Rabies, tetanus, and infections. No, this isn’t the result of stepping on a rusty nail and getting chased by a rabid raccoon.
These problems can occur when an individual gets bit by a dog.
If one has been bitten by a dog that isn’t theirs, health and well-being become a concern. They may not feel safe in their neighborhood or know if the dog has been vaccinated.
In these instances, individuals have a case.
Read on to discover how to handle a dog bite case and 8 steps to take after getting bitten.
Remain Calm and Focused
This isn’t simple for someone bitten by a dog that isn’t theirs. Nevertheless, stay calm. Make sure to get away from the dog as soon as possible.
Try to take note of where the incident occurred, such as house and street address. If possible, speak to the owner and get information, such as the name of the dog’s vet, and the owner’s name and phone number.
When planning to speak with a lawyer about a potential dog bite case, know the details.
- If the dog was on a leash or not
- If the owner did anything to remove the dog from the situation
- Where the incident occurred
Having this information avilable will help the attorney as they work on the case.
Assess the Wound
After getting away from the situation, check the wound. See if there are puncture marks, bleeding, or torn flesh.
Research has shown bleeding can clean the wound, so some bleeding is helpful to the body.
If bleeding is observed after a while, take care to follow these steps to stop it:
- Using a shirt, dishtowel or other clean cloth, wrap the wound
- If the bite is moderate to severe, elevate the body part that is bleeding
- Apply pressure, causing the blood to begin clotting
Seek Help at Urgent Care
After checking the wound and putting a stop to the bleeding, it is best to follow up with a trip to the local urgent care facility or an emergency room. Have a doctor review the dog bite, preventing further problems from occurring.
The doctor can:
- Stitch large wounds
- Prescribe antibiotics for an infection
- Ensure the bites are not deep, and that further care is not needed
Alert Animal Control to the Situation
Immediately after treatment, contact animal control, and make them aware of what has happened.
If necessary drive back over to the area or home where the dog bite occurred to get the correct details.
Give animal control as much information as possible about the owner, the address of the incident, and what breed the dog was.
Animal control can be made aware of the fact that this is a potential dog bite case a lawyer will be involved in.
They will still need to investigate and question the owner. If it’s determined the dog is dangerous, animal control can correct the problem, ensuring the incident doesn’t happen again.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Who Can Handle a Dog Bite Case
As soon as possible, get in touch with a personal injury attorney who will take on a dog bite case. When calling, set up an appointment for a consultation with the attorney.
As with animal control, provide the attorney all information relevant to the case.
- Where the dog owner lives and the breed of dog
- Medical documentation and pictures of the bite or puncture wounds
- if the dog owner was threatening or irresponsible (such as allowing the dog off-leash)
Review how a personal injury attorney can help. Having one ready to take on the case is better than going to court unarmed.
Prepare to Settle Out of Court
It’s not uncommon for cases to be settled pretrial. This saves hassle for the plaintiff since they don’t have to deal with a court date, allowing the attorney to handle negotiations.
In many cases, the defendant or dog owner will want to avoid court. Settling is often viewed as a preferred alternative.
In a dog bite case, if money is awarded to the individual who is suing, it’s usually paid by an insurance company.
This is often homeowner’s insurance. After the fault is determined by the insurance company or the court, the claims process will begin.
Follow-Up with the Attorney
In some cases, the attorney will need specific information from the plaintiff. Medical reports from doctors or proof that injury has made working or doing other jobs impossible are some of the things that help a case win.
To help the case move forward as quickly as possible, turn everything in right away.
Certain personal injury cases can take a long time.
The length of a dog bite case can vary. Checking with the attorney on an expected timeline and dealing with the insurance payout is crucial to keep in mind as the process goes on.
If the plaintiff is receiving threats or bullying from the defendant, let the attorney know right away.
This gives the case traction since the victim is dealing with unwanted harassment by pursuing legal action for their case.
Wait for Compensation
Understand that anytime one seeks compensation through an insurance company or the court system for a dog bite case, the results are not immediate. It will take time, even when the case rules in favor of the plaintiff.
If there is still pain related to the bite, speak to a doctor. See if there is anything available to speed up recovery.
Let the attorney know if your recovery has slowed down due to unforeseen complications.
If you’ve been attacked by a dog, Stephen Babcock is standing by to help you.
Your case — and your future will be our top priority. When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee.
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