Many of the dangerous dog laws currently in effect in our cities and counties need provisions that will protect the privacy and rights of dog bite victims.
Victims of dog bites have had their privacy violated when their personal medical files have been handed to dog owners without any limitations as to what they could see or how they could use the information. I have personally been threatened by animal control officers who did not want me to even ask questions at dangerous dog hearings. In the message I received, below, the victim relates how the animal control officer induced her to inadvertently waive her right to compensation.
The dog in my attack had a record. Here is the “deal” I made with AC about my attack. It involved dropping criminal charges — this “DEAL” was presented to me just after I left my 2-day hospital stay and had not yet acquired an attorney — in exchange for getting the dog owner to put the dog down. Only much later do I learn that “dropping criminal charges” eliminated my chances of being eligible for the WA Felony Victim Fund.
I do NOT know if my attack would have qualified for a felony in my state. My injury did qualify as “severe” under state law because my arm was broken. I never followed this up because I was too angry, and I am still too angry.
How many victims are being offered this “deal” while lying in a hospital room without an attorney present? This is what makes me angry.