Legal Steps to Take After a Dog Bite: The man’s oldest friend can inflict injuries that result in financial, legal, and medical implications. As the dog numbers keep increasing, it is necessary that you understand that you could be the next victim. Being a dog bite victim can bring about confusion as most people would not know how to react to the same.
The confusion is further aggravated if the dog bite injury is minor. However, you should be aware of the fact the minor dog injuries can result in more harm than was originally expected if the dog was not vaccinated for rabies. However, even if the dog was vaccinated for rabies, you should ensure that you are taken through comprehensive medical attention.
One should also be wary when dealing with aggressive dogs as they may result into their being fatalities more specifically if the victim of the vicious dog attacks is a minor. The reason for this that vicious dogs can totally overwhelm their victims and in the process inflict life-threatening bites. In light of this, dog owners have to be careful when handling their dogs so that dog bite victims are not killed by the dogs.
In light of the fact that dog bite injury cases may result in more harm, this article seeks to inform you about the legal steps that you should take following a dog bite. It is important to note that these steps are geared toward filing a dog bite lawsuit. You and your family need to adhere to the steps outlined below to increase your chances of getting huge compensation.
Call For Help
If a dog bites you, you should immediately cry out for help. By crying out for help upon a dog attack, you are able to manage the situation as the dog and property owners may come to your aid. Furthermore, when you cry out for help, passerby and the general members of the public may come to your aid. It is vital to note that most dogs are huge and may be difficult to restrain once they bite you. Moreover, they can inflict more harm if you cannot control them from biting you. It is vital to note that some may have rabies which can result in fatalities even when they inflict a small bite. Furthermore, dogs can bite sensitive body parts, resulting in death. You should restrain the dog from further inflicting more bites on you, or you may call out for help if you have failed to control it.
Legal Steps to Take After a Dog Bite: Take Pictures and Videos of the Dog Bites
As you shall require evidence to sustain your dog bite claim, it is necessary that you take pictures and videos of the wounds suffered following the dog bite. The photos and videos should be clear and well-kept to retrieve them when filing your dog bite claim easily. You should also share the pictures with your attorney so that they can help you quantify the compensation you should ask for when filing your dog bite claim or when negotiating with the insurance company if at all an insurance cover has been taken by the dog owner.
Exchange Contact Information with the Dog Owner/Dog Caretaker
Following the dog bite, it is vital that you exchange contact information with the dog owner or the caretaker. Please ask for their contact address so that you can easily trace them. You may also take pictures and videos of them and the scene of the dog bite to ensure where it happened. Should it be challenging to get their contact details, you should take videos of them and the dog that bit you and immediately call the police so that they can help you further.
Talk to Witnesses of the Dog-Biting Incident and Take Their Contact Details.
It is important to take the details of the witnesses of the dog bite if there are any witnesses to the dog bite accident. You should politely speak to them and inform them why you require their help. If it proves difficult to provide their contact details, you should plead with them so that they can assist you. However, it would be best to stop bothering them should they refuse to help you. Having witnesses who back up your story helps to strengthen your chances of succeeding in your dog bite claim. Your attorney shall contact the witnesses to take down their witness statements.
Reach Out to the Authorities
It is crucial to reach out to the authorities and inform them about the unfortunate incident. You should share with them all the information surrounding the dog bite incident. You should also share with them the pictures and videos of the dog and the owner of the dog so that they can be contacted. Reaching out to the authorities helps other members of the public as the officers shall take all the necessary steps to avoid any other person being a victim of that dog. The authorities may also provide you with additional information that would help support your case more so if that particular dog or dog owner had been reported to them before.
Moreover, the authorities shall conduct investigations into the dog bite incident. Their investigations report shall help support your dog bite claim in that it shall be additional valuable evidence if it is aligned with your story about the incident. Moreover, the authorities may take appropriate legal action against the dog owner if it is discovered they might have violated the law in handling their dog.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Upon restraining the dog, you should immediately visit a medical facility to be medically assessed and given adequate medication. You should ensure that you are given a medical report sufficiently addressing your situation. It would be best if you also inquired from the medical personnel whether you must visit the hospital for further treatment and whether you shall have to purchase additional medication. At all material times, you should ensure that you adequately keep all the medical documentation to use as evidence when pursuing your dog bite claim.
Putting Together All the Documentation
As the chances of your case succeeding depends on the amount of evidence in your possession, it is essential to document as much information as possible. By putting together the various information and documents, it shall be easy to retrieve them if you want to refer to them. The documents that you should put together include a journal about your injuries, a narration about the injuries that you have suffered, the inconveniences that the injuries have brought on you, the trauma that has been visited on you following the dog bite incident, the suffering that you have gone through, the pain and any other material information surrounding the dog bite incident.
You should also ensure that you visit the local animal control department that you had reported the incident to and request them to share with you their report on the accident if they investigate the same. The report shall back up your story on the matter if the conclusion of the report tallies with your account. If they have not concluded their investigations, you can request them to give your timelines within which you can go back for the report.
You should also ensure that you keep a record of the videos and pictures of the accident, as they shall be crucial in supporting your case. It is important to note that you should store the images and videos safely so they are not destroyed or lost. You should share the pictures and videos so securely that you can hand them to your dog bite accident lawyer when filing the dog bite claim.
You should also record all your treatment expenses and attend any event necessary for your recovery. The costs shall include medical, travel, and other expenses surrounding your dog bite incident. Also, have the wages or income you lost following the dog bite incident. The information should also include the number of days you failed to attend to work or to attend to business because of the inconveniences brought about by the dog bite incident.
It is important to note that the more evidence in your hands, the higher the chances of succeeding in your claim. It is also important to note that with proof in your hands, it shall be easy to quantify the amount of compensation that you are entitled to as the basis for the compensation request shall be adequately recorded.
It would be best to record all the correspondence surrounding the dog bite incident. Keeping a record of this shall be helpful because it shall form part of the evidence you shall present in court. The correspondence to be kept shall include any correspondence with the dog owner, the local animal control authorities, the police, the insurance companies, and witnesses to the dog bite accident. Should you speak to anyone by phone, you should immediately, after ending the call, reach out to them via a text message summarizing the contents of your telephone conversation. The text messages shall help back up your case as they shall translate the contents of your call, notwithstanding the time it took.
Determining the Person Responsible for Your Injuries
Based on the evidence in your possession, you shall have to decide on the person responsible for your injuries. California follows strict liability law, often resulting in the dog owner being liable for the damages brought about by their dog or dogs. However, there are certain situations in which the owner of the dog may not be held responsible for the injuries sustained. The exceptions include cases in which you trespassed on the dog owner’s property if the dog bite victim was trying to harm the owner of the dog or the person who was controlling the dog if the victim of the dog bite exhibited some form of active violence on the dog or in instances in which it can be proven that the victim was responsible for bringing the dog bite injuries upon themselves.
It follows from the above that you should review the dog bite incident in totality before concluding whether to sue or not. As it may be a difficult decision if you are partially responsible for the incident, it is necessary that you review the entire incident with an experienced dog bite lawyer so that you do not have to file an unsuccessful claim. You should note that if you file a claim and the court finds that you were responsible for the accident, you may be required to reimburse the defendant’s legal costs.
Contacting a Dog Bite Attorney
After you have attended to the above steps, it is essential to find an experienced dog bite lawyer who shall help you deal with the situation. In most instances, experienced dog bite lawyers will help you determine the amount you should claim as compensation. Based on the information and evidence you provide, they can advise you on the chances of success if you file a claim.
In most instances, the amount of compensation they advise you to seek shall include all the factors brought about by the dog bite incident. The elements shall consist of the medical costs, lost income, travel costs, compensation for the pain and suffering following the incident, and any other consideration that may be unique to your case.
The experienced dog bite lawyer shall also be instrumental if the insurance company contacts you to negotiate a settlement. Throughout the negotiations it is a tedious and time-consuming exercise. You shall also note that the insurance company will come to the negotiation table when armed with top professionals whose aim shall be to ensure that the insurance company pays a small amount of compensation. You should likewise have an experienced dog bite lawyer to help you deal with the entire negotiation exercise. However, should the negotiations fail, the experienced dog bite lawyer shall help you file and deal with the matter in court.
Is There Any Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me?
Big Ben Lawyers is near you, and they can help you recover compensation for any dog bite claim you want to pursue in California. We help you through the entire dog bite case by ensuring that we help you put together evidence that would guarantee you the best chance of getting compensated. We shall also help you deal with the insurance company should the insurance company require that there be negotiations.
Big Ben Law Lawyers
Our experienced dog bite attorney shall aid you through negotiations and the legal process of dog bite lawsuits to get a clear picture of what you should expect to see in your personal injury case. Our experienced lawyer shall also ensure that they take you through the list of possible damages that the court may award you to help you determine the compensation you seek in your dog bite case. We encourage you to ask as many questions as possible so that we can adequately address all your concerns at the free consultation stage.
We encourage you to get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can commence the process of ensuring that you are adequately compensated for your dog bite injuries and medical bills, as well as for the pain and suffering that you may have endured at the time of the accident.
Put your faith in the team at Big Ben Lawyers to defend your rights and to ensure that you are adequately compensated following your dog bite case. Contact our dog bite attorneys for a free consultation and case evaluation to discuss your options.
At Big Ben Lawyers, we offer a free case examination to enable you to decide the best way forward. Our experienced personal injury attorney shall also answer all your questions with the aim of ensuring that you understand the situation before making a decision on whether to pursue the dog bite case or not.
Contact Big Ben Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Big Ben Lawyers understand the stress and complexity of dealing with dog bite incidents, particularly when they result in severe injuries. With this understanding, Big Ben Lawyers provide support to victims of dog bite accidents, guiding them through the intricacies of legal procedures related to dog bite cases. They aim to maximize the potential for the victims to receive the highest possible compensation as allowed by law.
Do not delay if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog.