If an emotional support dog bites or attacks you on the street, in a store, or in another public place, you may not think it's possible to sue the animal's owner for damages. Although your situation may seem somewhat hopeless, you may still be able to bring a personal injury claim against the animal's owner. Learn more about emotional support dogs and how you can get through your stressful situation now.
What Are Emotional Support Dogs?
Many mentally-disabled adults rely on emotional support dogs and other animals for companionship and love. Support dogs also help people manage the symptoms of anxiety and other mental illnesses. But unlike service animals, which are highly trained to meet their owners' needs, emotional support animals don't receive the vigorous training needed to function or behave well in society. Some support animals can act out and attack unsuspecting people.
Dogs can inflict painful and sometimes catastrophic injuries to the face and other body areas. Without prompt or proper care, the wounds can become infected with germs. The wounds can be extremely dangerous for individuals with low immune systems, high blood sugar, and other critical health issues.
If you experienced an infection in your skin or a setback in your health due to your injuries, consult with a personal injury lawyer now.
How Do You Bring a Claim Against the Dog's Owner?
Although you can bring a claim against the dog's owner yourself, you may have more success in court if you hire a personal injury attorney. The dog's owner may refuse to pay for your medical bills, time off work, and other expenses. The owner may even state that you instigated the attack by intimidating or provoking their dog.
A personal injury lawyer can strengthen your claim by obtaining witnesses, affidavits, and other crucial information about your attack. An attorney may also investigate the owner's dog to see if it attacked other adults and children in the past, such as police reports and animal control records. The dog may have a history of biting people.
An attorney may also help you obtain medical care from various doctors, including psychologists. Some dog-bite victims experience PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and other debilitating problems after an attack. PTSD can lead to extreme anxiety, fear, and stress over time.
If you need additional information about your situation or wish to bring a claim against the owner of the dog, contact an attorney now.