Chances are you were thinking about how cute Fido was, not what would happen if your direct eye contact or open hand would result in a dog bite wound. Once bitten by strange dogs, people often struggle with what to do next.
When bitten by an unfamiliar dog, there are legal actions you can and should take. Seeking the help of a personal injury attorney will ensure you’re financially protected, as well as reduce the chances that another attack will occur in the future.
Precautions After a Dog Bite
First and foremost, medical care should be sought to address any injuries you obtained as the dog bite victim. Whether it be minor dog bite treatment or something more severe, you should clean the wound. Do this by first letting some blood to flow, clean the area with soap and water to help with the risk of infection, then add pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. Seek medical attention for more serious injuries, like puncture wounds.
What do I do now?
When animal bites first happen, the legal action that should be taken is the last thing on your mind. For the purpose of proper documentation and subsequent interactions between the owners of the dog and potential insurance companies, you should handle a dog attack as you would an automobile accident.
1. Call the Police – The authorities will most likely separate the parties involved and gather information separately. Dog owners are expected, and held responsible for, keeping control of their animals – leaving the fault with them. The police will also help you track down the dog’s owner if they’re not present at the time of the attack, aid in obtaining information about the dog owner’s insurance, and call a local animal control agency if necessary.
2. Photograph the Scene – Take pictures of yourself, your injury, the dog, and the environment in which the attack occurred. If possible, take a short video as well, this will give your attorney a general idea of the animal’s behavior. If the video were to capture the dog showing signs of unprovoked aggression or that is one of the aggressive dog breeds, this will only make your claim easier.
3. Talk to Witnesses – During the whirlwind of the attack, it may be hard for you and the owner to recall what exactly happened– this is where witnesses come in. Witnesses can be an amazing asset to filing a dog bite lawsuit. They will allow you and your attorney to know exactly what happened from someone outside of the incident.
Take it a Step Further
While taking these three steps after a canine attack is important, the information is only useful for your attorney if you are able to supply it to them. So, once you’re done gathering all the necessary evidence, organize it and keep everything in a binder. Including a written record of your thoughts and feelings in the days after the attack, as well as dog bite pictures to document recovery time can be beneficial.
Keep in Mind
Though dogs are man’s best friend, they are still animals and can bite. Surprisingly, most of the time people are bitten by a dog they know, which could be a friend’s dog or even the family pet. It is important to always exercise caution around any type of animal. If you do get bit, no need to panic! Remain as calm as you can and follow the steps above.