While most dogs are friendly, there are many that act aggressively toward humans and other animals. Even if you take steps to protect yourself, you could still be the victim of an attack by a dog.
Dog bite injuries can impact you in many ways, including medically, legally and financially. This is why it’s so important to document the circumstances surrounding the attack.
Here’s what you need to do after a dog bite:
- Seek medical care: Even if the injuries appear minor, it’s critical to seek immediate medical attention. Puncture wounds, for example, are susceptible to infection. Furthermore, if the dog is not vaccinated against rabies, you could contract this serious disease.
- Exchange information: If possible, collect contact information from the dog’s owner. This should include their name, address, phone number and email address.
- Collect witness statements: If anyone witnessed the accident, such as a neighbor or passerby, ask them for their contact information. This will come in handy should you seek compensation from the negligent owner.
- Call animal control: It won’t do anything to heal your injuries, but it can help protect someone else from the same fate. Your local animal control agency will visit the owner, examine the dog and investigate the incident. They’ll then decide what, if any, action to take.
While all of these steps are important, documenting the attack is critical to protecting your legal rights and receiving compensation for any injuries.
A dog bite injury can affect your life in many ways. For instance, it can result in decreased mobility, fear of animals, the inability to perform specific tasks and permanent scarring.
In addition to collecting witness statements, do the following:
- Take photos of the scene
- Take photos of your injuries
- Maintain thorough medical records
- Make note of all contact you have with the dog’s owner and insurance companies
There’s a good chance you’ll deal with insurance companies and/or have the desire to file a lawsuit to seek compensation. By documenting all aspects of the attack, you’ll have the information you need to obtain the compensation you deserve and protect your legal rights every step of the way.