What Should I Do If I’ve Been Bitten by a Dog?
Dogs are fun to keep since they offer companionship and security. Although dogs have been termed as man’s best friends, it does not imply that they have human-like traits such as trustworthiness and non-aggressiveness. Dogs are as safe as their owners have taught them to be and according to the breed. Usually, dogs bite when they are frightened, suffering from a neurological condition or when provoked.
In most cases, dog bite victims suffer serious injuries that prompt urgent medical care. One of the chief concerns of a person who has been injured by a dog is if the defendant can afford to compensate the victim. A qualified nyc personal injury attorney can help victims get fair compensation. Here are the steps to take when you or your loved one has been bitten by a dog.
1. Report the incident
Always have the contacts of your local police or animal control unit so that you can call them when injured by a dog. While on call, give all details concerning the attack such as the location, the dog’s breed and the circumstances that may have prompted the attack. For instance, did the dog jump into your yard and attacked you? Was it leashed out to you? Before leaving the house, write these details down or ask someone to note them down. Remember that the authorities do not always record everything you tell them, thus recording them before your memory fades away is advisable. After that, you can rest assured knowing that you have a detailed record of the incident.
2. Seek medical help
Have your injuries treated soonest possible in a medical facility near you. Narrate the occurrence as it happened to the physician. Make sure what you say in the hospital matches what you told the authorities. The doctor will treat the injuries and give you preventive care for rabies infection. In case the injuries are severe, you may require a plastic surgeon to stitch you to prevent disease. Extensive injuries end up as permanent scars that are often difficult to get rid of.
3. Document the incident
Make sure you have photos and videos of the sustained injuries, the scene of the incident and the dog. If you had not taken pictures of the scene, you can return after treatment or ask a friend to help you out. Try to look at the possible routes of access so that you can prove how the dog was able to reach you. This is particularly for cases where the dog attacked you off the owner’s property. You can share the information with the authorities can have your copies as well.
4. Contact the dog’s owner
If possible, call the dog owner and tell them about the incident in a polite way. Do not threaten him or her. Ask them about the dog’s state of health, behavior and if it has ever attacked someone else previously. Inquire if they have insurance and if yes, ask for details of the insurer such as name, address, and contacts. Although you might not get much information, the owner might be shocked to hear the news to the extent that they volunteer to assist. However, avoid calling the owner if you feel it is not safe to do so.
5. Keep all physical evidence of the attack
Do not discard any property that has been destroyed or torn as a result of the assault. Such evidence will be crucial in helping you to build a case. For instance, some dogs bite lightly as a warning, and they let go immediately; thus not inflicting much harm. However, others bite and shake, often known as the ‘killer bite.’ The latter is known to cause severe injuries. Take photos of the torn cloth then remove and keep it for presentation as evidence.
6. Call a nyc personal injury lawyer
A qualified and experienced nyc lawyer will evaluate the case and determine whether you are liable for compensation or not as per the law. You can either have an out of court settlement or file a lawsuit in court. Whichever way, you will require a nyc personal injury lawyer to help you get fair compensation for the damage. Most lawyers will advise you not to give any statements to the insurer as this might weaken your case. Remember that the sooner you do the six things on this list, the better for your case.