Filing a Catastrophic Dog Bite Claim

After a catastrophic dog bite occurs, an individual should immediately focus on receiving medical attention for their injuries. After those injuries have been taken care of, an individual may want to file a catastrophic dog bite claim in the District of Columbia. If you are currently considering filing such a claim, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced dog bite attorney that can help you recover any damages you are entitled to.

Initial Steps

The first step someone will take in filing a DC dog bite claim is to file a civil complaint against the owner of the dog in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Once the complaint is filed, the court issues a scheduling order and the parties are required to follow the court’s schedule. At that time, the parties exchange discovery, and investigate and disclose any additional information they have regarding the claim and the injuries.

Once the claim is filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the schedule of the case is determined. The process from the time the claim is filed until a trial is held is generally about 18 months. There is often very little that can be done to advance the case more quickly.

Necessary Evidence

The most useful evidence when filing a catastrophic dog bite claim depends on the manner in which the attack occurred, the nature and extent of the injuries, and the long lasting effects of the injuries, if any. The best evidence in the case becomes known to the attorney throughout the course of the investigation. The attorney uses this information to the injured person’s benefit to advance the claim.

It is important to note that there is a three-year statute of limitations for filing a catastrophic dog bite claim in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Eligibility to File a Claim

An injured person is eligible to file a dog bite injury claim in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. If the injured person is a minor, their parents can bring a claim forward on behalf of the minor child.

Someone who is a legal resident of another state, and wants to file a dog bite claim in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia because the incident occurred there, can do so. They will follow the same procedure as a resident of the District. Citizenship is not a factor in civil cases.

Determining Liability

Usually, the owner of the dog or the person entrusted to supervise the dog is liable for the actions of the dog. If a dog owner entrusts the dog to another individual to watch it, walk it, or generally take care of it and that dog injures someone while under the supervision of the individual taking care of the dog, they can potentially be liable for the injuries caused by the dog.

The responsibility of the dog owner is to comply with the laws and regulations of the District of Columbia applicable to the ownership of the dog. Determining who is liable for the injury is crucial when filing a catastrophic dog bite claim.

Registering a Dangerous Animal

If a dog attacked another domestic animal or a person, that attack should be reported to Animal Control. They contact the owner of the dog and take the necessary steps to enforce the laws and regulations of the District of Columbia, which may require the owner to register the dog as a dangerous dog.

The registration of the dangerous dog is determined by Animal Control, a government entity of the District of Columbia. Animal Control takes the necessary steps to label a dog as a dangerous dog, a potentially dangerous dog, or neither.

Animal Control takes the necessary steps to enforce its laws and regulations should a dog owner fail to comply with the requirements of the law.