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What to do when you’re bitten by a dog: 6 steps to follow
November 17, 2020 at 8:00 AM
a dog biting on a tree branch

Even the most well-behaved dog can lash out and injure you or someone you love. When you’re the victim of a dog bite, there are a few steps to follow to ensure that you’re protected in the event you want to file a personal injury claim.

In this blog post, we’ll go over what you need to do when you’re bitten by a dog.

1. Identify the dog that bit you and its owner

Get their names, addresses, and contact information, as well as proof that the dog has gotten vaccinated for rabies. Take pictures of the dog, if possible, in addition to any details about the situation that may back up your story. Note the date, time, and location of the attack as well.

If any witnesses were present at the incident, get their names and contact information too. They may be needed to help corroborate your story later.

Although you may not want to press charges initially, any changes in your health following the attack may cause you to reconsider.

2. Seek proper medical care

Depending on how bad your injuries are, call an ambulance or go to emergency care to receive professional medical treatment for the bite. This is crucial, as the risk for infection is high and you may need to receive a series of rabies shots as well.

Maintain records of your visits to the doctor or the hospital, and keep copies of any medical bills you receive.

3. File a report on the incident

File your report with the proper county authorities and animal control, even if you don’t think that the injury amounts to much. This establishes documentation for your case, and even if you don’t want to press charges for your own claim, it can help the next person that gets attacked by the dog.

4. Gather information and photograph your injuries

Look up the dog’s license information and check if the dog has a history of attacking other people and animals.

Take photographic evidence of your injuries and bruises as well. You may need to discuss the safest way to do so with your doctor or nurse. Additionally, you’ll also want to take photos of any torn and bloody clothing from the attack.

5. Contact a personal injury attorney

There are many complicated legal issues to consider if you want to file a claim for your injury. Working with a personal injury attorney that has experience with dog bites will ensure that you get the most financial compensation possible for your claim.

6. Start a claim journal

These claims can take up to several years to complete, so you’ll want to update this journal about every week or so until then.

Note your initial injuries and any effects you experience from those injuries. If you notice any changes in your medical condition in the weeks and months following the attack, record them as well.

Finally, you’ll want to record any correspondence you have with insurance companies or attorneys following the incident, as well as any expenses you incur because of it. This last point will make it easier to assess how much financial compensation you need.

Get in touch with Maxwell Tillman for your free consultation

When you’re not sure what to do when you’re bitten by a dog — or believe you have grounds for a personal injury claim — turn to Maxwell Tillman’s legal team.

Our team of seasoned personal injury and civil rights trial lawyers includes attorneys that have ranked in the nation’s list of 100 top trial and personal injury lawyers. On top of that, we’re proud to have a 97.7% success rate with personal injury cases.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you with your claim, schedule your free consultation with our team by filling out the contact form on our website. On the other hand, if you have any questions or concerns you’d like answered as soon as possible, you can reach us directly by calling (205) 216-3304.