If you’ve been bitten by a dog you may have a lot of questions about what you should next. The saying, “a dog is man’s best friend,” doesn’t always ring true. Untrained dogs or dogs that don’t trust strangers can harm you if you interact with them. Dog bites can turn into serious personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury and feel like the dog’s owner could have prevented it, you may be considering employing a dog bite lawyer.
While close to five million people in the U.S are bitten by a dog annually—half of them being children—not every biting incident will require a dog bite lawyer. Of that total, around 850,000 people require medical attention. Dog bites can be traumatic experiences for anyone and can leave you with serious personal injury. Before calling a dog bite lawyer to handle your case, here are a few things to help you know what to do if a dog bites you and causes a personal injury.
When Do You Have a Case After Being Bitten by a Dog?
Animal control agencies and public health departments define dog bites as incidents involving a person’s skin breaking because a dog’s tooth or nail penetrated them, causing personal injury.
Some of these bites can be accidental or playful. But, in both instances, they can legally be considered as dog bites. These bites include scratches from a dog’s nail and accidental bites while playing around with a dog. If you’ve been bitten by a dog multiple times successively, then it is considered a dog attack. In figuring what to do if a dog bites you, it is important to remember some key information.
Assess Your Injuries After Being Bitten by a Dog and What You Want to Do
Once you’ve suffered an attack, or if you’re just wondering what to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog, you need to evaluate the situation. If you believe that the attack was caused due to the dog owner’s negligence, hire a dog bite lawyer right away. Your dog bite lawyer can assess the severity of the attack and the personal injury you’ve suffered, gather the facts, and help you secure compensation following this experience.
Gather Evidence of Being Bitten by a Dog
When contemplating what to do when bitten by a dog, you should first take pictures of the dog in question and of the personal injury you suffered. Also, take photos of the dog’s owner and the premises where this incident happened, including house numbers, street signs, and license plates. This is useful evidence for your dog bite lawyer to use when arguing your case.
From there, ask the dog’s owner for their contact information, as well as veterinarian information. This way, you can ask about vaccination records, particularly rabies. Next, you should file a police report and collect an incident report number so that your dog bite lawyer has a reference to the case. Finally, you should get medical assistance for your personal injury. Whether your personal injury is minor or substantial, get it checked out as many dog bites get infected afterward and skin scratches may have underlying, damaged tissues. When putting together a checklist of what to do if bitten by a dog, these are things you should note.
What Happens After a Dog Bite is Reported?
When going through what to do if a dog bites you, another vital step is to ensure the dog is quarantined for a few days. The dog will remain at its owner’s home, but the owner can’t let it out of the house and in contact with anyone. The dog will remain at the home until a final disposition is achieved. However, if the owner disobeys the quarantine or the dog is deemed too dangerous by animal control agencies, it should be taken to a shelter to be quarantined.
After the quarantine, investigations commence, determining whether or not the dog is capable of inflicting personal injury again. It could be branded as a minimal risk to the public, potentially dangerous, or vicious. The authorities will explore if there are other instances where the dog caused personal injury. This info is also useful for your dog bite lawyer when presenting your case. Your dog bite lawyer can suggest the dog is likely to cause personal injury to others. Also, your dog bite lawyer will gather supporting documentation to build your claim.
The dog will be tested for any diseases or illnesses. If the disease or illness can be treated easily, then the dog will likely be deemed a minimal risk.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Being Bitten by a Dog?
When determining what to do if a dog bites you, think about insurance. Depending on the homeowner’s insurance company and your policy, you may get coverage for your personal injury. All the evidence that you collected while following advice on what to do if a dog bites you should be sent to your provider as well. You should talk to your dog bite lawyer about this step; they can negotiate with your insurance provider on your behalf to ensure you get maximum coverage following your incident. Your insurance provider could contact the dog owner’s insurance company for aid to cover medical bills or lost wages.
Because a personal injury such as dog bites can take a while to heal, your dog bite lawyer will advise you not to close the case too soon. Keep your dog bite lawyer on-call if your personal injury isn’t healing, or the dog owner or insurance provider is still giving you a hard time.
Contact Lawyer After Being Bitten By a Dog
A dog bite lawyer is a reliable point of contact after you’ve suffered a personal injury from a dog attack. When wondering what to do if a dog bites you, your child, or family member, contacting a dog bite lawyer makes sense.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
You should talk to your dog bite lawyer about this step; they can negotiate with your insurance provider on your behalf to ensure you get maximum coverage following your incident. Your insurance provider could contact the dog owner’s insurance company for aid to cover medical bills or lost wages.
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Prior to forming Dyer, Garofalo, Mann & Schultz, Doug worked as a bodily injury claims adjuster for a large insurance company. This unique experience has been a tremendous asset to Doug in his fight to achieve maximum cash settlements for his clients in minimum time. Since departing from the insurance company, Doug has dedicated his entire legal career to helping injured clients when they need it the most.