Dogs are members of the family. They’re cute, cuddly, and provide great company. There’s a reason they’ve been man’s best friend since the beginning of time. But occasionally, their wolf ancestry takes over, when they’re spooked, scared, or otherwise threatened, and unfortunately, their bites can cause severe damage. Not only are dog bites painful, but they are also potentially life-threatening if the dog has not been properly vaccinated or the bite gets infected. If you have been bitten by a dog, and you fear that the dog may bite another person it’s important to take the proper legal precautions to make sure that the dog doesn’t cause further damage, and the owners are aware of the consequence for the actions of their animals.
What To Do If You Get Bitten By A Dog
If you are bitten by a dog you’re likely going to be in shock, as man’s best friend has just turned on you seemingly out of the blue. Make sure to follow a few safety precautions to make sure that you are okay, and to also take care of any future legal concerns.
- Wash the wound immediately and apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
- Bandage the wound and keep it bandaged until you can see a doctor so they can professionally examine it.
- Make sure to get the name and phone number, as well as the address of the dog owner if the dog is not one that you know. This will help make sure that the dog is vaccinated against rabies, and also essential for any legal proceedings.
- Keep track of any costs you incur because of the dog bite. If these costs are serious, make sure to know the cost of the medical bills, as well as any lost wages for having to take time off of work.
- If you think the dog is a danger to others you may want to contact animal control so they can assess the dog’s behavior and determine if it is a dangerous animal, as well as verifying that the dog is rabies and disease-free.
- Determine if the dog attack is serious enough to pursue a personal injury claim and contact a lawyer. If it is a little nip from a small dog, you likely won’t receive any damages but if you have suffered a legitimate attack you may be able to receive damages from the owner’s home insurance company.
- Document and photograph everything so that you can paint the most accurate picture for your personal injury attorney, dog attacks happen fast so it’s important to keep track of exactly what happened and corroborate your story with witness statements and evidence.
Legal Consequences Of A Dog Attack
A dog attack can be messy. In most cases, you know the owner and don’t want to get them in trouble. What’s important to remember is that their dog is not your responsibility. Especially if the attack was unprovoked and you can prove it. Talking to a personal injury attorney does not mean that you think the owner of the dog or even the dog for that matter is guilty. All it means is that you are exercising your legal rights to hold someone accountable for the costs of the damages that their animal incurred.
It’s important also to remember that many dog bite claims will usually be filed against the dog owner’s home insurance company, meaning that the settlement you receive is not directly coming from the dog owner but rather from a claims adjuster who will negotiate it with you.
How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help With A Dog Bite Claim
The very fact that you will be dealing with an insurance claim adjuster during these legal proceedings is reason enough to hire a personal injury attorney. The claims adjuster may catch you at an inopportune time, or try to negotiate their way out of money that they owe you. Working with a personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure that you get the money you need for medical costs, damages, and loss of income due to your injury. A good personal injury lawyer will allow you a level of experience that will command the proceedings and provide you with the best case possible for you to receive what’s owed to you.
Being bitten by a dog is traumatic enough, there’s no need for endless phone calls and insurance adjusters who want to cheat you out of the damages that you deserve. Call Tim Fleming today or fill out our online contact form. With over 30 years of Personal Injury Law experience, Tim is ready to fight and win for you.