What to Do after a Dog Bite
You’re taking your daily run around your neighborhood. Have you considered what steps to take after a dog bite incident? Who would you call? What type of information would you gather? These are great questions to consider if you or a loved one were to become victims of a dog bite or attack. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in five dog bites require medical attention.
Although it’s uncertain if and when an attack will occur, it’s always best to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. When approaching a property with a barking or hostile dog, cross the street and walk on the other side to avoid any possible contact. Calmly and without sudden movements, find a barrier that can separate you and the dog. If possible, find higher ground where the dog is unable to reach you.
Dog bite injuries can result in serious medical complications, disfigurement, and economic losses. With some clear guidance, take the following steps after a dog bite incident has occurred.
Steps to Take after a Dog Bite
Call 911 – Contact the local authorities to make an official police report. They will assist you in exchanging and gathering contact information such as the name, phone number, address, and other important details concerning the owner of the property and/or the dog.
Witnesses – If there are any witnesses who saw the attack or who can confirm the dog’s owner’s whereabouts, obtain their complete contact information. In the event that you would need the witness to declare the details of the incident to add credibility to your case, having their information would be very helpful.
Animal Control – Notify the local animal control agency. An officer will verify the dog’s vaccination history and any previous attacks the dog may have been involved in. If the animal control official believes the dog is harmful to the public, they will then take extra measures to take the dog for quarantine.
Medical Care– No matter how minor you may feel your bite or puncture wound may be, it’s important to always seek medical attention immediately. Some dogs are not properly vaccinated against rabies or other harmful animal diseases. If you are in pain and have significant injuries, go to the nearest emergency room for urgent treatment.
Take Pictures – Take pictures of the area where the accident occurred, the dog or breed, and the injuries you sustained prior to receiving treatment. Continue to document your injuries and progress afterward, to record the extent of the damage done.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney
When involved in a dog bite accident, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney about your case, especially if you have suffered considerable damages. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), dog bites and other dog-related injury claims have paid in excess of $570 million. Incurring medical bills, loss of income, and physical and emotional distress are some of the damages you are able to recover.
Since the accidents are very common, reach out to a lawyer with a considerable amount of experience handling dog bite insurance claims, lawsuits, and settlements. It is important to speak to a lawyer immediately, as there are time limitations that vary by state, that restrict when a person can file a lawsuit.
An attorney will help you deal with the responsible insurance company, and knows the arguments and evidence needed, to obtain a fair settlement for your losses. Many people make the mistake of dealing with the insurance company alone, making themselves vulnerable to their tactics. Insurance adjusters are highly trained to make you accept an offer they believe is fair in your circumstance, which is usually lower than what you deserve. Don’t fight the insurance companies alone. Use the following information to guide you on what steps to take after a dog bite incident to ensure you have properly documented the event.
Consult with an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney
You don’t need to experience more hardship than what you have already been put through. With over 44 years of experience in the legal field, Sweet Law Group knows what it takes to win your case and achieve the compensation that is deserved. Our team of legal professionals has seen an extensive amount of dog bite injury cases, handling each one with personalized attention. Call our offices for a free, no-obligation consultation at (800) 203-3061.