After a dog bite, there a number of very important steps to take in order to ensure that you are able to receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Follow These Steps Immediately After A Dog Bite To Help Your Claim:
1. Seek medical attention: If the injury is serious enough, call for for an ambulance to take you to the hospital. Otherwise, go to the emergency room or see your primary care physician immediately if you are in any pain, as injuries can sometimes get worse over time. Infections can grow quickly, so it is essential to see your doctor as soon as possible.
2. Get the information of the homeowner and the dog: It is important to get information of the dog that has bitten you and that dog’s owner, get the address of the dog owner, and find out if they have homeowner’s insurance for the dog. Find out if the dog has a past history or record or any other bites. These answers will all be vital to your potential case.
3. Get witness names and phone numbers: Getting any witnesses is important to prove your case, as many times it is your word against the owners. When finding a witness, ask for their name, address and phone number, as it is likely they will be contacted by your lawyer.
4. Take photos of where the bite occurred: Take photos of the injuries caused by the dog bite as soon as possible. You will also want to describe and document the degree of your injuries.
5. Take photos of the area you were bitten: Take photos of the area to show to both your lawyer and the opposing side. It is vital you document the exact locations, as this can be important to your potential case.
6. Consider hiring an experienced dog bite lawyer: A lawyer with experience handling dog bite cases in RI or MA will be able to tell you whether or not you have a potential case. They will also be able to negotiate with the insurance companies, file a lawsuit, and represent you in a trial if necessary.
What You Should Not Do After A Dog Bite:
1. Do NOT apologize or admit you were at fault: Anything you say about the dog bite incident may affect your legal rights. Never say, “I’m sorry,” “I may have provoked the dog,” or “it was probably my fault.” Dog owners and insurance companies will use statement like these to avoid paying you the money you deserve.
2. Do NOT discuss the incident without a lawyer: Do not talk with the dog owner or any witnesses extensively about the incident. You need to talk to a lawyer first in order to organize the events of the incident. Your lawyer can then talk to the dog owner or witnesses in order to gather evidence. Most importantly, do not talk to insurance representatives of the dog owner. Insurance companies perform investigations in an effort to lower the amount of money they have to pay. Your lawyer will communicate with the insurance company and protect your rights.
3. Do NOT sign any forms or accept any payment without talking to a lawyer: The dog owner or insurance company may try to avoid paying you the full compensation you deserve for your injuries by asking you to sign a form or accept a check. You need to talk to a lawyer who has experience in this area because he or she be able to accurately assess the costs of your medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as the ongoing and future losses you will suffer.
Why Hire Us?
If you have been injured as a result of a dog bite in Rhode Island, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our firm handles dog bite cases, and we charge no fee unless you get a settlement or award. For a free (no obligation) Case evaluation, call our toll free number at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online.