I Was Bitten by a Dog! What Do I Do?
Not every dog in the world today answers to “Buddy” or “Pal.” Some appear to dislike humans intensely, and you might never find it out until they’ve grabbed onto your hand, arm, leg, face or neck. Canine bites can be serious, and if the animal is so inclined, the wounds he inflicts could kill you. If a dog should ambush you or one of your children, would you know what to do?
The Aftermath of a Dog Attack
The first thing, of course, is to seek out medical treatment. Even a single dog bite can do enormous damage, and this is especially true of those that happen to land in a vulnerable spot. If the incident has landed you in an emergency room and the wounds you have received extend to your face, insist on being seen by a plastic surgeon. This will lessen the possibility of ugly scars and permanent disfigurement.
A doctor’s visit will serve as documentation of what has occurred, so be sure to keep copies of every medical invoice and receipt that you receive. To further protect your legal rights, you will also want to:
– Learn the identity of the dog’s owner and of anyone who may have had charge of the animal at the time.
– Get names and addresses of bystanders who might have witnessed the incident.
– Take pictures of the wounds you have received as soon as possible after the fact. Photograph the dog as well if you can do it safely.
– Report the incident to your local animal control agency. This becomes particularly important if you should be unable to identify either the dog or its owner.
Does Your Dog Bite Give You Grounds for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Once you have gotten all your ducks in a row, it’s time to learn whether you can hold the dog’s owner legally responsible for the injuries that you have received. Any compensation to which you may be entitled will help cover the cost of your medical bills. If the damage has been sufficiently severe, you could also receive reimbursement for lost wages; pain and suffering; and reconstructive surgery if the need should arise either now or in the future.
Although some dog bites amount to no more than insignificant nips, you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney if the dog:
– Attacked you for no apparent reason.
– Did the deed while running loose in violation of local codes.
– Bit you on public property.
– Was a Rottweiler or pit bull terrier.
– Had a reputation for attacking humans.
– Caused injuries that required long-term treatment or resulted in permanent injury.
– Succeeded in killing the individual whom it attacked. This alone would be grounds for a wrongful death suit.
If any of the above should apply, the personal injury lawyers at Powerhouse Injury Attorneys can help.
What Not to Do After a Dog Bite
If the owner of the dog that bit you carries insurance, you may receive a call from a company representative. This gives you the chance to learn the name of the insurer and the limit to which the owner’s coverage extends. You can and should take down this information, but don’t go any further without first obtaining the advice of a personal injury lawyer. Above all:
– Do not answer any probing questions.
– Do not allow the insurance company to photograph the wounds.
– Do not agree to provide a taped account of the incident.
– Do not permit the insurer to record you in a question-and-answer session.
– Do not make an appointment to meet with the insurer’s representative.
– Do not provide the insurer with a written account in any form.
– Do not discuss a settlement or agree to accept a monetary offer.
Remember, the person to whom you are speaking represents the insurance company. Although this individual may come across as sympathetic and helpful, he or she is only interested in keeping a lid on the company’s potential monetary outlay.
If you have suffered a dog attack and hope to take legal action, don’t make a move without the advice of Powerhouse Injury Attorneys. Our extensive experience with dog bite cases will benefit you, so do yourself a favor and call today for a complimentary consultation: 702-444-2222