What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury

Most of the time, dogs live up to their title as man’s best friends and are good-natured pets; nevertheless, animals are inherently unpredictable, and dogs can sometimes bite when we least expect it. 

If you’re bitten by a dog, it’s important to get the medical attention you need, but it’s also important to make sure you’ll be able to recover compensation if needed. Here’s a look at what to do if a dog bites you:

Call Emergency Services

Calling 911 is important for a few different reasons:

  • Police will arrive and write a report of the incident, which will prove important if you eventually file a lawsuit
  • If the dog is loose, police or animal control officers will be able to contain it
  • If the dog’s owner is hostile, the police can make sure they don’t cause further harm
  • Emergency medical personnel will be able to begin treatment of your wounds and transport you to the hospital if needed

If the owner of the dog isn’t present when the dog bites you, make sure you notify them as soon as possible.

Seek Medical Attention

In dog bite cases that are closer in nature to flat-out maulings, victims often need to be rushed into surgery, which loops back around to calling 911; that said, your injury may be a lot less severe, but prompt medical treatment is still especially important. 

Dogs can carry rabies, which means that if there’s no evidence the dog that bit you is vaccinated, you may need a course of rabies vaccinations just in case. You also may need antibiotics to prevent any additional infections.

Document Everything and Compile Evidence

If you want to make sure the dog owner’s insurance covers your medical bills and other expenses, you must document your injury as thoroughly as possible. Take pictures of your injuries, the dog, and the location of the attack.

Then, as soon as you’re able, take some time to gather every other bit of evidence you can, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • A copy of the police report for the incident
  • A copy of any animal control reports that were filed
  • Any torn or bloody clothing you were wearing at the time of the attack
  • Copies of all your medical bills related to the bite
  • Documentation of any wages lost due to the injury

If you aren’t sure whether to include something in your evidence collection, include it regardless; when you talk to a personal injury lawyer, your lawyer will be able to tell you what items you need to include in your evidence file. 

It’s also a good idea to keep a journal of your symptoms since — if you do file a lawsuit — having a narrative of your healing process can be a big help. Make sure you include details showing how the injury negatively impacts your life.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Before Dealing With the Dog Owner’s Insurance

It’s technically possible to resolve an insurance claim on your own, but when dealing with an insurance company (especially someone else’s), you should always have a knowledgeable advocate on your side. A personal injury attorney will be able to look over your case with you and help you decide on the right course of action.

Have you been bitten by a dog?

Some dog bites are fairly minor, but others can cause lifelong complications, require multiple surgeries, and rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills; sometimes, the full extent of a dog bite injury isn’t even immediately clear. 

If you’ve been bitten, it’s always a good idea to set up a consultation with a personal injury attorney. The lawyers at Privette Law Office have been fighting for justice for injured people in Southern Missouri for decades. Make an appointment with us today to see how we might be able to help you!