Each year, about 4.7 million dog bites are reported in the United States. While dogs are often our faithful companions and best friends, they can also act out of character if they are hurt, feel threatened, or triggered somehow. If someone else’s dog has bitten you, resulting in possible serious injuries, it may be in your best interest to follow these five steps below.
Before phoning a personal injury law firm like Hasbrook for advice, remain calm. If the dog is still near you or has not yet been captured by its owner, don’t make any sudden movements. Once the threat has passed, take photos of your injuries.
Get Medical Help
Dog bite wounds can be superficial or as severe as puncture wounds. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Superficial wounds can simply require cleaning, while puncture wounds require a little extra care. Allow the blood to flow to cleanse the wound before applying pressure. Seeing a doctor is also necessary due to the infection risk that may require antibiotics. Depending on the wound severity, you may also need stitches.
File a Report
Filing a report with police and animal control can put the dog that attacked you on their radar. They can determine if the dog has rabies, whether it’s vaccinated, and what action will be taken with the dog’s owner to ensure it doesn’t bite someone else. It’s at this stage that you can also start establishing the facts of what happened, including what caused the dog to bite you, such as pain from an illness or whether it was a random attack.
Obtain the Dog Owner’s Information
Dog bites can become serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time off work. As a result, it can be essential to write down the dog owner’s information and have them determine if their homeowner insurance policy covers such events. Even if they are adamant that their dog is normally harmless, going through the legal channels can ensure you’re not out of pocket for something that isn’t your fault. If their insurance company contacts you, don’t discuss settlement figures or sign documents until you have spoken with your attorney.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
After the shock of your dog attack wears off, you may start to realize how complicated and time-consuming the legal process can be without expert help. You may have had to take time off work, access extensive medical treatment, and even have long-term wound care. All of this can come at a high financial cost and cause immense stress.
What’s more, with animal control, police, the dog’s owner, and their insurance company involved, trying to reach the desired outcome can be challenging. By contacting a lawyer, they can take the facts of the event and establish a strong case, even if the dog’s owner states the dog was sick or anxious. A lawyer’s job in this instance is to fight for the compensation you deserve so that the responsible party covers all costs relating to the attack.
Dog bites may not seem like something you need to put through the legal system, but they can be. They can cause severe damage, and the dog may be in a position to attack someone else if action is not taken. If you have been attacked by a dog and sustained injuries, it can be worth considering any of these steps above.