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What to Do If a Police Dog Bites You

Posted on June 3rd, 2024

Police pulling a vehicle over

Police dogs play a crucial role in law enforcement. Also known as K9s, these animals assist officers in detecting drugs, apprehending suspects, and maintaining public safety. However, when these animals are misused or deployed inappropriately, innocent people can suffer serious injuries. If you are bitten by a police dog, it is important to know your rights and take the following steps to protect your well-being and legal interests.

Determine Whether the Bite Was Justified

The first step in addressing a police dog bite is to assess whether the use of the K9 was warranted. Police dogs should not be ordered to attack suspects who are already detained or pose no immediate threat to an officer’s safety. This includes people who are fleeing from the police. However, if a suspect physically assaults an officer, shoots at them, or otherwise directly harms them, the use of a K9 may be considered justified.

If the police dog was used in a way that suggests excessive force, you may have grounds for a police brutality claim. However, police dogs are afforded significant legal protections, making it challenging to prove that the force used was unjustified or excessive. It is important to work with a dog bite lawyer who can help determine whether the bite was justified and whether you have grounds for a claim.

Seek Medical Attention Right Away

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the police dog bite, your health and safety should be your top priority. Seek medical attention immediately, even if the wounds appear minor. Dog bites can lead to serious infections, scarring, and long-term complications if not properly treated.

Go to the hospital as soon as you can and save all records related to your treatment; these documents will serve as important evidence in a future claim. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for care and attend all follow-up appointments.

Gather Evidence and Collect Witness Information

To support your potential legal claim, gather as much evidence as possible related to the incident. If you can, take photos of your injuries, the scene where the bite occurred, and any damaged clothing or property. If there were witnesses to the event, collect their names and contact information, as their testimony may be crucial in establishing the facts of your case.

Obtain Copies of the Police Report

After the bite, request copies of the police report related to the incident. This document will contain important details about the circumstances surrounding the bite, the officers involved, and the specific K9 that attacked you. Bring these documents with you when you speak to an attorney about your case; this will help your lawyer evaluate your case and determine the best course of action for your case.

Consult with a Washington Dog Bite Attorney

When a police dog bites, the aftermath can be challenging to navigate alone. A Seattle dog bite lawyer can help protect your rights and seek the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the incident, gather evidence, and leverage their legal expertise to determine your optimal legal pathway. They will also handle communication with law enforcement and insurance companies, protecting your best interests. Schedule a free legal consultation as soon as possible and begin your journey to justice.