If you have been injured in a Bristol County dog attack, you may not know what to do immediately following the incident and what steps you may need to take right away in order to protect your rights. Dog bite injuries often range from small puncture wounds to serious injuries that may result in permanent disability, disfigurement, amputation or even death. In addition to physical trauma, dog bites cause severe psychological damage including post-traumatic stress.
It is important for victims of dog attacks to understand what legal remedies are available to them in the face of mounting medical bills and potential long-term life changes. Under Massachusetts law, owners of dogs that cause injuries to others can be held strictly liable for the damages incurred as a result of the attack. However, in order to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are eligible to receive just compensation for your losses, it is crucial that you take immediate action following the dog attack.
Steps to Take After a Dog Attack
Here is a list of what you would be well advised to do after a dog bite incident in Massachusetts:
- Make sure you get the name of the dog owner or the people who had custody of the dog at the time of the attack. Also, obtain information regarding the dog owner’s homeowner’s and/or liability insurance policy.
- Get the names and contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the dog attack.
- Take photographs of the location where the attack occurred as well as your injuries. Pictures truly do speak a thousand words.
- Preserve any physical evidence you may have such as torn or bloody clothing.
- Get prompt medical attention for your injuries. Go to the emergency room if you are bleeding or have been severely injured. This not only helps you get the treatment you need right away, but also documents your injuries and the treatment received.
- Report the incident to your local agency that does animal control and file a report. Cooperate with the authorities and get as many details into the report as possible. Make sure you get a copy of the report.
- Contact an experienced Bristol County dog bite lawyer who will help protect your rights and hold the negligent dog owner accountable.
- Do not discuss your case verbally or in writing with insurance companies or other parties without consulting your attorney. Do not discuss fault or responsibility.
Damages Covered in Dog Bite Cases
Injured dog bite victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of cosmetic surgery, psychological counseling, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims can also seek compensation for permanent injuries, disabilities and long-term effects such as scarring and disfigurement. The most important step you can take after a dog attack would be to contact an experienced dog bite lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and ensure that you receive maximum compensation for all your injuries, damages and losses.