Dogs may be man’s best friend, but our four-legged friends are still animals who bite to defend themselves when they are in stressful situations. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. Whether you’re bitten by a friend’s dog or that of a stranger at the dog park, the following are actions you should take.
Seek medical attention & gather information
If you suffer a dog bite, wash the wound with soap and water, and determine if medical attention is necessary. If the dog’s owner is present, request proof of rabies vaccination and get the owner’s name and contact information. Be sure to take pictures of the injury and the dog, and be sure to document your medical expenses.
Report the dog bite incident
It’s important to report all incidents involving animal bites so the proper authorities can take any appropriate action to prevent future injuries. If the injury requires a visit to the emergency room, medical staff will file a report on your behalf. Ask for the report number to keep for your records.
If you need to file a dog bite report on your own, contact your local city or county authorities, which are most commonly the police department or animal control agency.
Speak with a personal injury attorney
It’s understandable to feel apprehensive about pursuing legal action over a dog bite, however, it’s important to keep in mind the financial liabilities incurred as the result of such an incident. By speaking with experienced personal injury attorneys such as those at Herrling Clark, you can receive professional counsel on compensation you may be able to recover through the dog owner’s insurance policy. Contact us today.
There’s no cost to consult with an attorney, so it pays to take that step if you feel there’s a need to pursue legal help.