JLF FIRM ARTICLES AND NEWS
What to Do After a Dog Bite
While many accidental dog bites occur with a family dog or a familiar dog, there are some cases in which you are confronted by an unknown dog. Regardless of the circumstances, there are several ramifications that you should be aware of. The most serious is a medical concern, followed by financial concern and last, but certainly not least a legal concern.
Medical – If you are bitten by a dog you should immediately seek medical treatment. If you are at or near your home you should immediately wash the wound, apply an antiseptic, apply an antibiotic cream and cover with a bandage. This will help to prevent infection which is a serious concern due to bacteria from the dog’s mouth. If you are bitten by a strange or stray dog, you will want to seek medical treatment immediately for a potential exposure to rabies. The doctor will make the call whether or not it is warranted to proceed with rabies shots.
Financial – If you end up having to seek out medical treatment for your injuries (dog bite, exposure to rabies) resulting from a dog that is not yours, it is important to realize that there is a potential for a large number of medical bills, lost wages, and other financial costs. If you are able to track down the owner of the dog in question it is important that you get their information and inquire about the dog’s rabies vaccination status. This will prevent the need for painful rabies shots.
Legal – As soon as practically possible, it would be wise for you to contact an attorney. If this happens you want to be sure that you have all of your ducks in a row to be sure that you will have the best possible outcome. This means be sure that you have gathered all of the necessary information including; pictures, contact information from the owner of the dog (if known). If you do not know the owner of the dog it would be wise to contact animal control your city or county to get assistance with finding the dog and or the potential owner of the dog.
Document your case
Once you got yourself treated for your injuries from the dog bite, it is very important that you begin documenting everything. This is very important in the case that you need to involve an attorney. Be sure that you keep all receipts, bills, contact information of the other person involved and any information gathered by Police/Animal Control. If it becomes necessary for whatever reason that you need to contact an attorney, it is recommended that you contact one that has experience in dog bite cases.
Dog Bite Attorney
In the event that the person who owns the dog that bit you have refused to do the right thing and you are forced to go to litigate, be sure that you consult with a Dog Bite Attorney. These attorneys will have an extensive amount of knowledge of the law, insurance claims and anything to do with settlements involving dog bites. While most people would not have a problem with doing the right thing and accepting their responsibility, however, that is not always the case. Moreover, a dog bite attorney may help you pursue the at fault parties home owners insurance for an amount far greater than what may be available from a individual. While dog bites may not always seem like a big deal, a small bite can turn into a life threatening infection rather quickly.