If You Are Hurt By a Dog, Steps to Take Before Calling Your Lawyer

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[author: Michael Barasch]

Dogs sometimes bite. They bite because they're scared, they’re being protective or they’re just plain nervous. If someone’s dog bites you, it doesn’t really matter why you were bitten. What matters is that you get necessary medical attention and compensation for your injuries and expenses.

But before you call your attorney, there are a few things you need to do.

  • Get the dog owner’s name and address right away. Then, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Dog bites can get worse the day after an attack when the wound swells and hurts more. Even if you don’t think the bite is bad enough to file a lawsuit, it’s better to have the information and not need it than to need it and not have it.
  • Go to see a doctor. If you can’t get in to see your primary care physician, visit the emergency room. Keep any documentation the doctor gives you regarding your injuries. Save the hospital bills also so that you can prove how much you spent for medical attention. You’ll need it when you go to court.
  • Call the police, and report the incident to animal control officers. This is critical if the dog isn’t wearing a collar, and you don’t know who the owner is. Dog control officers will try to locate the dog so that it can be quarantined and checked for rabies. If the dog is rabid, it will be destroyed.
  • Check with the local animal control department to see if the dog has a history of biting people. If it does, you will have a better chance of winning a lawsuit.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.