If a peaceful walk in your neighborhood has turned painful, you have options. Being bit by a loose or aggressive dog can mean severe injuries and money damages, so read on for a step-by-step way to handle the situation and get paid what you are owed by the dog's owner.
Depending on the level of your injury, you must try to obtain the contact information of the dog's owner. Otherwise, you may have problems locating them later on when it's time to take legal action. Additionally, put your cell phone camera to use and take shots of the owner, the dog, the injuries, and the location where it all happened. If eye-witnesses are present, find out how to get in contact with them later. The testimony of someone who saw the whole thing happen is very valuable to your case.
Get Medical Treatment
No matter how minor the wound seems to be, get examined by a doctor as soon as possible. The bacteria present in a dog's mouth can cause even small bites to become infected, which can lead to more serious injuries and a longer recuperation time for you.
Report the Injury
Most municipalities have rules concerning dangerous dogs. Contact your local animal control center and make a report of the injury so that they can make a note of it. If the dog shows a tendency to repeatedly attack and injure others, the animal control agency can likely take action against the dog's owner.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney
You may be understandably reluctant to take legal action against the owner, particularly if the bite was somewhat minor. You should understand, however, that it may not be necessary to take the case to court. Speak with an attorney who can evaluate your case and provide you with advice. In some cases, the owner's homeowner's insurance policy covers incidents like dog bites and you can expect to have your medical expenses and other damages covered. In other cases, the owner will offer you a cash settlement to avoid taking the case to court. The sooner you consult with an attorney, the stronger and fresher your evidence of the attack will be.
Know What Your Damages Are
Even minor injuries can incur surprisingly large medical treatment charges. Even if you have insurance that covers your medical expenses, the total cost of your medical bills is used to calculate your pain and suffering. Additionally, you are entitled to be paid for your ruined clothing and shoes and any time you missed from work as a result of the injury.