You may be in shock in the moments following a dog bite as you try to figure out what happened and how badly you are hurt. There are certain steps that you should take immediately following a dog bite to protect yourself and help you possibly recover compensation for your injuries in the future. Here’s what to do:
1. Find the owner
Try to find the owner of the dog as quickly as possible so you can ask for his contact information. You should also ask the owner whether the dog has been vaccinated. If you cannot find the owner, or if the owner is not clear as to whether the dog has been vaccinated, you will need a rabies shot right away.
2. Call for help
You should immediately call for help if a dog has bitten you. Even if you think your injuries are not severe, it’s best to seek medical attention right away. Why? Dog bite injuries often start as minor wounds, but can quickly become infected if they are not treated properly. In fact, it is estimated that infection occurs in between 10-15% of dog bites . To avoid this complication, seek treatment right away if the bite has punctured your skin.
3. Document your injuries
You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but you have to prove that they exist first. Take photographs of the injuries and keep a journal so you can write down the symptoms that you experience everyday during your recovery. Be sure to hold onto all of your medical records and receipts for anything that you have had to pay for that is related to your injuries, such as prescription medication or medical care.
4. Report the bite
Contact the city or county that you live in to file an official report of the incident. Local authorities collect dog bite data to track trends and investigate whether the dog has transmitted rabies to the victim. Reporting the bite will also provide you with more proof that the incident occurred if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
5. Contact an attorney
California has a strict liability rule in regards to dog bites, which means the owner is held liable in most cases. Contact an attorney as soon as possible following the incident to discuss your case and determine whether you should move forward with a personal injury claim. It’s imperative that you contact an attorney immediately following a dog bite so he can begin determining liability, gathering evidence, and helping you document your expenses.
If you have been injured by a dog bite, there’s no time to waste. Get in touch with personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law right away so he can begin investigating the case and helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Request a free consultation by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com