If you have been bitten by a dog, it is important that you take steps that will protect your health. Your actions could also have a direct impact on the success or failure of any future personal injury cases.
If you are unsure what to do if a dog bites you, the first thing to consider is that a Tacoma dog bite injury lawyer might be able to help. They could not only answer your questions about the legal process but also advise you on the viability of your civil lawsuit. They could also advise you further on the steps to take after a dog bite.
Notify the Authorities of the Dog Attack
The first step to take in the aftermath of a dog attack is to notify the authorities. If your injuries are significant or you believe you are at risk of additional injuries, your first call should be to 911. Alternatively, you could notify animal control directly about the animal that bit you.
Creating a record with law enforcement about your attack is important for any personal injury case. It could be strong evidence in your favor if the authorities come to the scene and capture the dog that bit you.
Notifying the police or animal control about your bite is not just important from a personal injury standpoint. If this animal attacked you, the chances are good that it could go on to bite someone else. Notifying the authorities could prevent future attacks from happening to other unsuspecting victims.
For a free legal consultation, call 206-558-5555
Rinse Your Dog Bite Wounds Immediately
If you have the opportunity to do so, it is a good idea to rinse your wounds with soap and water as soon as possible. Doing so can reduce the risk of infection, including the spread of rabies. Once you have cleaned your wound, it is a good idea to wrap it in fresh bandages or a clean towel. This step will not replace the need for immediate medical care, but it could improve your chances of avoiding serious health consequences in the future.
Seek Medical Care for Your Dog Bite Injuries Right Away
Once you have notified law enforcement of the attack, your primary concern should be your health and safety. Dog bites can result in a wide variety of health injuries. Some of them can have long-term or even life-threatening consequences.
It is important to see a doctor right away, even if you believe your injuries are relatively minor. This is because some of the most serious consequences of a dog bite might not be immediately obvious. When you are treated by a physician, it is important to let them know the cause of your injury. This allows the medical staff to ensure you get the care you need.
Your medical needs might vary. While the initial concern is likely wound care, one of the most important considerations is the possibility of rabies infections. In addition to treatments for this condition, your doctor could also refer you to a plastic surgeon to help minimize any scarring or disfigurement.
Document Your Dog Bite Wounds
If you intend to pursue legal action against the dog owner following the attack, it is important that you document your wounds and collect as much evidence as possible. This starts with keeping the clothes that you were wearing at the time of the attack.
The condition of your clothes could be useful in establishing how the attack occurred. Every dog bit is different, and severely damaged clothing could be evidence of a vicious attack. Your attorney could advise you if this evidence might be useful in your case.
It could also benefit you to document your injuries using photographic evidence. Taking pictures of your injuries could give a jury a clear picture of how severe your injuries are. This could also prevent the dog owner from downplaying the extent of your injuries.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form
Avoid Discussing Your Dog Bite on Social Media
Dog bites are traumatic, unusual events that most people will never experience. This can make it tempting for the victims of an animal attack to discuss the attack on social media. Unfortunately, doing so could work against you and any future personal injury case you pursue.
Anything you post on social media could be used against you. Insurance companies could also misconstrue what you say to suggest that your injuries were not as serious as you made them out to be. Avoiding social media prevents the dog owner or their lawyer from building a case around your out-of-context statements.
Contact a Lawyer After a Dog Bite Injury
Arguably, the most important thing you can do following a dog attack is speak to an attorney. However, not every attorney is prepared to help you maximize your financial recovery. You could benefit from seeking out the guidance of a lawyer who has handled these cases successfully in the past.
An attorney could assist you with every aspect of your claim. This starts with investigating the attack and potentially identifying the owner of the dog that bit you. Your lawyer could also answer your questions about the extent of your injuries or your chances of success at trial.
Having an attorney to advocate on your behalf is especially important if your case goes to trial. The rules of evidence are complex, and a lawyer could ensure that you put your best foot forward in front of a jury of your peers.
Our Dog Bite Injury Team Is Here to Help
If you are living with the consequences of a dog attack, the team at the Jackman Law Firm is ready to help you pursue a monetary award. Holding dog owners accountable for these attacks can be challenging on your own, but the right attorney could help you maximize the damages you recover.
If you are unsure of what to do when a dog bites you, our firm could assist you every step of the way. Call today for your free consultation to get started.