Legal Rights if Bitten by a Dog

What are your Legal Rights if Bitten by a Dog

In the United States, nearly 4.7 million dog bites occur every single year. More so, a significant percentage of those dog attacks end up requiring medical attention and a lot of them end up leading to some type of legal action.

Being attacked by a dog, no matter the breed can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. This includes the victim, their family, and even their friends. By understanding your rights and what you should do if an attack occurs, you will be much better prepared to deal with one.

Getting Information About The Owner and The Dog

Besides seeking immediate medical attention, if you are a victim of a dog attack, one of the very first things that you should be doing is seeking information about the dog and their owner.

In a lot of states, owners will need to register a dog and acquire a license for them. Also, it’s important to note that just because a dog is with a person, doesn’t necessarily make that person its owner. After all, they could be a dog walker. Therefore, you want to be certain that you are dealing with the owner of the dog. If not, you should ask for information pertaining to the actual dog’s owner.

However, you still want to get the information of the person who was with the dog at the time of the attack because they will prove to be a crucial eyewitness for your case. At the minimum, you want to write their name down and ask them about the breed, age, and name of the dog to get accurate records if they aren’t able to provide you with all of the information you need to know on the owner of the dog.

Visit A Medical Professional

If you suffer severe injuries from a dog attack, don’t waste any time at all. Call on an ambulance to seek immediate professional medical attention. While any registered dog should have all of the necessary vaccines that are required, you don’t know that the owner has kept up with them. Therefore, you shouldn’t assume they did. Seek out immediate medical attention if the bite penetrated your skin and looks serious.

If the bite doesn’t break the skin or look like it requires immediate attention, you still want to schedule a doctor’s visit in order to get it checked on. You will want to inform your doctor about the incident and what happened. They will be able to tell you whether or not you should be looking to get a shot such as a tetanus shot in order to avoid an infection.

By calling on and going to the doctor’s after the attack, your doctor will be able to report it and keep it on your medical records in the event you need to file a report later on. This will be pertinent information if you seek to file any kind of report or decide to take legal action against the owner for the attack in the future.

Along with this, it can even boost the chances of winning your case if you have proper medical documentation that coincides with the timeline of events. If you end up waiting too long after the attack to visit the doctor, it is likely going to look as if the damage from the attack wasn’t severe enough to seek out medical attention which can damage your claims.

Report The Attack

If you didn’t necessarily need to go to the hospital or emergency center right after the attack occurred, you want to be certain that you are reporting it. Filing a report as soon as you get to a doctor and see the severity of it is key.

If you did have police arrive on the scene, it is likely already filed by those who were first to the scene. If you didn’t have any authorities called on, you will be able to file a report on your own in the city you live in.

This can be very easy to do and it is a step that you shouldn’t skip. You can contact your local police department or visit the nearest station in order to file a report on a dog attack.

You may assume that it isn’t necessary if the injury looks minor, but it doesn’t detract from it being an important step. After all, you don’t always know how serious the injury is until you are able to see the consequences of it. There could be symptoms that persist or present itself later on that you wouldn’t know about initially.

Also, if you fail to file a report on the incident, you will have a potentially dangerous dog remaining on the streets where they can claim another victim. It is unlikely the owner of the dog is going to take the appropriate steps and measures to get them off the streets. Therefore, you want to do your duty to protect others from what could happen if the dog continues to be around people.

Take Enough Photos

You’ve already begun the documentation process by visiting a medical professional and by reporting everything to the authorities. You want to get even more records for a potential case by taking as many detailed photos as possible. Your photos should showcase not only the results of the injuries that you sustained, but also the clothing you were wearing at the time of the incident and other damage that may have occurred to yourself or your property.

By having a file of photos that you can put with your records will be able to give you visual evidence that can streamline any legal proceedings that result. This can keep you from having a case that essentially boils down to your word versus the dog owner’s word in the absence of witnesses.

Contact A Professional Lawyer With Experience

If you have sustained a serious injury as a result of a dog attack, you will want to be certain that you are contacting a professional and experienced lawyer in dog attack cases. The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini are experienced in dog attacks and can help you. After all, you will want to and deserve to receive compensation for medical bills, missed work, or even your pain and suffering. A professional lawyer will be able to give you legal guidance on the best course of action to take.

With a professional lawyer, you will be able to count on someone in your corner who is going to be well experienced to help you navigate the process of getting the compensation you deserve.

Sustain A Log

You want to keep a log of everything in order to ensure that you are giving the lawyer you hire everything they need to back your case.

These types of legal proceedings are not going to move very quickly. Because there is so much paperwork and legal work required, you will spend a lot of time waiting for the next move. You want to have a well-documented timeline of the sequence of events and a log file that you can look back on.

This means you should be doing everything from tracking doctor’s visits, keeping medical records, tracking physical therapy sessions, keeping track of how many days you missed work because of it, and more. You want to keep all pertinent information about the case in a single file which will allow you to hand it over to a professional attorney when the time comes.

What To Do If You Are Victim To A Dog Attack: Now You Should Know!

By using all of the information in this article, you should be able to act swiftly and follow the steps to give you the best chance to get the compensation you deserve.

If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you should take the steps above in order to ensure that you are able to give yourself the best chance at winning the case.

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