Your chances of being bitten by a dog are higher if you possess high levels of insecurity, fear, and instability. Bites from unfamiliar dogs are more common than bites from pets you already know. As much as we love dogs, they sometimes bite. You can avoid situations that result in being bitten, but not all. Whether it’s from a lack of training, fear for their own safety, or protective aggression, dogs can cause severe injury and mental distress. If you’ve incurred considerable damages, including medical bills, lost wages, or permanent scarring, it’s worth pursuing legal action. The owner of the dog is liable for personal injury.
Here are a few urgent steps to take right after being attacked by a dog.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
If the injury requires immediate medical attention, don’t waste time and call 911. The dog’s teeth can tear into your skin. The result is an open, that’s often irregular and jagged. Along with the emergency medical responders, the police will show up to investigate the case. You might need hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics. Pasteurella usually causes wounds that become infected in 24 hours of the dog bite. The bacterium causes a potentially dangerous infection of the skin called cellulitis. You can develop redness, swelling, tenderness of the skin, sometimes with a discharge of pus.
A tetanus shot is a worthwhile precaution after getting bitten by a dog. Commonly referred to as lockjaw, tetanus is a serious disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The most common signs are sudden muscle tightening, difficulty swallowing, fever and sweating, and changes in blood pressure and heart rate. Dog bites aren’t stitched because of the risk of harmful bacteria entering the wound. In cases of severe scarring, stitches may be applied to the wound. Needless to say, you should document your injury/injuries. You’ll need proof for your personal injury lawsuit.
Exchange Contact Information with The Dog’s Owner
If an unknown dog bit you, it’s not recommended to try to stop, catch, or hold the animal. The best thing you can do is to call animal control. If the dog has a microchip, they’ll identify the owner in no time. If the dog owner is present, get their contact information. The dog owner won’t admit fault, so keep your calm and avoid having a direct confrontation. Your lawyer will want to see the details to make sure that you’re adequately compensated. You’ll need to obtain specific information, such as the name of the dog owner, not to mention their phone number and address. Nothing can be done until the owner of the dog is identified.
Report The Incident to Your Local Call Animal Control
Report the incident to your local animal control if the dog bite is serious enough. The experts at Jason Stone. Injury Lawyers advise not to provide too many details until you have consulted with a lawyer. Reach out to animal control and make sure that what happened to you doesn’t happen to anyone else. The report will trigger an investigation into the incident. If the dog is classified as dangerous or menacing, their owner will have to carry special insurance or take extra precautions to protect others in social settings. Your lawyer will need the dog attack report to argue a good case in court.
Local animal control officers will investigate the dog and interview the victim – you, that is. Your personal information and version of events will be recorded. The dog will be allowed to remain in the owner’s custody until a conclusion has been reached. You should get legal representation, particularly if you’re seeking compensation for the injury/injuries you’ve sustained. They’ll address your questions and concerns. You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. Your lawyer will help you collect non-economic damages for emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. Just imagine how much money would be on the hook.
Document Your Injuries
Your next move is to focus on documentation. Make sure your injury/injuries and symptoms are properly documented. Take photos every now and then. Additionally, use a pain diary. Describe the pain you’re experiencing, note down the medications taken, and keep a list of all your medical visits. This will help you overcome any skepticism that an opposing insurance carrier (or a jury) might have regarding the severity of your dog bite. As far as your medical records are concerned, make sure your treating physician includes as many details as possible. Witnesses can be a crucial factor in a personal injury claim. If someone was present during the accident, ask them for their recollection of the events.
Become Familiar with The Local Laws
In case you didn’t already know, most owners limit liability strictly to dogs. Massachusetts is one such example. This means that you don’t have to show that the owner was reckless in handling their pet, just that you were injured. It doesn’t matter if they took the necessary precautions to secure the dog if they managed to get loose and bite you. Nevertheless, if you were committing a trespass or were teasing, abusing, or tormenting the dog, you can’t bring legal action. Scarring is commonly associated with dog bite cases. Compensation depends on the size and location of the scar.
Due to the complexity of determining a case value, a highly experienced lawyer must be retained. They will strive to negotiate a pre-trial settlement on your behalf. While this might seem counterintuitive, keep in mind that the judge and the jury are unpredictable. There’s no way of knowing what course the litigation process might take. Both sides attempt to settle to eliminate this risk. Your settlement is dependent on the details of your case, including your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, last but not least, disability benefits. You’ll be compensated based on the hardship you had to endure.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you navigate the process and obtain the compensation you deserve, so there’s no reason for concern.