Dogs are loveable animals and serve as companions to many people worldwide, but even the most seemingly harmless dog can snap and attack you. Dog bites can result in lacerations, muscle tears, and scarring. A dog bite injury could be fatal if the animal had rabies.
As a dog bite victim, you can recover compensation from the dog’s owner with the help of a personal injury attorney. Victims recover compensation by settling with the owner’s home or rental insurance.
After getting bitten by a dog, you probably wonder what your next steps should be. Below is a step-by-step guide on what to do after a dog bite.
Next Steps Following a Dog Bite
Research estimates that more than 4.5 million individuals suffer from dog bites annually in the U.S. Here’s what you can do after a dog bite to help your case.
Take Pictures of Your Dog Bite Injury
Pictures are a great way to prove your claims. Make sure you photograph your injuries, if you can, soon after the incident. Also, take photos of the dog that attacked you.
A dog bite can be traumatic, meaning it might affect your memory of the incident. Immediately documenting the incident through pictures will ensure you have evidence. It’s also important that you take photos during your recovery journey.
Taking pictures will help your personal injury claim against the dog owner. The photos will help your lawyer prove your case and secure compensation.
A lawyer can help you recover compensation for medical costs, and pain and suffering. You can also get compensated for emotional distress.
Seek Medical Help
Immediately after a dog bite, perform first aid, then get medical assistance. If a superficial injury occurs, you can wash the area with warm water and soap. If the damage is more severe, place pressure on the wound to stop blood flow. Then, go to the emergency room as soon as you can.
Go to the hospital even if you think the bite is mild. Dog bites are especially vulnerable to getting infected.
If the dog had rabies, it could cause serious health complications. Rabies from a dog bite can even lead to death. Make sure you follow the doctor’s orders after treatment. Doing so will ensure you recover as fast as possible.
Let the Dog Owner Know About the Attack
Alert the dog owner about the incident. Tell them everything about the attack and that you sought medical care. Medical treatment usually impacts the claim.
Also, ask for the owner’s contact information, address, and insurance information. In addition, obtain the dog’s vaccination information. It will help you know if the dog got all its vaccines, especially the rabies vaccine.
Sometimes, you might not know who the dog owner is. Or, the dog that attacked you may be a stray animal. If that is the case, inform animal control and mention it to your physician.
Contact Animal Control and Law Enforcement
Report the attack to animal control and the police as soon as possible. Filing a report with both will help your personal injury attorney build your case. The documentation will strengthen your case when you choose to file for compensation.
By contacting the police and animal control, you can know if the dog has been violent before. This information will help you prove your case. You can request a copy of your official report from the police or animal control to help with your insurance claim.
Keep a Record of Important Information
You should keep a record of details about your treatment and associated costs. The file will help substantiate your claims. Writing down what you spent on treatment will also help calculate your settlement.
A dog bite usually affects the victim in other ways than just high medical costs. You might miss out on work. Make sure you record the number of days you couldn’t go to work because of the injury, as it will help during the settlement process.
Reach Out to a Dog Bite Lawyer
After a dog bite, contact a dog bite lawyer. Attorneys can answer some of the common questions people have after an injury.
Having a lawyer on your side from the start will ensure that you have someone to advocate for your rights. A lawyer will know how to negotiate with an insurer, investigate claims, and prove liability.
Contact an Attorney at Mottaz & Sisk After a Dog Bite
You deserve to hold the dog owner liable for medical costs and other damages, but after a dog bite, you might not want to handle the case yourself. You may still be healing physically and emotionally from the attack. Medical costs from the injury may start piling up. Here’s where a lawyer comes in.
A dog bite attorney can help you recover compensation. Contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today for help following a dog attack.