Dog attacks have the potential to be a very traumatic experience. If you or a loved one is the victim of a dog attack, there are some important steps that need to be taken as a result.
1. Identify the Dog, and the Dog’s Owner:
This is the most essential step. You should identify who owns the dog and gather information from them such as their name, address and telephone number. If there are any witnesses or people in close proximity to the incident than it is also important to gather information such as name, address, and telephone number from them as well.
If for some reason you cannot identify the dog or its owners, you may have to be subject to a series of precautious rabies shots to ensure that you were not infected. You may also want to gather information such as the dogs licensing information, as well as their history regarding aggressive behavior. Do not engage in any conversation regarding the incident other than receiving the required personal information.
If you know the animal’s owner personally, you may inform them that you will be seeking medical attention for your injuries. However you should not discuss the incident any further, it could potentially damage your claim.
2. Seek Medical Attention:
Safety is always a priority; if the injuries are severe then you should contact 911 for emergency services before anything else. Regardless of the severity, medical attention should still be sought. Dog bites can have serious outcomes, such as infection. Never make the assumption that your injuries are minor and don’t require attention, all animals naturally carry bacteria which can lead to infection.
3. Take Photographs of Your Injuries:
Photograph all of your wounds, any torn up or bloody clothing, and the location of the incident. If the incident is documented with photographs it may be easier for you to seek legal compensation for your injuries in the long run. Also make note of whether or not the dog was on a leash at the time of the attack. This is legally relevant if the area in which you were attacked has active leash laws.
4. Contact Your Local Animal Control Center:
The next step that needs to be taken after you have received the appropriate medical attention is you should contact the nearest animal control center and file a bite report. Even if your injury was not serious it is very important to file these types of reports. These documents may help your case, and can also help any future victims of that particular dog.
5. Keep a Log of Any Medical Care You Receive:
Keep track of any medical expenses or bills that you incur as a result of the bite. Also keep record of any changes in your injuries, if they get worse. It is important for your case to make sure that you are keeping record of anything pertaining to the attack. You may even consider keeping a journal to log all the changes in your condition over time.
6. Contact a Dog Bite Attorney:
You should speak with a personal injury attorney to get the legal advice that you need. In many cases these injuries are covered by the home owners or renters insurance, and in some instances there is specific insurance just for the dog.
You should not speak to an insurance company without being advised by an attorney. Being compensated for your injuries doesn’t mean that anything will happen to the dog that attacked you, in most cases it will just insure that the animal is documented as dangerous, and a possible threat to public safety.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog attack, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can give you the advice and help that you need in order to file a claim. You will need an attorney that is knowledgeable regarding dog bite cases in order to receive legal help that you can trust.
The experienced dog bite attorneys at d’Oliveira & Associates can provide you with the help that you need. Feel free to contact us at the hurtline 1-800-992-6878, stop by one of our 15 locations, or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation. There are no legal fees until you receive a settlement or reward.