Dog bites can cause serious injuries, both emotional and physical. From severe lacerations to panic attacks, these injuries and traumas should never go unaddressed.
If you have received a dog bite, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. In fact, the law protects dog bite victims should they seek legal restitution. The dog owners will be held liable for any medical costs you incur as a result of your dog bite.
But to ensure your personal injury case goes as smoothly as possible in court, don't forget to follow these steps.
Seek Medical Attention
If you haven't found medical help yet, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. While first aid can treat smaller bites, even these injuries deserve professional treatment. Medical care prevents complications such as infections and diseases. And a visit to the doctor will give you a record of your injury that you can use in a court case.
Identify the Dog
As you assemble information for your case, you should gather as many facts as you can about the dog that bit you. Some basic facts to include in your case are:
- The Dog Breed. Different types of dogs deliver varying degrees of bite injuries. If your medical care providers know the type of dog, this will give them context for the injury and lead to more targeted care. The dog breed also changes the dynamics of the legal case. If the owners didn't take appropriate precautions for an aggressive breed, they have increased liability.
- The Dog Owner. Your legal case depends significantly on the dog owner. If he or she has a history of problems with his or her dog, then your case has an increased chance of success. On the other hand, a good record with dogs decreases the chances of success. Also, if the dog owner doesn't have a record of the dog's vaccinations, you may need to receive several additional shots as part of your medical care.
You should document your injuries as soon as possible, ideally before treatment. These photographs demonstrate the severity and traumatic effects of the bite in the moment. They give context to your legal case and verify your side of the story. Take pictures of every aspect of the attack, including the following:
- All bite wounds
- Torn clothes
Talk to Witnesses
As in all legal cases, you need to obtain as many witness account of the attack as soon as possible. Witnesses corroborate your story and add details that might decide your case. Canvas the area around the attack to see if anyone remembers the incident. Be sure to collect contact information that you can report later. Try to find witnesses who can testify about:
- The timing of the attack
- Your behavior and the dogs behavior prior to the attack
- The details of the attack itself
- The aftermath
Create a Journal
Don't forget to document your personal experience as you gather information. You only have a few ways of demonstrating your feelings and the pain that you suffer from your injury. As a result, you should create a journal. Journaling a little each day about your suffering shows the full impact of the injury. The daily documentation demonstrates how much the bite impacts your life and how long it takes to heal.
Consult a Lawyer
If a dog bites you, speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can examine the individual details of your situation and explain how to move forward with a case. Lawyers can then organize the evidence you present them into a coherent case on your behalf.