Even though most dogs offer endless companionship to their owners, dogs can also bite under certain circumstances, and millions of people are bitten by dogs every year. As the injuries caused by dog bites has very significant legal, medical and financial consequences, it is very important to know what you should do after a dog bite. Here are some important steps that need to be taken after these types of accidents.
First Things to Do after a Dog Bite
Knowing what to do after dog bites can be very important for your health as well as the legal actions that have to be taken. The primary steps that are to be taken include:
Seek Medical Care Soon After the Incident: it is important to take proper medical care as soon as possible especially for deep wounds and serious injuries as some dogs might not be vaccinated against rabies. Try to take pictures of your wounds before getting the treatment to document the harm caused by the dog.
Exchange Information with the Owner/Caretaker of the Dog: Exchange information with the owner or caretaker of the dog which makes it easy for you contact them after the incident. Also, verify the vaccination history of the dog. The information you exchange should include the name, address and contact details of you and the owner of the dog.
Keep the Contact Information of the Witnesses: Make sure to get the contact information of the witnesses whether you were bitten by a dog or when your dog bit someone else. Eye witness accounts can give a clearer picture of what had happened when you require a lawsuit or an insurance claim.
File a Report with the Animal Control: Filing a report of your accident with the local animal control agency can help the investigation of your case.
Completing these initial steps will help the process to come to a fair agreement regarding your compensation for the dog bite.
Document the Dog Bite
Documentation of the harm is an important component of what to do after a dog bite, after completing the initial steps. This includes documentation of the injuries associated with the bites including the injuries that are visible and their effects – pain, decreased functionality and the inability to perform a few functions. Documentation can be done in the form of journal entries, photographs, medical entries, and any other written records. You will have to write down the events and circumstances that surround the bite with as many details you can remember, immediately after the accident.
It is always a great idea to document any connection you have with others like witnesses, other parties or insurance companies, if you have any, as you may be dealing with an insurance company or a lawsuit. Always make sure to keep the record of the total expenses you incurred because of the dog bite. This includes the medical bills, lost wages and the costs of travel. Documenting more will help you assess the amount of compensation for the injuries easily.
Contact an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney
Since dog bites are common occurrences, attorneys with a good amount of experience in handling dog bite cases will help you to get through the procedures like insurance claims, lawsuits and settlements. Most of them are very knowledgeable to arrive at the right amount of compensation that a dog bite victim should get. These amounts mostly involve the detailed calculations for lost income and the victim’s earning potential pain and suffering, and also other expenses associated with the harm. A well-experienced dog bite attorney will have the proper knowledge in accessing a client’s probability for success based on the dog bite laws of the state, and also the outcomes of similar cases they dealt with in the past.
Explore the Legal Opinions with the Dog Bite Attorney
Knowing about what all you need to do after a dog bite can help the victims to obtain the care they need. It also helps them to get the legal outcomes they deserve. However, for a normal citizen, it can be very difficult to know the state laws regarding a dog bite that can be applied to your case. Lawsuits can often be complicated in states without strict liability statute, but there are many different ways to prove the liability of the dog owner. Most dog attorneys would be well aware of this and help the citizens in such complex situations.
Also, most of the citizens are unaware of the types of compensation you deserve for the harm caused by a dog, and the probability to achieve a fair settlement for the case. Therefore, it is always best to get the help of an experienced dog bite attorney in your area to increase the chance of the success of your injury lawsuit.