A peaceful walk in the neighborhood or a day in the park can take a distressing turn when an unexpected dog attack occurs. In such cases, knowledge of the appropriate steps to take after a dog bite is essential to protect your rights and ensure proper recovery.
This guide seeks to arm you with the necessary information to navigate this situation and hold other people accountable if the accident occurred because of the negligence of the dog owner.
Step 1: Secure Your Immediate Safety and Health
The immediate aftermath of a dog attack can be chaotic and frightening, especially if the animal caused severe injuries. However, your priority should be to secure your safety, move away from the dog that bit you, and seek medical attention, regardless of the severity of the bite.
A dog bite can carry a risk of infection, even if it appears minor, and professional medical evaluation is crucial. Moreover, receiving prompt medical care will also serve as an official record of your injury, which could be invaluable in any subsequent legal proceedings.
Step 2: Identify the Dog and its Owner
If possible, try to identify the dog and its owner. Information such as the owner’s name, address, and the dog’s breed can significantly aid your case. This information can be useful in establishing ownership and, potentially, liability for the dog bite under Indiana Code § 15-20-1-3.
When these accidents occur due to the negligence of others, you may have a dog bite case, and be entitled to pursue compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering.
Step 3: Document the Incident and Your Injuries
Detailed documentation is your ally when seeking compensation for a dog bite injury.
Capture photos of your injuries, the location of the incident, and the dog in question, if it’s safe to do so. Also, write down a comprehensive account of the event while the details are fresh in your mind.
If there were witnesses, get their contact information. They could provide vital testimony, later on, to help you prove negligence.
Step 4: Report the Incident
Always report the dog bite incident to your local animal control agency and cooperate with their subsequent investigation. By doing so, you not only help your case but also potentially prevent future attacks. According to Indiana, healthcare providers are required to report dog bites, but personal reporting can ensure a complete record.
Step 5: Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Dealing with the injuries of a dog bite can be complex, involving not only recovery from your injuries but also navigating the intricacies of Indiana’s laws.
A personal injury attorney experienced in dog bite cases can offer invaluable guidance and support. They can help investigate the incident, build your case, and represent your interests, ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and emotional trauma.
The immediate hours and days after a dog bite incident are critical, not just for your health but also for any potential legal proceedings. Being aware of these necessary steps can help you navigate this challenging time effectively and ensure that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, we understand the physical and emotional toll a dog bite incident can take on an individual. So if you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation.