Dog bites are a common occurrence in the United States. The CDC reports that 4.5 million dog bites occur every year. These attacks often cause injury to the victim. If you have been bitten by a dog, there are a few steps you can take to legally protect yourself.
Dogs are considered a gentle family pet. Those friendly pets can still cause harm when they bite. Don’t be fooled that only bigger breeds can cause harm. A smaller dog can inflict just as much pain and suffering from a bite as a larger animal. If you were attacked or bitten by a dog, the owner may be liable for your injuries. You must take a few steps to ensure that you receive fair compensation and full recovery after the incident.
Here are five steps you can take to legally protect yourself after a dog bite or attack.
Document the incident – You need to take photos of the scene where the incident occurred. This should include pictures of your injuries as well. You also need to document details about the dog too. If you can, make sure to take a photo of the dog. You should note the breed, color, size, and name of the animal.
Get the owner’s information – You need to obtain all the information from the owner of the dog. This should include the person’s name, address, and telephone number. You may also want to get the dog’s veterinarian’s phone number too. This can help you make sure the dog is current on vaccinations.
Call the police – If you have been bitten by a dog, you need to call the police immediately. They can come out and make a formal report of the incident. This will be beneficial when you go to court for compensation.
Contact the local animal control – As soon as a dog attack has occurred, contact your animal control. They also can document the incident. Some animal control agencies even have a list of nuisance dogs in the area. If the attacking dog is not on the list, it will be investigated and potentially added to it. This may mean fines or fees for the owner.
Seek immediate medical assistance – A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria. When the skin has been broken, it can lead to a higher chance of an infection. Seek medical assistance as soon as you can. You need to remember to keep all documentation of your medical treatments.
Once you have documented the incident, you can consult an attorney. The more evidence you have of the incident, the better the outcome for your case. Dog bites are a serious matter that can cause a financial burden. An attorney will make sure you are compensated for your injuries.