Americans love their dogs. There are an estimated 77 million of these four-legged best friends across the country, and an average of 1.6 dogs per home. Unfortunately, they come with a certain amount of risk. Dogs are animals that act on instinct, not rational thought, and sometimes that means they bite. We hope this never happens to you, but if it does, you might wonder about what to do next and whether you can obtain compensation for your injuries.
If you believe the dog bite incident occurred due to negligence or recklessness of the owner, you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek damages. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover costs of medical care, lost wages from missed work, pain, and suffering, or other bite-related expenses. If a dog or other animal has bitten you, schedule a consultation with one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Law. We can review the facts and the evidence with you and recommend how to proceed.
What To Do After a Dog Bites You
In the immediate aftermath of a dog bite, think first of yourself. Get to a safe place if the dog is still loose and out of control. Make sure others are also out of harm’s way. Immediately make sure the owners know what has happened and that they’re taking steps to get their dog under control.
The next step is to assess your injuries. If you have suffered a serious bite, call for emergency medical assistance or ask someone to call for you. Do the same for anyone else who may have also suffered a bite. There will be time later to contemplate a lawsuit.
Taking Care of Animal Bite Injuries
As with any wounds, the priority in treating animal bites is getting the bleeding to stop. Apply a clean, dry cloth and consistently put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. Once you have the wound under control, you should take steps to clean the area. Start with soap and water, and then dry the area gently. After that, put an antibiotic ointment on the injury to guard against infection and cover the wound with a fresh and clean bandage.
Dog bites can often cause even more severe damage than a simple cut. Those are instances that you will want to make sure are handled by a medical professional. If the wound is bad enough, you may need to receive treatment at the hospital. Follow the advice of the medical professionals at the hospital carefully.
Documenting the Animal Bite
As soon as you are able, you should begin trying to document the incident. Write down in your own words what happened. On the incident scene, snap some photos if you can, including of the dog, your injuries, and the general scene. You never know how visual evidence may come into play in supporting your claim.
Collect personal information. Get the owner’s name and phone number and information about vaccinations and insurance. If the owner doesn’t have that information on hand, ask for the veterinarian’s name where the records may be kept. Get the contact information for any witnesses, as their accounts may be significant in an insurance claim or court. You may want to talk with neighbors to see if they have experienced problems with the dog.
It’s highly recommended to report the bite to the police or animal control. While there may be little they can do immediately, it’s essential to document the incident if the dog has a record of biting or harassing people. You may be able to see if this particular dog has a history of complaints by checking other publicly available reports, which would also help strengthen your case for damages. Take a series of photos of the bite once the situation around you is stable. It’s good to have documentation of the injury before things heal.
How To Know if You Need Legal Representation for a Dog Bite
It may seem on the surface that handling the aftermath of a dog bite is straightforward. In many instances, it is, but things can get complicated quickly. Even if a dog owner cooperatively provides insurance information, that doesn’t guarantee you a fair settlement. Insurance companies often try to hurry you into taking an impulsive upfront offer when you’re most vulnerable. It’s in the insurance company’s interests to pay out as little money as possible.
Attorneys at De Castroverde Law can step in and handle those negotiations. They can also think ahead if the insurance company refuses to settle or makes a smaller than acceptable offer. Attorneys know the law and how to collect and organize the facts to make your case as strong as it can be. They can also be instrumental when the ownership of the dog is unclear. In short, you should consider hiring an attorney as soon as possible after a dog bites to get fair compensation for your injuries.
Find Your Dog Bite Attorney at De Castroverde Law
At De Castroverde Law, serving Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada, we pride ourselves on being fierce advocates for clients who suffer personal injuries through accidents, negligence, or recklessness. Our attorneys focus on a wide range of personal injury matters, including car and vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, excessive force cases, and wrongful death. Contact us today for a free case evaluation so we can get your claim started.