Dog bites are not as uncommon as you may think. 4.5 million Americans are victims of dog bites every year. Among which, 1 in 5 dog bite cases require serious medical attention. You never know when man's best friend may attack, and if you are a victim of an attack, it is crucial that you do these 4 things after the attack to make sure that you have the evidence and information that you need to file a personal injury case against the dog owner if necessary.
Step 1: Obtain Evidence Needed from the Scene of the Accident
Although your first reaction may be to overreact, stay calm. You need to diligently collect evidence from the scene of the accident in order to prove what has happened. In particular, you want to:
Step 2: Obtain The Dog Owner's Contact Information
In order to seek compensation for the injuries that you have sustained, you need to be able to identify who the responsible party is. In short, you need the dog owner's contact information. This includes their name, address and phone number. Don't just take their word for it. Request to take a photograph of a piece of government issued identification, such as a driver's license.
If the dog owner makes a run for it, you want to make sure that you identify the breed of the dog that attacked you and any identifying features of the dog owner. If the dog owner gets into a vehicle, jot down the license plate of the vehicle.
Step 3: Contact the Police, Property Management and Local Animal Control
Depending on where the accident has taken place, you will need to contact either the police or the police and the property management team. It is generally best to wait for the police to arrive at the scene of the accident for an official report to be made, as the official report will contain pertinent information that can be very valuable during the term of your case. Most attorneys recommend directly calling 911.
You will also need to contact local animal control and report the incident. This is particularly important, and can provide you with some insight in regards to whether the dog owner was aware of the fact that their dog is aggressive or not before the accident happened. Local animal control will need this information to determine whether the dog is a public threat and whether the dog owner has been responsible in making sure that his or her dog does not injure anyone. Local animal control can help you determine whether the dog owner can use the "one-bite" defense later in court.
Step 4: Seek Immediate and Continual Medical Attention
Once you have all of the pertinent information needed to identify the dog owner and outline what has happened, you want to seek immediate and continual medical attention for any and all of the injuries that you have sustained. Do not only focus on the physical injuries, but also on any emotional stress that you may be suffering from as well.
Depending on how severe the injuries may be, it is crucial that you continue seeking medical attention for the injuries. For example, if the dog bite has severed a nerve and caused nerve damage, you want to make sure that you have mitigated the severity of your injuries by getting the rehabilitative treatments that you need.
Upon following the 4 steps mentioned above, you should consider whether you want to take legal action and seek compensation from the dog owner based on the severity of the injuries that you have sustained. Keep in mind that an attack can result in not only serious physical injuries, but also severe emotional trauma, which can be quite costly to treat in the long run. For more information and the best results, work with an experienced personal injury attorney.Share
14 April 2015
My name is Noni. When I was in college, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. My life was never in danger, but I did break a few bones and had a lot of huge medical bills. I was hoping I wouldn't have to get involved with an attorney, but unfortunately, it came down to that. I used a family friend who is an accident attorney to get some compensation. A few years later, I was hit while riding my bike and had to go through the same process. I suppose I'm lucky to be alive. And it's thanks to accident attorneys that I have been able to put my life back together. I started this blog as a way to let others know just how much lawyers can help you in certain situations.