If you were injured by a dog, you might have legal recourse. Even though it may have been an accident rather than intentional act, and you don’t want to punish the dog or the owner, you are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries, and your medical bills should be covered.
If you are wondering what to do after a dog bite from a legal standpoint, read on. Find out what you need to do so you can recover damages from this type of incident.
What To Do After a Dog Bite
It may be challenging to think clearly when a dog has just bitten you. However, you should follow each of the following steps if you intend to seek compensation for your injuries.
Step 1: Identify the Dog and the Owner
As soon as you have regained your bearings after the dog bit you, you need to get the dog’s name and the owner’s name and information right away. Think of this step as similar to what you would do in a car accident. Write down the name, address, and phone number of the dog owner and find out if the dog is up to date on its rabies shots.
Finding out this information is very important. If the dog has not had rabies shots recently, you will need to get a series of shots to protect yourself.
Step 2: Seek Medical Care
Even if the dog is up to date on its rabies shots, you should seek medical attention after a bite. Seeking medical care after a dog bite ensures that your wound is cleaned and bandaged correctly so that you are at a lower risk of infection. It also allows a doctor to assess the injury in writing so you will have his or her report on paper for future court proceedings. Do not skip this step.
You should also photograph your injuries at this point. A doctor or nurse can help you with this step before covering a bite with bandages. Later, you should also photograph the site of the attack as well.
Step 3: File a Dog Bite Report
After you receive treatment from a doctor, your next step is to report the injury to the authorities, specifically Animal Control. This step will provide you with written documentation to bring with you to your attorney and later to court when the time comes. Doing so will also allow you to find out if this dog has been part of any similar incidents in the past.
Step 4: Call an Attorney
Once you have made sure that you are ok and you have collected all the pertinent information, it’s time to call a dog bite attorney. When it comes to what to do after a dog bite, this is an important step.
The legal issues surrounding dog bites are complicated and vary from place to place. An attorney will help you navigate the laws and will represent you in court against the offender. He or she will review your case and will look out for your best interests.
Get Well Soon
Once you have hired an attorney, he or she will help you through the remaining legal steps and will fight to get you the compensation you need. Lawyers know what to do after a dog bite and how to help you successfully collect so you can feel whole again after such a traumatic incident.
If you have been bitten by a dog in the St. Petersburg area, please give us a call today. We are here to help you through this process.