Dogs can be ferocious. Whether the aggressive behavior is caused by a difficult environment or the dog itself is vicious, dogs bite. An abused or neglected dog is much more likely to attack a person, but this isn’t always the case. If a dog is stressed, threatened, scared or startled they are capable of biting a person and inflicting serious damage. Sometimes dogs are just aggressive in nature. Whatever the case may be let’s look at the steps to take after a dog bites you.
The First Steps After a Dog Bites You
Your first thought after an incident should be to get to safety. There is a reason that the dog bit you and you don’t want to give it another opportunity. Remove yourself from the situation immediately. Secondly, start treating the wound. If you are bleeding wrap a clean towel around the wound and elevate it above your heart to get the bleeding to stop if you need medical attention call 911 immediately. After you have gotten the injury has been taken care of you’re going to need to compile some information.
What Information Do You Need After a Dog Bites You
First and foremost, find the dogs owner. Get their name, address and the info of the person who had custody of the dog when it bit you. This is important for both the legal and health ramifications of a dog bite. If you can’t find the owner of the dog or you were bitten by a stray dog, you’re going to need to be treated for rabies. Rabies treatment is a painful process, so identifying the dog’s owner and the last time it was administered the rabies vaccine is imperative. Also, if a dog attacked you, you are probably entitled to compensation from the animal’s owner. Any medical treatment you require and pain and suffering caused is the owner’s responsibility.
If you have sought medical treatment after a dog bites you, document it and keep the information for your records, keep all bills and information the doctor has provided you for later use. Take pictures before and after the wound is treated. Make sure you follow all of the physician’s instructions including taking any prescription medication provided. In the end, it will be up to the doctor’s discretion whether or not a rabies vaccine is required.
Got to the local animal control agency that is responsible for your jurisdiction. Sometimes this responsibility falls on the animal control department, at times it the job of the humane society and in rare cases could be the responsibility of the local police department. Find out the responsible agency in your area. File a formal report with the office and cooperate fully with the investigation. The animal control agency can help you identify the owner of the dog if you do no know who it is. They also conduct interviews with any witnesses as well as the victim. This will give you a full detailed report of the incident. After a dog bites you, do not trust the hospital to make the report. While they will make their report for statistical purposes, you’ll need a report from the animal control agency themselves.
After obtaining all of the information in this article contact a lawyer that specializes in dog attacks. After a dog bites you, it is important to seek legal council. A lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for you. They can help you get the money that you are entitled to from the owner or the owner’s insurance company.
If you are contacted by the owner’s insurance company, you should ask for some information from them. You will want the name of the insurance company, the address, a telephone number for the representative, the claim number, and the amount of money available to pay medical expenses.
Do not under any circumstances discuss any of the following with an insurance agent after a dog bites you:
- Money, payment of money, settlement, injury value or anything else to do with money
- Do not write a letter
- Do not set up an appointment
- Do not allow the victim to be photographed
- Do not discuss responsibility
- Do not accept money
- Do not permit yourself to be recorded
If the agent wants to discuss any of the things listed above immediately refer them to your attorney.
Know Your Rights
Dog bites happen frequently. There are approximately one thousand dog bites treated in the United States daily. You should know your rights and what you entitled to after a dog bites you. The best way to do this is speaking to an attorney. They will be able to help guide you in the right direction and can answer any questions you may have. The scars may last a lifetime, but you shouldn’t have to live with the pain and suffering without decent compensation.