If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you’re not alone. Around 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog every year across the U.S. About 800,000 of those bites will require at least one hospital visit. Dog bites are a type of personal injury, and in California, dog owners are held liable for any injuries or property damage caused by their dogs. If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering.
The immediate aftermath of a dog bite is very similar to a car accident. Adrenaline runs high and you may not completely understand what just occurred. However, there are immediate actions a victim can take to help themselves.
Collect any contact information possible
If you are able to identify and speak with the dog’s owner, collect their contact information, including their home address. Also collect the information of anyone who witnessed the attack. If the dog owner refuses to offer their information, contact authorities.
Take pictures of everything
If you are physically able to, try to take pictures of everything you can. This includes your wound, the scene of the attack, the dog, and anything else that seems relevant. If you do not know who the owner of the dog is, these pictures can be used later to identify him or her.
Treat your injury
If your injury is severe enough, go to the hospital. Dog bites can easily become infected and cause even greater health risks if they are not treated right away. Call 911 to request an ambulance if you are unable to move.
Preserve any evidence
In addition to any pictures you may have taken, do not wash or throw away your damaged clothing! Place any damaged clothing or other physical evidence from the attack in a sealed container. The damaged clothing can be used as evidence in an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Document your injuries and recovery
Take pictures of everything that you would consider to be related to your dog bite incident and keep a journal that details any injury treatment and pain experienced during your recovery.
Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer
Seeking compensation for dog bites can be tricky. While the owner of the dog is legally responsible for your medical bills and pain and suffering, pursuing him or her in court is difficult. That’s when an attorney can help. Dog bite attorneys know where to look to help you receive additional medical treatment and financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth offers free injury consultations to the victims of dog bites. Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free injury consultation.