Dog bites can be serious injuries that cause physical and emotional damage. If you're bitten by a dog, suing can help you recover and may also prevent the same problem from occurring to someone else in the future. Knowing what to do in order to get started with your case can help you get compensation for your injury.
Step 1: See a Doctor
When you're bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment. Waiting to see a doctor can lead to infection and scarring. Your physician will be able to clean the wound and determine the severity of the injury. Depending on the extent of the bite, you may need stitches or antibiotics. Take pictures of the injury, before and after stitches (if any stitches are necessary) and ask your physician to take pictures as well.
Step 2: File a Police Report
Filing a police report creates an official public record that shows that the dog that has bitten you is dangerous. Contact the police immediately after seeing the doctor. In order to file a police report, you'll need to know something about the dog, like where it lives, what type of dog it is and who its owner is.
Step 3: Gather Your Documentation
Typically, in order to have a case in a dog bite trial, you will need to be able to prove that you have suffered damages and that the owner of the dog was neglectful. The following documents will help you with your case.
- Medical bills. You may not be done paying your medical bills yet, but get together any receipts and invoices for procedures you've already undergone.
- Pictures of the wound. Pictures of the bite when it first occurred, as well as pictures of the bite after it began to heal, will help you prove that you've suffered a trauma.
- Copies of your police report. The police report serves as an official record of the event. These documents should state what happened to you, how you came to be bitten and what role the dog's owner played.
Step 4: Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Once you've gathered your documentation, you're ready to make contact with a personal injury attorney who specializes in or has experience with injuries from dog bites. After your first meeting, your attorney will evaluate your case and let you know what your next steps should be.
Contact a legal office like Lerner, Piermont & Riverol, P.A. for more help.