They say dogs are a man's best friend and this can be true. However, a dog without proper training can be a man's worst enemy. Dog bites are unpredictable and can happen in a blink of an eye. If you have been bitten by a dog, you may want to take legal action. There are a few important steps to take in order to ensure you take care of your health and any potential legal claims:
1. Take notes - Immediately after you are bit, survey the scene. Gather the names and phone numbers of any witnesses present. If you are able to take photographs of your wound and the dog that bit you, this is also important evidence to have.
2. Identify the dog's owner - If the owner is at the scene or can be identified by the dog's tags, make sure to get their full name and contact information. Inquire as to whether the dog has bitten someone before or if this is the first occurrence. You will also want to find out if the dog has been vaccinated for rabies, as this shot is painful and expensive.
3. See a doctor - Even if the dog bite is minor, it is important to have it assessed by someone in the medical field. Any bite that breaks the skin is at risk of an infection. It is also important to have this incident on file with a doctor in case the medial records are needed in court to prove the severity and authenticity of the dog bite injury.
4. Consult a lawyer that specializes in dog bites - If the dog has an owner, you will be entitled to compensation under the Dog Owners' Liability Act. This act states that when a dog bites or attacks a person or another pet, the dog's owner is liable for any resulting damages. Dog bite cases can be complex because damages will be awarded to the victim based on a lot of different factors. Finding a good lawyer specializing in dog bites can save you the headache of trying to sort through the evidence and the law on your own. A lawyer that specializes in dog bites will help you prepare all your evidence to be used in court to ensure you are awarded the proper compensation based on your injuries, lost wages, medical bills and any pain and suffering you endured.
By following the steps outlined above, you will be able to provide your lawyer with all the relevant information to ensure you are fairly compensated for your claim. Dog bite laws are in place for a reason. It is wise to take action against the owner of the dog who bit you so that they will be reprehended for their negligence, but also as a way of preventing future incidents from occurring.