You have the right to take a walk in your own neighborhood or local park without fearing a dog attack, but when the worst happens and you are injured by a dog, you should know that you may be entitled to compensation. The dog's owner is responsible for that dog's actions, and no matter how minor the injury, you may suffer a great deal of pain, medical bills, and missed work.
Once you get past your relief that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies, you may begin to experience the full negative effects of the dog bite. High medical bills are only the beginning; painful wounds that may even require stitches need time to heal and may impede your ability to get around on foot. Additionally, there may not be such a thing as a minor wound when it comes to dog bites; dogs carry nasty bacteria in their mouths, which cause a huge problems for victims, particularly for those with compromised immune systems. If all that were not enough, you now have a fear of ever being able to safely take a walk again. Read on for some handy tips for dealing with dog bite personal injuries.
1. Take immediate steps to get the dog-owner's contact information. If they act evasive or they quickly leave the area, call the police and file a report.
2. Take that report a step further and file a report at your local animal enforcement agency. Many municipalities have a so-called "one bite free" policy that allows punishment for owners whose dogs perpetrate serial attacks. Your report could help prevent someone else from suffering a dog bite.
3. Be sure to take a photo of the dog, even if you must do so later. Photos of your wounds are important as well; nothing tells a story like photograph.
4. Keep up with your time lost from work attending to your wounds and recuperating at home. You should also be ready to file a claim for any lost or damaged personal property, such as shoes, pants or a dropped cell phone.
5. Suing in small claims court to recoup your medical expenses, lost wages, personal property and more may be an option, but if the dog's owner is a home owner the insurance may cover your damages. If you are contacted by the homeowners' insurance, don't be tempted or talked into giving a recorded statement and discuss your case with a personal injury attorney right away.
6. Don't take the first settlement offer; it's seldom enough to properly compensate you for your pain and suffering. You must take into consideration the possibility of continuing medical needs if the wound does not heal in a timely manner.
Be sure to give dog bite injuries their proper due; contact a personal injury attorney right away and get the compensation you need and deserve. To learn more, contact an attorney such as Josh D. Tucker, P.C.