They are often called “man’s best friend,” but not all dogs are cute and friendly. Though they can vary slightly from state to state, dog owners are generally held responsible for pets that harm humans. If you are bitten by a dog, you may be able to seek compensation or ensure that a dangerous animal is prevented from harming others. Immediately after being bitten by a dog, make sure to follow these steps.
Get Contact Information From All Involved Parties
Try to immediately get the identities of the dog and the dog’s owner. Some owners may not cooperate, so this can be a little difficult. If you cannot learn their name, make a note of any identifying features about the pet and the owner. However, it is very important to have their names, addresses, and phone numbers if possible. Not only can you confirm that the dog does not have rabies, but you can later use this information to seek justice. If there are any bystanders who witnessed the attack, you should also politely ask them for their contact information. They may later be able to help you by supporting and confirming your claims.
Go Get Medical Help
When seeking compensation for a dog bite, it is important to have an established case with a lot of documents to back you up. Even if you do not need to call 911 and seek emergency care, you should still get the bite examined by a medical professional. Medical help will prevent you from getting any serious infections, and it will also help you to prove that you were harmed by the animal.
File a Report With the Proper Authorities
Dog bite laws vary quite a bit in different locations, and some states have “one bite rules” that only hold a pet owner responsible if the dog has previously bitten someone or otherwise shown itself to be aggressive in the past. Even if you cannot seek damages from the owner, filing a report will start a paper trail and ensure that the owner is punished the next time the animal hurts someone. Depending on your location, you may need to contact animal control or speak to the local police. This report will help to provide evidence about your injuries and summarize statements from witnesses and the dog owner.
Learn More Information About the Animal
Even if one bite rules prevent the owner from being held liable, it may still be possible to hold them responsible. If a person gets harmed due to the negligence of another person, the negligent person can be required to provide compensation for any injuries. You will therefore need to see if you can show that the owner was negligent and did not properly restrain their animal. See if you can learn more about the animal’s history and the owner’s general method of taking care of the dog.
Document Your Injuries
In order to be properly compensated, you will need to show how the dog bite has affected you. Take photographs of all of your injuries, including bites, tears, bruises, and scraped skin. As you heal from the injury, it can be helpful to take notes on how the injury is affecting your daily life. If you cannot go to work or suffer from chronic pain after the injury, you might be able to receive compensation for these issues. Each time you notice an issue that was caused by the dog bite, write it down and date it.
Seek a Lawyer’s Help
If you plan on seeking compensation after the dog bite attack, the assistance of a talented personal injury attorney is very beneficial. Depending on the circumstances, you can get your medical bills paid and possibly seek further payments for damages. The legal team at Lamber Goodnow has plenty of experience helping dog bite victims. If you or someone you know has recently been attacked by a dog, contact us today for a free consultation.
The Lamber Goodnow legal team, along with its is partner personal injury firms in Chicago, are experienced in dog-bite matters. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers never charge a fee, unless we win your case. Get a risk free consultation today.