What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 4.5 million dog bites occur across the country every year. 800,000 of those bitten seek medical care. That is an astounding number of injuries solely attributable to dog bites. As much as we love our pets, dog bites are serious, and they are dangerous. If you have been bitten by someone else’s dog, there are important steps to take to protect both your health and your rights. Continue reading for tips on what to do after suffering a dog bite injury in Southern California. Call a dedicated Palmdale dog bite and animal attack lawyer if you or a loved one has been hurt by a vicious animal in the Antelope Valley.
Identify the dog
If you want to have any hope of recovering financially after a dog bite, the most important thing to do is identify the dog. Assuming you are not still in harm’s way, if you can access a camera, try to snap a picture of the dog. If you cannot, do your best to keep a mental picture. If the dog bit you and ran away, unfortunately, there is a good chance that it was a stray. If the dog’s owner is nearby and identifies themselves, get their contact information.
See a doctor
If you were severely injured in the animal attack and require emergency medical treatment, getting to a hospital should be your first priority. Even if you are not in critical condition, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after the bite. The dog may have been carrying a disease, or you may have latent injuries such as internal bleeding or torn ligaments that require treatment. If a dog bite pierced the skin, it is likely to become infected. Additionally, the sooner you see a doctor, the stronger your proof that your injuries resulted from the attack.
Take pictures of your injury
As soon as you can after being bitten, take pictures of your injuries. You can take additional pictures after treatment, or if the injury gets worse over time due to infection. These pictures will serve as important evidence in proving your claim and damages.
Talk to witnesses
If there were people around at the time of your attack, make sure to get their contact information. They may be able to help you identify the dog’s owner or may provide useful testimony in supporting your legal claims.
Report the bite
You should report any animal attack to your local health department, the local animal control office, and the police. If you could not identify the animal or if it had no identifying information, the health department may require you to undergo shots for rabies.
Find the owner
Assuming the owner was not present at the time of the attack, do your best to identify the owner. Gather any information you can, including the dog license information if you were able to see it. Ask witnesses, ask the animal control office and police if they have any information regarding similar attacks, and use what evidence you have obtained. If you can identify the owner, you are likely to be able to recover compensation under California’s dog bite law.
Call a dog bite lawyer
If you believe you were attacked by a dog with an owner, then you may have a claim for damages. Reach out to a seasoned and effective dog bite attorney to help you identify the owner, build your case, and prove your damages. You may be able to recover for your medical expenses (including for your rabies shots), lost wages for any time you miss at work due to the attack, as well as pain and suffering for the attack and the subsequent treatment.
If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog in Southern California, reach out to a dedicated and knowledgeable Palmdale dog bite lawyer to learn whether you can pursue a claim for damages. Call the Kistler Law Firm at 661-206-6990.