location and the words “animal control.” Call the phone number that you see and ask them for the steps you need to take.

3. Getting Immediate Medical Treatment

You need to seek medical care as soon as possible. If the injuries persevere, you need to call 911 and have an ambulance take you to the hospital. All dog bite injuries must be treated by a health care professional. Even seemingly minor injuries can result in major infections.

4. Gathering Evidence

If you are able to do so, you should gather as much evidence as possible and file a report. This can include taking photographs of the injuries, the dog in question, and the scene of the attack. If there were any witnesses, you need to get their names and contact information so you can follow up with them later. Additionally, save any clothing you were wearing at the time of the incident.

5. Contacting a Dog Bite Attorney

You should contact a skilled Nashville dog bite injury lawyer who can help ensure that you are properly cared for in the aftermath of an attack. An attorney can conduct a complete investigation into the incident and help you recover maximum compensation.

Can You Secure Compensation?

The good news is that you should be able to recover compensation in the aftermath of being attacked by your neighbor’s dog. Tennessee operates under a few different types of dog bite laws, but we will mainly see that people secure compensation through a “strict liability” system.

This means that the dog’s owner can be held liable for any injuries caused by the dog attack so long as the victim was on public property or lawfully in a private location. There does not have to be any proof that the dog had a tendency to be aggressive or had bitten anybody before.

However, Tennessee does have a “resident exclusion” rule to the strict liability dog bite law. If the dog bite occurred on the neighbor’s property, then a “one-bite” rule will apply.

In other words, the dog owner can only be held liable for injuries that a dog inflicts on their own property if the dog has a propensity for aggression or has bitten somebody before.