Dog bites can leave you with physical and psychological injuries. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, as well as for your pain and suffering. However, before you can receive compensation, you need to make sure you’ve done everything you can to protect your rights. Here are five steps you should take if you’ve been bitten by a dog.
Locate the Owner
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you need to locate the owner as soon as possible. Obtain as much information as you can about the dog, including shot records, history of violence, and where the owners obtained the dog from.
The shot records are the most important documents you can obtain, especially if the bites drew blood. Although it’s uncommon, if you can’t locate the shot records, your doctor may have you complete a series of rabies vaccinations.
Obtain Medical Care
You should obtain medical care as soon as you can, even if you don’t have medical insurance. Go to the nearest emergency room and let them know that you were bitten by a dog. If you have the information on the owner, give that information to the emergency room staff. This will allow them to treat it as an accident. The owners of the dog will be responsible for your medical costs.
File a Report with Law Enforcement
This is important. Even if the dog did not draw blood when it bit you, file a report with the police and the local animal control agency. This will allow officials to maintain a paper trail on the dog.
If it’s determined that the dog is a menace to society, animal control and law enforcement may require stricter containment rules for the owners. Not only that, but a paper trail will provide evidence for others who may be bitten by the same dog in the future.
Speak to an Attorney
If you’re wounds are severe, you need to speak to an attorney. This is particularly important if the dogs owners are refusing to cooperate, or are denying responsibility. Your attorney can help you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
Take Pictures of the Injuries
As soon as you can, take pictures of the injuries. If you can, take additional pictures of the injuries each day. This will allow you to document the injuries at each stage of the healing process.
If you’re going to seek damages from the owners of the dog, it’s important that you provide documentation of the injuries. It can take a long time for a personal injury claim to make it through the court system. Photographs will allow the courts to see your wounds, even if they’ve already healed by the time your case is heard.
For more information, contact J D’Agostino & Associates, P.C. or a similar firm.