Personal Injury Cases: Dog Bites

In the US, more than 4.5 million people get bit by dogs every year. Though you never want this to be you, it could happen.

To minimize the impact of a dog bite on your health, finances, and overall well-being, you need to know how to react. 

So here are the most important steps you should take after getting bit by a dog:

  1. Treat the injury

Before you do anything else, treat your injury. Time is of the essence, especially if you have deep puncture wounds and are losing lots of blood. Perform the necessary first aid or call out for someone nearby to help you. 

Acting fast to clean your wound is also important to prevent infection. The percentage of dog bites that get infected is 5-25%. And you also don’t know if the dog has rabies. If it does, you’ll need a series of painful shots.

After seeing the doctor for your first visit, go back for medical attention as needed, especially if you continue to experience pain or suffer from nerve damage or other problems related to the dog bite.

  1. Get information about the dog and its owner 

Once you’ve received medical attention, it’s important to learn about the dog and its owner. Make note of the size and color of the dog. Ask the owner about its breed and vaccination history. This can tell you right away whether or not you’re at risk of rabies.

Then exchange contact information with the dog owner. Get their name, address, phone number, and insurance information, if possible.

Avoid discussing who is at fault for the dog attack until you’ve spoken with a lawyer from Sometimes dog owners will get defensive about their responsibility in the incident, but keep calm and try not to admit any fault. 

  1. Collect information from witnesses

Before leaving the scene, collect accounts from any eye witnesses to the dog attack. Have them describe what they saw happen and write it down along with their contact information. This will help your legal case and any claims you make with insurance companies. 

  1. Document the dog bite

In addition to collecting information from witnesses and the dog owner, you’ll want to keep your own records as evidence. 

Try to get a picture of the wound immediately after the attack and then take photos of it regularly over time. Hold onto all medical documents and keep track of any expenses related to the injury, including medical bills, lost wages, or travel costs.

All this will help maximize your compensation from insurance companies and strengthen your potential lawsuit.

  1. Consult a lawyer

Lastly, contact a personal injury attorney. They can review the facts of your case and give you an educated idea of what kind of compensation you can expect. 

The dog owner or their insurance company may be required to pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, property damage, and even punitive damages if the dog owner’s behavior was particularly reckless or outrageous. 

Personal injury laws will vary by state, so try to find an experienced lawyer in your area. Some states even have lawyers specifically to deal with this situation, like a dog bite lawyer in Oxnard. They’ll know more than the average lawyer about how to win the case and can help you get a fair settlement.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you never experience a dog attack. But at least you now know how to respond in case it happens. Remember to always treat your injury first. Then you can worry about preparing all the information you need to get the long-term compensation you deserve.