(U.S. Law) Dealing with a dog bite can be a painful and emotional experience, but you need to make sure that you immediately take steps to protect yourself. Not only is it possible for a dog bite to give you a serious injury or even make you ill, but you will also want to make sure that your medical bills are taken care of by the responsible party. There are many reasons that a dog will bite you, and sometimes it happens without any provocation. Even if you did something to provoke the animal, however, you will most likely still have a viable case if the dog’s owner refuses to pay for your medical expenses.
Dog Bite Statistics
Approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur each year, and 800,000 people will require medical attention. According to our animal attack lawyer, a study in the state of Florida discovered that over 70 percent of all dogs who bite are males who have not been neutered. This definitely proves the importance of neutering and spaying animals, but this data does not help the victims of a dog bite. Florida residents deal with an average of 500 serious dog bites each year, and most of the victims are children. There is also evidence that a dog that is chained up is twice as likely to bite someone as a dog that is roaming free. In other words, you need to teach your children not to approach animals that are chained up, especially if the dog’s owner is not present.
Steps to Take after the Bite
If the bite breaks the skin, then you need to go to a doctor or a hospital to get it checked out. After all, dogs can carry a wide range of diseases, including rabies, and it is better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true if the animal was a stray because that will prevent you from having access to any of their veterinary records.
In most cases you will be able to tell the dog’s owner about the bite before you seek help, but if this does not happen, then you should contact them as soon as you are done receiving medical assistance. It is important for the owner to be involved throughout the process, and it might negate the need for a lawsuit. Some owners will definitely step up and offer to take care of the situation, so you should always give them the opportunity to do so.
Make sure that you follow whatever course of action is prescribed by your doctor. Rabies shots will be painful, but it is better to endure temporary pain than to put your life at risk. You should also keep documentation about every step of the process just in case you do end up in court.
If the dog’s owner is unwilling to work with you, then you will need to hire a lawyer. It will be important to provide your lawyer with concrete evidence of the dog bite, so make sure that you retain copies of anything that your doctor or the hospital gives you. Photographs are also going to be important, so if it is at all possible, you should take some before the doctor cleans up your wound. Make sure that you also write down everything that you can remember about the incident, including the time when it occurred. The more information that you can provide to your lawyer, the more likely they are to be able to help you win your personal injury lawsuit.
Author Anthony Joseph is a researcher, and a contributing writer for Steinger, Iscoe & Greene. If you’ve recently been bitten by an animal, you need an animal attack lawyer who has the experience and skills to win your case and get you everything you deserve. Their attorneys know that this can be a very stressful time for you, and will do everything they can to make your circumstances better.