If you were seriously injured by a dog bite, you will need to consult an attorney to find out if you are entitled to compensation for damages.
Did you know that more than 4.5 million people get bitten by a dog every year?
To make matters worse, 1 in 5 of those dog bites is severe enough to require medical attention.
Are you the recent victim of a dog bite injury? Are you wondering if there’s any legal action you can take?
Read on to learn what to do if bitten by a dog. You probably have more options than you think!
What to Do If You Are Bitten By a Dog
Some dog breeds are more likely to bite than others, but any dog is capable of biting and injuring a person.
If this happened to you, here’s what to do next.
1. Visit Your Doctor
Even if the dog bite appears minor, it’s best to have a doctor check it out.
The last thing you want to do is assume its fine and end up with a nasty infection down the road. This is especially important if the dog showed any potential signs of rabies.
Another reason to see a doctor is it provides tangible evidence if you choose to sue the dog’s owner. You can use these medical records to build your legal case.
2. Document Everything
Another vital step is to write down or photograph everything related to the dog bite.
When and where did the incident happen? Make sure you record the owner’s address and contact information, as well as the testimony of any witnesses who saw it happen.
Take photos or videos of your injury immediately after the dog bite. You should also record any changes in the injury over time.
If the bite occurred due to the owner’s negligence, like a hole in the fence, be sure to photograph the scene of the bite too.
3. Know Your Rights
You need to know that there are legal provisions in all 50 states that allow you to sue for a dog bite injury.
The details will vary by state. In general, you can expect to receive compensation for:
♦ Physical and emotional pain
♦ Current medical bills
♦ Estimated medical costs in the future
♦ Scarring or disfigurement
♦ Temporary or permanent disability
♦ Physical rehabilitation
♦ Lost wages
A local personal injury attorney can advise you of the laws specific to your area. For example, some states follow a “one bite“ policy, while others are much stricter in holding the dog’s owner accountable.
4. Consider Your Options
Like any lawsuit, suing somebody for a dog bite will require a lot of time, money, and effort.
Would it be worth the hassle to sue for a minor bite that healed without treatment? On the flip side, will the dog pose a threat to others if the owner goes unpunished?
Do you have a good chance of winning your case based on the dog bite laws in your state? Is it worth it to you to try either way?
These are excellent questions to ask during a consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
Dog Bite Injuries: Help Is Available
Dealing with a dog bite can be scary, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
Learn the dog bite laws for your state to see what legal options are available. Chances are it will be possible for you to get compensation for your injury and medical bills.
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