Any bite from an animal can be traumatizing and dangerous. Medical attention should be sought immediately even if the wound is minor. The animal may have been diseased and if left untreated, even the smallest scratch could be lethal. Next, you should contact your personal injury lawyer. They will be able to tell you if you have a legal claim and help you identify who may be liable for your injury.
If a person or legal entity owns an animal, then the animal’s “dangerous propensities” will be key in determining the owner’s liability. Your personal injury lawyer will need to show that the owner knew or should have known that the animal was dangerous. This could include any violent history or simply the type of animal.
Some states rely on “strict liability” in animal bite cases. In those states, your personal injury lawyer only needs to prove that the person or company owns the animal. Even in these cases, your personal injury lawyer may not be able to help you collect damages if the court believes that the defendant sufficiently warned others, the injured person’s behavior showed “contributory negligence” or “assumption of risk” or that the animal was provoked.
In those cases, don’t be discouraged. Your personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages from any number of people besides the owner.
Bottom line: if you’ve suffered an animal bite, seek medical help and then call your personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer will know whom you should seek damages from and how to secure it.