Imagine you are walking in the neighborhood on a bright sunny day. You hear a slight barking of a dog in the background. You do not expect anything of it. Slowly, the bark is not so slight. You turn around to look at what’s going on. Suddenly a big, white pitbull lunges at you and throws you down to the ground. He starts biting you on your face and your neck. You are screaming for help. Finally his owner comes around and grabs the pitbull. You are left with bites, cuts, and bruises on your face, neck, and arms. What do you do? Who will pay for your medical bills and lost wages?
This blog post is intended to provide you with the steps to follow immediately after a dog bite incident.
1. First and foremost, seek medical help. Go to the emergency room or a doctor’s office and get your bites, cuts, and bruises evaluated by a doctor. A dog’s saliva carries bacteria that could cause infections. It is vitally important for your doctor to treat you. You may also need stitches to prevent scarring from the dog bites. Your doctor can also inform you about rabies and other diseases a particular dog breed carries. So talk to your doctor about the type of dog that bit you.
2. Find out the dog’s information. If the attack was in a neighborhood, find out who the dog belongs to. Get the owner of the dog’s information as well.
3. You must also report the dog and its owner to the Animal Control in your local jurisdiction to quarantine the dog. If there is an incident report made, obtain a copy of the incident report.
4. Get the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy to see if the dog bite is covered under the policy. If a claim has been filed, get the outstanding claim number.
5. Determine if there were any witnesses to your attack. Get their information and what they saw.
6. Determine if this particular dog has bitten anyone before. If so, get his or her name and how they were bit.
7. Take photographs of your bites, cuts, and bruises before, during, and after your treatment.
8. Do not discuss who was responsible for the dog bite with the dog owner.
9. DO NOT give a recorded statement to the homeowner’s insurance company.
Lastly, contact an experienced dog bite lawyertrusts to represent your claims against the dog owner’s insurance company.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into what to do after a dog bite incident.