If you've been bitten by a neighborhood dog, you need to take action. Dog bites can cause serious problems including infections, rabies, permanent physical scars, and even emotional distress. Here are five steps you should take to make sure you receive the care you need.
After you've been bitten by a dog, you need to gather as much information as you can. The information you gather will help you if you have to file a claim for damages. Some of the information you gather should include the following:
- Names and addresses of witnesses and dog owner
- Name of person controlling the dog at the time of the bite
- Documentation of shot records and vet visits
You're going to need to document the extent of the injuries. The best way to do that is through photographs. Start the documentation by taking pictures of the initial bite. After that, be sure to take pictures each day throughout the healing process. The pictures will be able to document the severity of the injuries, the amount of time the injuries took to heal, and the amount of scarring that resulted from the bite.
See the Doctor
You should go to the emergency room or urgent care as soon as you can after a dog bite. The doctor will be able to document the extent of the injuries, treat for possible infections, and provide follow-up treatment. If the dog was not current on its rabies vaccinations, you may need to receive treatment for exposure to rabies.
You'll need to file a report with local law enforcement, as well as the local animal control office. Filing a report with both agencies will allow you to find out if the dog has a history of violence. It will also provide a paper trail in case the dog should bite someone else in the future. If you see the dog unattended in the neighborhood following the incident, be sure to contact your local animal control office. They may be able to remove the animal from the owner's home.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you've been bitten by a dog, you need to speak to a lawyer. This is particularly true if the owners are not cooperating with you, or you are having trouble obtaining the medical care you need. Be sure to provide your attorney with any documentation you've collected, including pictures, medical bills and police reports.
If you're the victim of a dog bite, don't take chances with your health or your right to compensation. Use the information provided here to make sure you get the care you need following a dog bite. If you have questions about your legal rights, be sure to speak to your attorney, like James Lee Katz.