The Center for Disease Control has stated that 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog every year in the United States. A dog attack can be a very traumatic experiences for both adults and children. Knowing what to do after a dog attacks you can help you protect your health and your legal rights. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, there are certain things you should do if pursuing a legal claim for damages:
- Injured victims should also take pictures of the injuries and wounds that they have suffered in the attack.
- After a dog attack, seek immediate medical treatment for your dog bite injuries. A bite can lead to a serious infection- especially if the skin has been punctured. Contact a physician right away. If the bite is very severe, call 911 or have someone take you to the hospital.
- Identify the dog that bit you. Take a mental picture of what the animal looked like. Try to identify the size, color, breed, pinpoint markings or physical characteristics on the dog that will help you identify it later. If the dog bit you and ran off, it was probably a stray. Otherwise, find out where the dog lives and who owns it.
- Determine how you will contact the dog’s owner. This is an important step because it is often the owner’s home insurance company that will be responsible for paying damages for your injuries.
- Call your local health department and report the incident. If the dog was a stray, it may be necessary for you to get rabies shots, which can be painful and costly.
- Report the dog attack to your local Police Department, Sheriff’s Department or animal control agency.
- Take pictures of all visible wounds, torn and/or bloody clothing, the dog and the site of the attack.
- Once you have taken care of yourself, find out as much about the owner of the dog as you can. Get the person’s name, address and dog license information. Discover if there has been a history of biting with the animal. Finding out about the owner can keep you from having to go through the rabies vaccinations and can probably entitle you to compensation.
- Do not provide any insurance company information regarding the dog attack or your injuries yet.
- Keep records of any medical expenses you have had to pay for yourself.
- Do not sign any document before discussing it with an attorney.
- Begin researching reputable Florida dog bite injury lawyers, and contact one as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in navigating the sometimes complex dog bite laws and getting the best possible financial outcome for your injury. Dog bite law dictates that the actions of the dog are the responsibility of the owner, which can entitle you to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical costs and time missed from work.
Time is important when you are filing a claim for a dog attack. If you are seeking treatment for dog attack injuries, Florida state law provides that you must file a lawsuit within four years of the attack. This is the statute of limitations, meaning that if you do not file a lawsuit within 4 yers of the attack, you will forever lose your right to do so.
Your chances of a successful claim and recovery will increase dramatically when experienced and reputable dog bite attorneys represent you. Call injury lawyer Nick A. Ortiz for a free consultation today so that we can discuss your case.