If a dog bit you or a loved one and you’re thinking of filing a lawsuit, it’s essential to know the repercussions that come with it. Dog bites can be severe. Besides physical injury, it can cause severe emotional trauma that lasts long even after the actual bite has healed.
To bring a successful case against the dog owner, you have to prove that the dog attacked you and the owner were also negligent in acting responsibly, resulting in your injuries. Here are some tips on how to prove these elements in your case:
Identify The Dog Owner
To win a dog bite case, you’ll need to identify the dog owner. Once you know who owns the dog that bit you, ask them if they’ll agree to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
If the owner is hesitant or refuses outright, it’s time for plan B. You’ll need evidence linking them with their pet—like a photo of them together on social media sites. If possible, also get their driver’s license number so your lawyer can track down any existing insurance policies on them.
Just suffered a dog bite? You should call 911. You’ll speak with a dispatcher, who will give you instructions on what to do next. Dispatchers are thoroughly trained to take down information from the caller, including where the dog bite happened, the person who was bitten and how badly, and whether witnesses were present during the attack.
If you’re unable to speak because of injuries sustained during a dog bite attack, tell them as much as possible about what happened when prompted by questions. Doing this ensures they have all they need before sending an ambulance or police officer out to investigate further.
Report The Incident To Animal Control
If a dog has bitten you, you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from future attacks.
Call your local animal control agency or police department if the incident isn’t life-threatening. You’ll want them to come out and assess the scene to take appropriate action against the dog’s owner. Besides, it can also ensure that other animals don’t pose a danger at this location, especially if there are children around.
Get Treated For Injuries
If your dog bite case involves serious injuries, you should get medical attention immediately. Then, take photos of your injuries and ask the doctor to document them. The doctor may prescribe medication or recommend therapy. At this point it would be ideal to ask for copies of the prescriptions and bills.
If possible, find out if the same dog has bitten any other individual before biting you. If so, get their contact information so that these people can confirm how dangerous the animal was before it even attacked you.
Preserve Evidence And Take Photos Of The Scene
You should immediately take photos of the scene and your injuries. Moreover, if someone has taken a video, ask for a copy. This can help prove that you were not trespassing on private property or provoking the dog. You should also take photos of:
- The dog itself
- The owner (if possible)
- The home where it lives (if possible)
- The yard where it came from
Having these photos and videos can prove how dangerous that specific animal can be.
Gather Contact Information Of Witnesses
An excellent way to get witnesses to talk is to ask them to write down what they saw or have them sign their statements. You should ask each witness for their contact information and make sure that you have a copy of their statement.
Call A Dog Bite Attorney
It’s important to note that you should hire an attorney with experience in this type of case to avoid wasting time and money. Remember that the longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to collect evidence and build your case. So, you must find an experienced dog bite lawyer who knows how to make your case and win successfully.
The best way to find a reasonable dog bite attorney is by asking friends and family for recommendations. You can read some reviews to assess their qualifications. If you’ve decided who to go for, contact them directly through their websites.
Keep in mind that if a dog bites you, you deserve compensation. Dog bite cases are not cut and dry; they can be confusing and overwhelming to handle on your own. Your best bet is to hire an attorney who specializes in dog bite cases so that you get the help and support you need. Personal injury attorneys know how to get you the settlement you deserve with years of experience, specialized knowledge, negotiating skills, and legal expertise.