What Happens After a Personal Injury Involving a Dog Bite?

Dealing with a personal injury is rarely a straightforward process, which means handling a personal injury situation with a dog bite can be complicated. If you were recently bitten by a dog, there are a few things you need to know.

Dogs are often considered wonderful pets and lovely companions. Most dogs are amicable and enjoy going on walks, playing with their owners, and spending time outdoors. What about the dogs that aren't so friendly, though? Each year in the United States, adults across the country are hospitalized for injuries related to dog bites. In fact, nearly 1,000 people seek treatment each day for dog bite injuries. If you've been bitten by a dog, it's important to seek both medical treatment and legal counsel as soon as possible in order to have the best possible outcome from the situation. Dealing with a personal injury is a very serious thing, so make sure you get the help you need.

As soon as the injury occurs, you need to seek medical treatment. If your injuries are minor and you have the time and ability, take pictures of the injury, the dog, the location, and, if possible, the dog's owner. If you can obtain their name, you should do so. The more information you can obtain about the situation, the more thoroughly your attorney can prepare your case; however, the primary objective when you become injured should be to get proper medical care. Visit your doctor or local emergency room as soon as possible and explain the situation. They'll be able to clean the wound, offer sutures if necessary, and let you know what your next steps will be. In some cases, you may need to receive a tetanus booster.

Make sure you file a police report promptly. It's important to get as much legal documentation as possible early on. As time progresses, people may change their statements or stories, especially if they talk with friends or relatives about the incident. The earlier you can offer a statement to the police, the more accurate both your statement, as well as the dog owner's statement, will be. Make sure you remain calm while talking to the police. Explain what happened. For example, were you jogging when a neighbor's dog chased you and bit you? Were you visiting someone's home when their dog violently attacked you? Were you at the park when an unleashed dog caught you? While dealing with a dog bite can be an emotional time, try to be as straightforward as possible when you explain what happened.

Finally, make sure you meet with a personal injury attorney who understands dog bite law thoroughly. It's important that you talk with someone who can help you seek damages for the situation at hand. Your attorney will need to see your medical records, as well as a copy of the police report. They'll also ask you to explain the situation once more, so be ready to talk about the day the dog bite occurred, as well as any other follow-up communication you may have had with the dog's owners.

Remember that each state does have a statute of limitations. Because of this, it's very important that you meet with an attorney early on. Don't wait for time to pass before you seek damages due to your injury. Instead, reach out for a consultation with a personal injury attorney who can help you.