A dog bite is a traumatic experience. Dogs bite almost 4.5 million Americans every year, and 20 percent require medical attention. If you have been bitten by a dog, there are a number of steps you should follow to better protect your health, safety, and legal rights.
Of course, you should seek whatever medical attention is necessary for your situation. Collect as much information about the dog and the dog owner as you can. Information such as the size, age, color, and breed of the dog can be useful in identifying the dog later. If the owner is present, you should also collect their contact information and request that they provide you with copies of the dog’s vaccination records as soon as possible. If the opportunity presents itself, ask the dog owner what insurance company writes their homeowners policy. If there are witnesses, you should get their contact information as well. Make sure to contact the police and let them know if you need an ambulance. Also, contact animal control.
In addition, you should document the bite by taking pictures of the wound and by writing down the events surrounding the incident as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that a lawsuit against an individual dog owner pursues a monetary award that, in most cases, will be paid by the dog owner’s insurance policy, not the individual personally. It is important [Read more…]