Dog attacks are extremely common across the USA, with over 1,000 Americans needing treatment each day. As such, it is important you understand how to treat the problem and what is required if you plan to submit a claim for your injury.
Medical Treatment Following a Dog Attack
If you are attacked and bitten by a dog, it's imperative that you seek medical treatment right away. While dog bites themselves may not be lethal, the infections that can occur as a result can be particularly dangerous. As such, your first action should be to wash the exposed wound under warm water in order to rid the area of germs and bacteria. Additionally, try to remove any hair or dirt that the dog has left.
Once you have cleaned the wound and prepared the area, you should seek medical advice. The extent of the injury doesn't matter when it comes to dog bites – even the most negligible of bite marks can become severely infected if left untreated. If your doctor deems your bite to be severe, they will treat the area and prescribe you with a course of antibiotics to rid your body of infection.
Preparing to Make a Claim
If you are attacked by a dog that isn't your own, you will be permitted to submit a claim for damages against the dog's owner. With that said, making a successful claim isn't as easy as filling out a form; rather, there are steps you must take in order to ensure your claim has a high chance of winning in court.
Report the Incident to the Police
The first thing you should do after treating the wound is report the attack to your local police station. It's important that you do this immediately following an attack, rather than explaining the situation in hindsight.
If your case goes to court, the judge will check to make sure the claim was made within a reasonable time span from when the attack occurs. While the length of this time varies widely between cases, getting your claim in immediately will leave the courts with no excuse when they come to assess your case.
Gather as Much Evidence as Possible
With dog attacks, photographs are your best form of evidence. Taking photographs of the exposed wound will show the court the full extent of your injury and will back up your version of events.
If there were any witnesses present, ask them to give a witness statement to the police. In many cases, victims of dog attacks forget that witnesses can be of good use and fail to ask for contact details following the incident. However, it's extremely beneficial to your claim if you can have one or two outsiders to back up your story and explain to the courts exactly what happened.
Understand What You Can Claim
With any form of personal injury, claims are typically categorised as general or special claims:
- General claims cover your injury, the cost for medical care and any costs incurred to treat your injury that the court deems reasonable.
- Special claims cover the impact of the incident on your finances. Specifically, these claims cover any loss of earnings you suffered and any additional travel costs incurred due to injury.
Getting the Legal Help You Need
With any form of personal injury, it's important that you get the professional legal advice you need in order to help make your claim. Personal injury attorneys are experts in this department and understand exactly how to get you the justice you deserve.
Personal injury lawyers will help your claim by carrying out all of the necessary work on your behalf. From contacting witnesses to itemising your claim list and tailoring it to your specific situation, injury lawyers will give you the support you need to ensure your claim has a high chance of being approved. Click here to continue reading more about how to handle a personal injury case.