Steps You Need to Take After a Dog Bite
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Apr 20, 2018 in Dog Bites
Dog bites are a serious problem across the country. Even a friendly family pet can snap, leading to serious dog bite injuries that require expensive medical care.
If you are ever bitten or attacked by a dog, there are several steps you can take to help ensure your health and safety and begin documenting what happened. Taking these steps can help you build a strong case as you pursue compensation from the owner for your damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
The Milwaukee dog bite injury lawyers at PKSD can review your attack in a free, no obligation consultation. We can determine your legal options for pursuing compensation and will not charge for representing you unless you receive compensation.
Dog Bite Statistics
In 2017, homeowner's insurance companies paid out nearly $700 million for 18,522 claims involving dog bites and dog-related injuries, according to statistics from the Insurance Information Institute. These claims accounted for more than one-third of the amount of money home insurance companies paid out for the whole year.
The 18,522 claims that were filed last year represented a 2.2 percent increase compared to 2016. Last year's average cost per claim also increased 11.5 percent to $37,051 from $33,230 in 2016.
What Should I Do After a Dog Bite?
Following these six steps in the aftermath of a dog bite can help protect your physical safety and your rights when it comes to pursuing compensation for damages:
- Start treating your injuries – You should always go to the hospital after a dog bite to be examined by qualified medical professionals, but there are several things you can do at home to begin treating your dog bite injuries. Gently press on the wound to cause a little bleeding because it can help flush out bacteria. Carefully wash the bite with mild soap and water and use a clean cloth to help stop the bleeding. If you have any antibiotic cream, apply it to the wound and wrap it with a sterile bandage before going to see a doctor.
- Take pictures and gather information at the scene - Take pictures of your wounds and any damage to your clothes. You should also take pictures of any property damage, such as blood on the sidewalk or grass or damage to fixed objects, such as a fence. If there were witnesses who saw the dog attack you, ask them what they saw and take notes. Collect their contact information as well so you or your attorney can contact them in the future. These witnesses may be able to provide testimony during your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
- Contact the police or your local animal control agency - You can file a report about the attack with either entity or both. The report will provide an official record of what happened and will be invaluable evidence when you pursue compensation. Another benefit of contacting animal control is that they can try to capture the unfamiliar dog to determine if it has rabies. If the dog does have rabies, you need to start vaccinations immediately. If the disease is allowed to progress, it can be very difficult to treat.
- Verify the dog’s vaccinations - If you know the owner of the dog that attacked you, ask for proof of the dog’s rabies vaccinations. Contact the dog’s veterinarian to verify the dog is up-to-date.
- Ask the owner for his or her insurance information - In some cases, dog owners can be held liable for your injuries. The dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance may cover costs associated with medical treatment and additional damages related to your injuries. If the owner is at the scene after you are attacked, make sure to ask for his or her contact information and insurance information.
- Contact an attorney - A skilled attorney can advise you of the steps that may be taken to pursue compensation for your dog bite injury. An attorney can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf to protect your rights and negotiate for compensation. If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney may be able to help you file a dog bite lawsuit to obtain fair compensation.
Contact PKSD Right Away
The Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of PKSD are here to help you fight for justice after you have been attacked by a dog due to someone else’s negligence. We will investigate your case and pursue maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today and learn what legal options are available after suffering a dog bite. We work on contingency, so there are no upfront fees to you. Legal fees and expenses are only owed if we recover compensation for you.