Injured By a Dog? Contact a Lawyer For Dog Bite Attacks
If you have been bitten by a dog, there are certain steps you should take in response. You will also need to engage the services of a Los Angeles domestic dog attack attorney.
Common Mistakes People Make After a Dog Bite
Being bitten by a dog can put your health at serious risk. It can also lead to serious medical expenses and loss of wages. In order to hold the owner of the dog accountable, you must take a series of steps.
Here are the most common mistakes made by dog bite injury victims:
1. Not going to the hospital immediately
It does not matter how slight the dog bite may seem. You must go to the emergency room of a hospital. The fact that an animal has bitten you is a serious matter. Even the smallest dog bite can cause an infection—an infection that can quickly get out of control and spread to other parts of your body if not treated immediately. You may also contract rabies. This is an especially dangerous disease, which can lead to extreme pain and death.
Seeking immediate medical attention will prevent the worst consequences of a dog bite from happening. The medical staff will clean, treat, and bandage the wound. They will also give you antibiotics to stave off disease. You will also need it documented that you received medical attention. Such paperwork will be important if you need to file a suit later.
2. Failing to report the incident to the police
You need to make an official statement to the police. You should also report the incident to animal control. You need to create a public record of the bite and the injury you sustained. Otherwise, the dog owner can claim that the dog which bit you was not theirs. Once you report the incident, the police will be compelled to investigate it. The incident will become well-documented, and you will be able to establish liability for the bite.
3. Giving a statement to the insurance company of the dog owner
The dog owner may have insurance. After the incident, their insurance company may contact you and offer to settle. You should neither accept their offer nor make a statement without legal guidance. Indeed, you should refer all such inquiries to your lawyer.
4. Not photographing injuries immediately after the bite
As painful and disgusting as the bite area may be, you will need to photograph it immediately after the bite. You should do so before it is treated in the hospital. If a friend or loved one was with you when the incident occurred, you should ask them to take the picture. If you were alone, then the staff at the hospital may be able to help you.
You want to capture the depth and extent of the wound before it has been cleaned up by hospital staff or allowed to heal. If you need to take the case to trial, pictures of the bite when it was fresh will enable the jury to imagine how much pain it caused.
5. Not hiring a lawyer
You should never try to settle a dog bite case without legal assistance. If there is enough evidence to prove that the dog owner’s negligence or recklessness led to the bite, then their insurance company will try to get ahead of the matter by offering you a settlement. It will be lower than what you deserve. No matter the severity of the dog bite, you will have medical bills, which will include the treatment you received at the hospital and the prescription drugs you will need to take. You should also be compensated for the pain, suffering, and trauma of the attack.
Whomever you choose for legal representation will help you get the compensation you are entitled to. They will consult with your doctors and use their knowledge of past dog bite cases to come up with a dollar figure that is right. They will then open negotiations with the insurance company.
You may not need to sue the person whose dog bit you. If their insurance company is willing to offer something that is close to the figure that your attorney came up with, then the case can be settled out of court. If that doesn’t happen, then your attorney can help you put together a compelling case against the respondent.
An attorney will have deep knowledge of local dog bite laws and will have the experience and expertise to establish liability. If you are the victim of a dog bite, then you should seek legal counsel immediately.