Protecting Your Rights after a Dog Bite
Dog bites are surprisingly common. According to the best available evidence, there are around 4.5 million dog bites each year. Of these, around 27,000 require surgery. Dog bites can cause devastating physical injuries along with emotional scars, especially when young children are bitten. Fortunately, California law allows you to receive compensation for your injuries, but you need to take certain steps to protect your rights. Contact a Downey dog bite attorney for more information.
Medical Help for Dog Bites
Dog bites can range from superficial scrapes to serious, life-threatening wounds. Regardless of the wound’s severity, you should immediately try to do the following:
- Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean towel. If necessary, elevate the wounded limb above the heart.
- Once bleeding has stopped, wash the wound thoroughly with warm soap and water.
- Once cleaned, apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
- Watch for signs of infection, such as increased redness or puss drainage.
Of course, if the wound is deep or it will not stop bleeding, then you should go to the hospital to have a doctor clean it and apply stitches. You might need a tetanus booster shot as well as the rabies vaccine, both of which could save your life. Many dog bites are difficult for you to adequately clean on your own, which can lead to life-threatening infections.
Get Important Information about the Dog
You can’t sue for compensation unless you know who is responsible for the dog. For this reason, you should try to obtain the following:
- The name of the dog’s owner
- The location where the attack occurred
- A description of the dog (size, color, unique features)
- The names and contact information for any witnesses
If you are badly injured, you probably don’t have time to do a thorough investigation or to walk door to door to find an owner. Instead, call the police, who can come and investigate for you. If a friend was with you when you were bitten, they could also stay behind to gather this important information while you head to the hospital.
Take Pictures of Your Injuries
A picture is worth a thousand words, and by the time you go to court, your wounds might have healed. You want to show the jury just how ugly and serious your wounds were at the time of the attack, so you need to document them. Take vivid color photographs as soon as possible and later on, if the wounds become infected.
If your wounds hinder your ability to walk or lift your arm, then take a short video to document this fact as well. Many clients are immobilized after a vicious attack, and they can receive compensation for this inconvenience.
Hire a Downey, California Dog Bite Attorney to File Suit
California law gives injured victims a short amount of time to bring a lawsuit—only two years from the date of the attack, for most people. If you delay past this point, then you lose your right to sue and receive compensation.
To protect your rights, hire an attorney right away. At JLF Law, our Downey dog bite lawyers have helped many victims get the compensation they need to cover medical bills and replace their lost wages. Contact us right away by calling 562-418-6880 or filling out our contact form.