They say dogs are man’s best friend — until they bite. Dog bites pose a serious health risk to our communities and society. More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Dog bites can be a traumatizing experience for anyone, and they can leave physical, emotional, and financial scars well after the bite has healed. As a law firm that deals with personal injury cases, we have seen the serious consequences of dog bites and the importance of taking immediate action after such an incident. In this blog, we will be discussing what you should do if you or someone you know is bitten by a dog.
Seek Medical Attention
After you clean the wound properly at home, if you are able to, you should seek immediate medical attention to ensure nothing problematic occurs. Even if the wound appears minor, there is always a chance of infection which may cause more significant health problems. Therefore, it is crucial to get the wound checked by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Depending on the severity of the bite and where on the body it is located, medical treatment can range from simple first aid to emergency surgery. Your doctor will clean the wound and check for any signs of infection. They may also give you antibiotics or a tetanus shot if necessary. Further, your doctor may require you to get a rabies vaccination. Puncture wounds heal differently than cuts and scrapes due to how deep they can be, so working with your doctor or a medical professional is important.
After a dog bite, it is essential to gather as much information about the dog and its owner as possible. Try to get the owner’s name, address, and phone number, and if there were any witnesses to the attack, ask for their contact information as well. At a minimum, try to find out where the dog came from and why it was off leash or allowed to roam freely.
If possible, take photos of the dog. The photos will give your attorney an indication as to its breed, size, and any distinguishing features. This information can help build a strong case if you decide to pursue a claim or legal action against the dog owner or property owner.
If you’re able to speak with the owner, be sure to ask — and better yet! — see proof that the dog is up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations. This will determine whether you need to take any medical precautions to protect your own health. While rabies can be prevented, it is still incurable once the symptoms set in.
Report the Incident
Reporting a dog bite to the local animal control department or the police is crucial for several reasons. First, it helps prevent future attacks by identifying aggressive dogs and their owners. Second, it creates a record of the incident, which can be useful if you decide to file a lawsuit. While you may feel bad for reporting a dog to your local animal control, you are making sure this traumatic experience does not happen to anyone else, especially children.
When you report the incident, provide as much information as possible, such as the location of the attack, the dog’s description, and the dog owner’s or property owner’s name and contact information. The animal control department or the police will investigate the incident and determine whether the dog is a danger to the community. The city where the attack occurred may seek to determine if the dog that bit you classifies as a “dangerous animal” and may contact you for evidence or your testimony about your bite.
Document Your Dog Bite Injuries
After seeking medical attention, document your injuries by taking photos of your wounds. These photos are evidence in your case if you decide to pursue legal action. You will want to take photos of your wounds when they are fresh and throughout the entire healing process, as well as photos of any scarring that occurred due to the bite. Additionally, keep a record of any medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses related to the incident.
Your attorney may also advise you to keep a journal of your emotional and physical pain and suffering after the attack. This journal can help demonstrate the impact the attack had on your life.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Consulting with an attorney who specializes in dog bite cases is crucial if you want to pursue legal action against the dog owner. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and provide guidance on how to proceed.
Your attorney can also help you negotiate with the insurance company and file a lawsuit if necessary. They can also help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Contact Our Dallas Dog Bite Attorneys to Get the Justice You Deserve
If you’re dealing with a dog attack case in Texas, it’s important to have the guidance of a knowledgeable dog bite attorney who can navigate the intricate laws involved and conduct a thorough investigation into your situation.
At the Law Office of Tim O’Hare, our attorneys have more than 20 years of experience dealing with dog bite cases and are well-equipped to help you receive the maximum financial compensation available. We’re committed to holding negligent dog owners accountable for the harm they’ve caused you.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.