What can I do if my dog may have bit a child but there were no witnesses? 18 Answers as of November 09, 2012

This happened at 3:30 pm and the police showed up at 9:00 pm. Child got stitches. My wife and son were at home but heard nothing. This is not like my dog. He is not violent and is good with kids.

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Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
You should immediately contact your insurance company and advise them of the possible claim. They can advise you of what action to take and may even obtain an attorney to assist you in this matter.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/9/2012
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
I would tell my insurance co and I would offer to pay the ER bill. What else would a good citizen do?
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 11/8/2012
Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C.
Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C. | John F. Turck IV
Report the incident to your homeowner's/renter's insurance carrier. Ask them to retain an attorney on your behalf.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/8/2012
Lewis B. Kaplan | Lewis B. Kaplan
You can and should report what you know to your homeowner's or renter's insurance company.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 11/7/2012
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
Not so good with kids. Who or what do you think bit the child? If you don't have homeowner's or renter's insurance, you should pay the medical charges and get rid of the dog. Next time it could be an eye and you have been totally warned by this event. Punitive damages next time.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Replied: 11/7/2012
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You should contact your insurance company to inform them of the incident. A claim may be made whether there are witnesses or not. The claimant would have to prove that they got bit, and that the dog had a violent propensity.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Contact your homeowner's insurance company for legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    I'm not sure what you are asking because you do not indicate what action, if any, is being taken against you. If the police charged you with some violation, you can either pay the fine, or you are entitled to a trial. If you get sued, or they request compensation, you have the same options, You can pay the claim or go to trial. If you have homeowners insurance, turn it in on that. These things are usually covered by homeowners. As to there being no witnesses, the child is a witness. The child is obviously not lying about being bitten by a dog. If the child knows your dog, then I guess the question is, why would the child lie about it being your dog (I understand there may be a question as to whether the dog was provoked). If no action has been taken against you, then there is nothing to do, except decide whether you should get rid of the dog.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Wait and see what the parents of the child do/say.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Just make sure to keep the dog away from kids. Perhaps have the dog evaluated by a specialist. In general, be careful with the dog when it's around children. It may just be a fluke or there may be something going on with it that you don't know about.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,.
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,. | Jason P. Kutulakis
    In PA all dog bites shall be reported to the bureau of dog law enforcement. You will be required to prove it is current on its vaccinations. You should consult with and retain an attorney. www.abomkutulakis.com
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    First, you should have a thorough investigation of the incident made to determine if your dog in fact bit the child. If so, you should then pay for the child's injury.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Notify your homeowner's insurance company. If there is a claim, they will defend you. It is possible that there is not enough evidence to proceed with a claim.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    The owner of a dog is responsible for "unprovoked attack." Now, if your dog is out in front of the house, without a leash, you may have a problem. If the dog is in a fenced yard, as long as you don't leave the gate open, I do not believe that you would be responsible because the child would be a trespasser. There is a question about the dog being an "attractive nuisance." Notify your homeowners insurance company. If the dog is of a breed known for viciousness, like a Chow or a pit bull, then you are going to have a problem.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    I am very sorry to hear about this incident. Most states have a strict liability law for dog bites, meaning dog owners are strictly liable for any damages their dog may cause. That being said, the burden is going to be on the "victim" to prove that your dog actually was the dog who bit the child. If they are able to prove that it was your dog, then you will be responsible for the medical bills associated with the dog bite. There also may be a report to your local county animal control regarding the bite. Hopefully your dog is current on their vaccinations. If not, your dog may be placed in quarantine for a period of time and there could be a fine for you.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    it sounds to me like you forgot that the child was a witness.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    If you have homeowners insurance, tell them right away and give them all the defenses. If not you will need an attorney who handles insurance defense matters if a claim is being made.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers, PLLC | Jon Ward
    In a dog-bite situation, the owner or keeper of the dog may or may not be liable, depending on the circumstances. It is necessary for the owner or keeper of the dog to contact their homeowners or renters insurance carrier immediately and let the insurer know that someone may be claiming that they were bitten by this dog. After doing that, it would be prudent not to discuss this event with anyone, if possible.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/7/2012
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