Dog Bite Epidemic!
The number of dog bite cases has increased steadily in Hawaii to more than 1,000 reported annually. Dogs sometimes bite because they’re scared, they’re being protective, they’re nervous or they’ve been mistreated.
If someone’s dog bites you, you need to do a number of things:
- Get the dog owner’s name and address right away. Then, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Dog bites can get worse the day after an attack so even if you don’t think the bite is bad enough to seek compensation from the owner, it’s better to get the information at that time than to need it later and not be able to get it.
- Go see a doctor or visit the emergency room. Take care of your wound to prevent infection. Keep any documentation the doctor gives you about your injuries. Save the hospital bills so you can get reimbursed by the owner.
- Call the police and report the incident to the animal control officers.
Dangerous dogs running loose endanger everyone, especially little children. If the dog is not wearing a collar and you don’t know who the owner is, the police can help. The dog control officers will also try to locate the dog and quarantine it.
- Check with the local animal control department to see if the dog has a history of biting people. If it has, all the more reason the dog should be kept off the streets and the owner held accountable.
Under Hawaii law, a dog owner can be held liable for his or her dog’s aggressive behavior if:
- The dog is a vicious dog that has bitten someone before; or
- The dog owner was negligent in failing to control or confine the dog.
Obtaining compensation from the dog’s owner can be difficult for dog bite victims. Some dog owners are not only irresponsible when it comes to controlling their dogs, but many are also financially irresponsible. Some do not carry any insurance. Hawaii, in fact, currently ranks 2nd to the last in the U.S. in dog bite claims and payouts.
In dog bite and other animal attack cases, an experienced, creative and resourceful personal injury attorney may identify recovery options for you that you might not have considered. Contact SHIM & CHANG for a free initial consultation and see if we can help you get compensated for your injuries and losses.