Dog bite accidents are more common than you can imagine. Nearly 4.5 million people fall victim to dog bites in the US every year, with 800,000 victims needing immediate medical attention, while half of these victims are children, notes CDC.
Given the rising number of dog bite accidents that our personal injury lawyers handle every day, we have documented this guide to explain steps you can take when that happens.
Get Medical Attention
The first thing you should do is get medical care right away. The treatment depends on the nature of the dog bite. For instance, some people experience lacerations, a broken arm, and bleeding. Call 911 in such severe cases so that an EMS crew can come to the rescue. The police also show up when the incidents are severe to investigate the case.
If the injury isn’t serious, you can get first aid instead of calling 911. It’s necessary to clean the wound to prevent further infection. Later, go to the hospital for further medical care.
Identify the Owner
You can seek the help of law enforcement officers to recognize the owner of the dog. See if the dog has any communicable diseases, such as rabies. If you can’t find the owner and the dog is at large, contact the animal control team. They’ll identify the owner by the microchip.
It’s important to identify who owns the dog if you want to be compensated for the injuries. The owner can be your neighbor or someone nearby. You’ll only be reimbursed for your injuries if you can find the owner who is responsible. After all, you can’t sue the poor dog.
Your personal injury attorney won’t be able to help you unless the owner has been identified.
Send Claim to Insurance Carrier
If the owner has insurance, which is possible, then you can send the claim through their insurance carrier. It can be a business liability policy or a general liability policy if the injury takes place in a business facility.
Take Pictures of Injuries
Once you get the treatment, consult with law enforcement, find the dog owner, and document the damages. Take pictures of your injuries if it involves bodily deformation.
The medical documents will record your medical treatment and history. Since medical records won’t contain photographs, you must take steps to do it yourself. Without images, you won’t be able to prove the injuries to a jury.
Pictures will facilitate your case if the jury is skeptical about the damages. They’ll also tell your story where words fail.
Follow the Treatment
You must follow the treatment as prescribed by your doctor. If you avoid doctor’s orders and your situation gets worse, that’ll entirely be your fault. Show up for the follow-up appointments, so your situation gets better. The insurance carrier of the at-fault party won’t cover these costs.
Consult A Personal Injury Attorney
The rules relating to dog bites are complex. The case can get complicated, so you must capture all the facts. That’s where a personal injury lawyer can help. They have the skills and experience to document your case-related facts to get you compensation.
Bourassa Law Group has a team of personal injury lawyers specializing in dog bite accidents and other animal liability cases. We ensure that your case is strong to get you the desired outcomes. Get a free consultation today.
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