When you are bitten by a dog with which you are unfamiliar, the experience can be traumatizing. There are several steps that need to be taken after you have been bitten by a dog, and it may be difficult to handle these issues alone. It is best to obtain the services of a qualified legal professional to help you navigate this maze and make sure you are taken care of both physically and mentally.
What Should Happen After a Dog Bite?
Immediately after you are bitten, a police report must be filed with local law enforcement. Generally, this will happen on-scene before an attorney has been retained. The report simply contains vital information about you, the victim. It will also contain information about the dog, and if known, the owners of the dog. If the dog is a stray, local animal control officers will attempt to restrain the dog for medical testing for rabies and other communicable diseases. If the dog’s owners are identified, those individuals will be required to provide vaccination records for the canine in question.
Next, you should seek medical treatment for the bite. Even if the wound appears to be minor and is not painful, it should be checked out by qualified medical personnel. A bite that doesn’t appear to be serious at the time can often blossom into a serious injury and require extensive treatment. An initial exam can identify any issues with the bite that can become serious in the future, cutting down on the need for further treatment.
After you have treated your physical wounds, you may wish to see a counselor about the emotional issues you may face. Most people view dogs as cuddly, harmless friends that bring joy. When a dog bites, it can alter a person’s view of dogs in general. A counselor can help you understand what happened and recover from the incident.
How Can an Attorney Help?
An attorney can assist in several areas. First, there may be questions about who will cover your medical bills. Depending upon the state in which you live and your health insurance carrier, there are several avenues which may be available to cover these bills. You can submit them to your health insurance carrier. If identified, you may also attempt to have the dog’s owner pay these bills, either directly or through their insurance company. In addition, you should definitely consider hiring an attorney to assist you in filing a personal injury claim, to recover medical costs and to obtain compensation for your suffering, both physical and emotional. Your attorney will handle the processing of the claim for you, including dealing with the insurance companies involved, preparing any necessary paperwork, representing you in court and then obtaining a fair settlement for you. This relieves you from several burdens and makes recovery easier.
If you have been injured by a dog, we can help. Contact our office today and let us help you file a claim to recover what you are legally entitled to receive.