What To Do When Bitten By A Dog
If you are bitten by a dog, then you may be entitled to compensatory damages depending on the circumstances of the incident. However, there are a few measures you should take before you can get this compensation. Here are a few steps to take immediately following a dog bite:
Try To Identify the Dog and Seek Medical Care
Identifying the dog is good because it helps to know whether it has rabies. Whatever the case, seek prompt medical attention because even if the bite is not from a rabid dog, the puncture wound can become infected. This may be the case even with shallow bite marks as long as the skin has been punctured. Delayed treatment not only increases the complexity of your recovery, it may also reduce your potential damages.
Don't Sign a Statement with the Dog Owner
You would be surprised how many dog owners believe that their animals don't bite, or that they only bite when provoked. Therefore, you shouldn't try arguing with the owner about the bite. In fact, the dog owner may even try to convince you to sign a statement about the incident. Such statements may be biased to help him or her to avoid or reduce his or her liability for the bite. Therefore, don't sign any statement with the owner of the animal.
File a Police Report
All animal bites should be reported to the police for investigation. The investigation will reveal who was responsible for the dog, and your contribution (if any) to the incident. Apart from that, it is necessary to know why the animal acted that way, and whether it might bite other people too.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is possible that the dog owner's insurance company may offer you some form of settlement when you send the demand letter. This is likely to be the case if it is clear that the dog owner should be held responsible for the bite. However, it is not advisable to accept any offer without consulting an attorney first. Many insurance companies can usually pay more than their initial offer, and this is even more possible if you engage a lawyer.
The strength of any personal injury case depends on proving that you were injured, and who is liable for the injuries. In most cases, documentation of the injury and related damages (such as loss of earning due to hospitalization) are what you need to prove these things. Therefore, it is important to keep all the paperwork (copies of the police report, medical bills, witness contacts etc.) and present them to your lawyer.
For more information, contact William D. Hochberg or a similar legal professional.