Follow our checklist if you have been attacked by a dog or domestic animal.
1. Get Yourself to a Place of Safety
If you have been attacked by a dog, your first priority should be to stop the attack and get out of danger. Call for help. Use pepper spray, or get away from the dog in any way you can. Find a safe place where the dog can no longer hurt you to evaluate your injuries and your next course of action.
2. Evaluate Your Injuries
Before you move on, take a moment to evaluate your injuries. Count your fingers and toes. Feel for broken bones. See if you can walk.
3. Stop Any Bleeding
If you are bleeding, staunch any flow with pressure. Clean your wounds if you can.
4. Call for Medical Help
If you cannot walk, are disoriented, or need urgent medical care, call 911. Emergency services personnel can come to your aid.
5. Locate the Dog’s Owner or Caregiver
After you have dealt with your injuries, you can deal with the dog that bit you. Locate the dog’s owner or caretaker. You will need to speak to them about the incident.
6. Gather Contact Information
Ask for and record the dog owner’s name, phone number, and address. Ask for the owner’s physical address in addition to the phone number because you will need it in order to serve court papers should your case go that far.
7. Talk to Witnesses
If there were any witnesses to the attack, speak with them. Gather their contact information as well. You will need both a phone numbers and addresses.
8. Take Photographs of Your Injury and the Scene of the Attack
Photographs can be crucial evidence in a personal injury claim. They are most effective when taken as soon as possible after the accident at the accident scene. That way the photos are most accurate.
9. Seek Medical Treatment
Even if your injuries do not appear severe, seek medical attention for your dog bite as soon as possible. Not only will that doctor’s visit provide valuable evidence for your claim, it is the best way to protect your health. Dog bites can carry infections and leave scars. Injuries that do not appear serious initially can become serious over time. Prompt medical treatment can help you avoid these complications.
10. Take Stock of Any Property Damages
If the dog bite ripped your clothing or damaged your shoes, you can receive compensation for those injuries. Catalogue the damage to your clothing, personal items, or vehicle.
11. Speak with an Attorney About Your Compensation Options
If you think your dog bite warrants compensation, you should speak to a professional about the next steps to take to seek compensation. Some dog bite injuries are small and can be rectified with a letter to the dog owner. Other dog bite injuries may be large and require intense medical treatment and complicated negotiations with an insurance company. An attorney can help you determine the best course of action based on your circumstances.