What to Do after a Dog Attack
What to Do after a Dog Attack
Regardless of whether it was by accident or on purpose, a dog attack is no laughing matter. It can cause serious injuries, including broken bones, severe lacerations, painful infections, and — in some cases — irreparable scarring. There is also the potential for lifelong emotional trauma.
Dog Bites and the Law
In addition to coping with physical and emotional injuries, you will likely have to deal with legal and financial matters, as well.
Here in Ohio, we have a strict liability statue when it comes to dog bites, as well as any other type of injury caused by a dog. This means that unless you were committing some illegal conduct (i.e., trespassing or breaking and entering), or unless you did some to provoke the dog (i.e., teasing or tormenting the dog), then its owner will be liable for your injury.
RELATED ARTICLE: What to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer
As such, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages as a result of the dog attack.
The seconds, minutes, and hours following your experience are precious — not only for your health and wellbeing but also for your potential legal case. Here are some steps to take in the wake of a dog attack, ideally before going to the emergency room.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Regardless of potential legal matters and financial troubles, health should always come first. If you can walk on your own, try to go to a water source to clean the wound. If you can’t, then simply apply pressure to keep the wound from bleeding.
More importantly, be sure to call for help from anyone nearby. If necessary, call for an ambulance, too. Severe dog attacks always warrant a trip to the emergency room, as you will need to be assessed for potential infection and rabies.
2. Identify the Dog Breed and Owner
If possible, find out what type of dog bit you. Finding out who it belongs to is just as important. You can do this while waiting for the ambulance or on the ride to the doctor.
Identifying the dog’s owner will help you learn more about the medical and vaccination history of the dog that bit you. Make sure to ask about the dog’s vaccination records, especially rabies shots. It is also recommended to get the owner’s contact and insurance information.
However, avoid discussing the attack with the dog’s owner. This applies whether or not you are familiar with the person.
3. Contact Animal Control
You may need to get in touch with animal control, particularly the local rabies control authority. They may be able to help you ensure that the dog is not rabid and help contain them if they have gotten loose.
RELATED ARTICLE: Personal Injury Liability and Dog Bites
4. Gather Evidence and Talk to Witnesses
If the dog attack happened outdoors, try to find and talk to any witnesses of the incident. As much as possible, get their full names and contact information as soon as you can. It’s also advisable to take photos of your injuries, the scene of the attack, and the dog itself.
Your clothing may also serve as evidence if needed. Make sure to save it and refrain from washing the blood away.
5. Contact an Experienced and Reliable Dog Bite Lawyer
Filing compensation claims can be tedious and time-consuming, regardless of the reason behind it. It’s doable, yes, but the stress may interfere with your recovery. This is especially true when different insurance plans are sending you different claim forms and trying to assert subrogation rights. In such cases, it’s best to leave it in the capable hands of a reliable injury lawyer.
At Arthur Law Firm, our lawyers are experienced with dog bite claims, and can help you navigate through the legal proceedings. We can explain how you can pursue compensation and what payments you may be eligible to receive.
Work With a Local Personal Injury Attorney
When you get into an accident and look up “personal injury lawyer near me”, look no further than Arthur Law Firm Co., LPA, a law firm that has been in business for more than 50 years, representing accident victims from throughout Ohio including in Defiance, Toledo, Napoleon, Wauseon, Bryan, Paulding, and Ottawa.
Get what is due with the right legal representation. Contact us today.