What to do if a Dog Attacks Your Child

The last thing that any parent expects is that their child will be attacked by a dog. Unfortunately, studies show that approximately 50% of all dog bite incidents involve children. The injuries that children sustain due to a dog bite incident are often severe, usually, because a child is lower to the ground and a dog is able to cause harm to their face. Here, we want to discuss steps that you can take if your child has been attacked by a dog. This includes steps that can be taken immediately and step to take in the days and weeks that follow the attack.

Immediate Steps to Take After Your Child is Attacked by a Dog

There are various steps that you need to take immediately after a dog attacks a child. This includes:

  1. Calling 911. You need to make sure that police and medical officials are on the way to the scene of a dog attack as soon as possible. Call 911 and let the dispatcher know what happened and where you are. If you can remember any details about the dog or the dog’s owner, tell the dispatcher so that they know what to look out for.
  2. Seeking medical care. Regardless of whether or not you call 911, it is critical that you ensure your child receives prompt medical treatment after an attack occurs. Dog bite injuries can be severe, even if they do not look too bad at first. Even a seemingly minor bite can result in an infection that causes serious health problems.
  3. Documenting the incident. If it is safe to do so at the scene, you should begin gathering as much evidence as possible. This can include using a cell phone to take photographs of the dog, the dog’s owner, any injuries, and any other information that may be relevant.

Steps to Take in the Days and Weeks Following the Attack

In the days and weeks that follow the dog attack on your child, there are additional steps that you can take to help ensure that your child receives the care they need and that your family recovers the compensation necessary to afford the treatment. This includes:

  1. Continuing all follow-up care. It is crucial for parents and guardians to get their child to any follow-up doctor visits necessary. This could include any follow-up care needed to treat an infection or even follow-up surgeries if the attack resulted in scarring or disfigurement. Discontinuing care before a doctor says the child has reached maximum medical improvement could result in complications when it comes to securing full compensation.
  2. Cautiously handling insurance carriers. Parents need to be cautious when speaking to insurance claims adjusters following a dog attack. Insurance claims adjusters will do what they can to limit how much money they pay out in a settlement, which means they will be looking for parents to say certain things that could justify denying a claim or lowering the settlement amount. Insurance carriers are not your friend, so do not engage in any fun banter with them. You can tell them the facts of the case, and that is it.
  3. Speaking to an attorney. You should speak to a skilled Tennessee dog bite injury attorney as soon as possible to see if there is a potential for your child to receive compensation. An attorney can use their resources and expertise to fully investigate these claims, determine liability, and stand up to aggressive insurance carriers to help secure full compensation on your behalf.