Dogs are some of the most loyal and loving companions there are, and they can also provide security for their owners. However, in the event this physical safety aspect goes awry, it can prove to be devastating for the owner, dog, and victim. Dog bite injuries are no joking matter and unfortunately happen more often than many people realize. Whether the dog was provoked, acted out in aggression, or was simply protecting his owner from what he viewed as a threat, the end result could be costly. Personal injury lawsuits filed in response to a dog bite injury happen all the time, but they can be quite challenging, for numerous reasons. This is why it is absolutely imperative that you have a good understanding of what steps to take following a dog bite injury. In some instances, the dog’s owner may not have applicable insurance coverage, which means they would be required to pay the victim’s medical expenses and other losses out of pocket.
Some of the most common victims of serious dog bite injuries are young children, which is just one of the reasons why these cases are so sensitive and difficult. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are millions of dog bites every year in the United States and, while the majority of them are minor, hundreds of thousands of victims must seek emergency medical treatment due to the nature of their injury. It can be hard to know what to do after a dog bite incident occurs. Should you go to the doctor right away? Do you need a lawyer? Should you do nothing? Today we are going to go over a few of the most crucial steps to take immediately following a dog bite.
- Seek medical attention – The first thing you should do after you or your child has been bitten by a dog is call for medical help or go to the emergency room. Even if the injury does not seem bad, it is important you are looked over by a medical professional.
- Collect information from the dog owner and any witnesses – Get the name of the dog, his owner, and contact information from any witnesses after the incident. You should also ask for the dog’s license information, as this will help in determining whether or not he is up-to-date on his shots and if this is a recurring behavior.
- File a dog bite injury report with the police or animal control – It is important that you file a dog bite injury report with the county animal control or other city officials right away. This will be an important step, especially if you choose to press charges.
- Take pictures – Be sure and get photos of your injuries, as well as any ripped or bloody clothes, the dog, the location, and anything else that may help your case. It is a good idea to take photos as soon as you can in order to show the true nature of your injuries.
- Contact a personal injury attorney – Depending on the case, it’s recommended that you contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who is experienced with dog bite injury cases. An attorney will be able to walk you through your options and go over your case with you, helping to determine whether or not you should pursue legal action.
Dog bite injuries can be emotionally and physically devastating, especially if the victim is a child. To better understand your rights and how to proceed after the incident, we encourage you to contact an Oklahoma dog bite injury attorney from Atkins & Markoff today.