Millions of dog bites are reported each year in the United States, and approximately 350,000 people have to visit an emergency room after a dog bite. Unfortunately, the most frequent victims of dog bites are children, many of whom are unaware of the danger of approaching a strange dog or even pestering their own dog. If you are the victim of a dog bite, the owner of the dog is usually liable for any injuries it causes you. Contact a firm like McGlone Law to help guide you through the process.
Seek Medical Help
The first thing to do after being bitten by a dog is to visit a doctor. If you do not know who the dog belonged to, you will need to receive a series of preventative rabies shots. Even if you know that the dog was healthy and fully vaccinated, dog saliva is full of bacteria, and it’s important that your doctor clean the area out thoroughly. For more serious bites, you may need stitches or even surgery to repair the damage.
Call the Police
No matter how minor the injury, call the police or your local animal control after a dog bite. A dog who bites once will usually bite again, so it’s important that the police are aware of a potentially dangerous dog. Give the officer pictures of your injury and the doctor’s report, as well as the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the dog bite.
How to Get Compensated
Usually, the dog owner’s homeowner insurance will cover your medical expenses and other related bills. This often applies to dog-related injuries other than bites. For instance, a dog who knocked you down and caused you to sprain a wrist. However, different states have different policies on what can and cannot be compensated, so be sure to check with an attorney if you have any questions. In some states, an owner is not liable for a dog that has never proven to be dangerous, and his insurance will only compensate you if the dog has bitten someone before.
When to File a Lawsuit
Many dog bite cases can be resolved without filing a lawsuit. However, in some cases, you may need to work with a firm like McGlone Law to get compensated for your injuries. Call an attorney if the dog owner (or their insurance company) refuse to compensate you for your injuries or if they do not fully cover your long-term treatment or lost wages.
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