Dog Bites – Part I

 

dogbite

 

As unfortunate as it is, dog bites do occur. Whether a dog feels that it is protecting itself, or their owners, or if it is an accident – bites can and do happen. An important thing remember after a dog has bitten you – or a loved one – is to remain calm.

Here are some important tips for what to do next:

  • Obtain names and addresses of the witnesses
  • Get the dog owners name and/or the people who had custody of the dog at the time it bit you
    • More than likely you will be entitled to receive compensation from the animal’s owner
      • depending upon the damage – you may need to be compensated for your medical bills, reimburse you for lost income, pay for cosmetic surgery, and help you overcome pain and suffering from the injuries
  • Take photographs of the wounds
    • take pictures before you treat the wound and then again after treatment
  • See a doctor and document the incident and obtain treatment
    • dog bites may cause infections, so it is important to seek medical attention right away
    • over 1,000 Americans go to the emergency room everyday because of dog bites
    • make sure you are following the instructions of your physician – the decision to get a rabies shot will be at the discretion of your doctor
  • Give a report to Animal Control
    • this can either be with the city or county – check jurisdiction – sometimes the Humane Society will take these reports
    • this is important because emergency rooms and physicians only take the report for statistical purposes and don’t necessarily inform Animal Control
  • If the dog owner is insured, and they file a claim, the insured party’s insurance company will call you –  make sure you get the following:
    • name of insurance company
    • insurance company address
    • telephone number
    • claim umber
    • name of the insured
    • amount of money available to pay medical expenses
  • DO NOT DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
    • Do NOT Discuss money, payment of money, settlement, injury value or ANYTHING else involving money
    • Do NOT set up an appointment
    • Do NOT write a letter or memo
    • Do NOT allow yourself to be tape-recorded
    • Do NOT allow yourself or the victim to be photographed
    • Do NOT discuss who is responsible
    • Do NOT accept any money

The best advice we can give you after all of this, is to consult with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dog bite cases. The first consultation is always free!

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