About 4.5 million dog bites happen each year in the U.S., according to the CDC, many resulting in severe injuries and dangerous infections. If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, here’s what you should do to protect your health and your rights:
Try to identify the dog’s owner. Obtain the owner’s information, including their address and phone number when possible. If there are witnesses, be sure to gather their information as well.
Get medical attention. The risk of infection from a dog bite can be very high. Depending on the severity of the injury, call 9-1-1 or head to the nearest emergency room for care. Take pictures of your injuries and keep them in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to keep a journal regarding the steps you take so it can serve as an ongoing record of your care and expenses.
File a claim. Even if the injury is not severe, it’s important to let authorities know about your injury. Filing a report can help keep others safe while also providing a written record of the injury. Call the town or city where the bite occurred and ask where and how to report the incident.
Find out if the dog is up-to-date on its rabies shots. Ask the owner for the dog’s license number so it can be checked, and also ask about the dog’s history of aggression or previous dog bite incidents.
Contact an experienced attorney. Even a seemingly minor bite can result in significant costs, especially if an infection occurs or plastic surgery is required to close the wound and reduce the risk of scarring. Plus, dog bites can often take an emotional toll, requiring additional care to overcome the resulting anxiety and related issues like recurrent nightmares. Working with a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible ensures your rights are protected every step of the way.
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, don’t delay: Contact the May Firm today at 1-844-MAY FIRM to schedule a consultation and ensure your rights are fully protected.