Dogs are typically a beloved part of the family or a favorite buddy. However, some of our neighbors may not care for their dogs properly, let them run loose, and allow dangerous animals out in public. If these dogs injure or harm other people, the responsible pet owner must be held responsible. If you or your child suffer a dog bite or other type of attack, take the following actions to protect your right to compensation for your injuries.
- Report the dog attack. It’s imperative to report the dog bite to the proper authorities. This means local police and animal control, as well as notifying the owner, if you know who they are and they aren’t already aware of the incident.
We understand this can be difficult, especially if you are familiar or even friendly with the dog owner. However, filing a police report is the first and most important step in a dog bite personal injury case, as the report establishes the attack and provides an authoritative investigation.
- Get contact information from witnesses. If there were any witnesses, get their contact information before they leave the scene. Don’t worry about getting statements – your attorney can talk to them for you later. Witnesses are extremely helpful for dog bite cases, as they can set the scene for when the dog attacked you or your child, and show that the animal was not provoked.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Even a minor dog bite or scratch injury can easily become infected, so it’s important to have a medical professional look at it as soon as possible. Additionally, if the dog’s vaccination record is unknown, you must undergo rabies treatment.
In addition to health concerns, if you don’t see a doctor, it’s likely the insurance company will refuse to honor your injury claim, as they can show you did not seek immediate medical care.
- Document everything. Without proper documentation of all your injuries and/or property damage, the insurance company will contest the amount of compensation that you and your attorney request. Ensure you carefully document everything related to your injury:
- Take photos of your injuries at every stage
- Take photos of the dog if possible
- Take photos of your treatment
- Save every single medical record and receipt
- Save all insurance documents
- Keep track of all missed time from work and have your employer verify it
- Keep a pain diary. Dog bite cases can take a while to resolve – sometimes months or even longer. We advise keeping a journal about your injury and how your pain feels day-to-day, including how it affects your life and general well-being. Also include notes about your treatments, medication and if you’re feeling anxiety or depression.
- Talk to an experienced injury attorney. Don’t file an insurance claim or accept any settlement offer without consulting with an attorney first. The dog owner is most certainly going to talk to an attorney – you should, too. Insurance companies want to come to the lowest settlement possible as quickly as possible. Working with an attorney can mean the difference between a lowball settlement and the fair compensation you deserve for your injuries.
At Larson Law Firm, P.C., we protect your right to compensation after a dog bite attack. These types of injuries can leave lasting scars and trauma – let us help. To arrange a free consultation, call our personal injury lawyers in Minot or Bismarck today at 701.484.HURT or complete our contact form.
I opened up my firm because I wanted to offer people something different. My staff and I take pride in a client-oriented approach to serving the needs of our clients, hoping that they always feel the door is open to them and their wishes. My office prides itself on state-of-the-art technology and cost-effective means to provide services.
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