Ten Commandments: Things to Do After a Dog Bite
What to do after a dog bite? What you do can make or break your legal case for compensation. Accordingly, here is a detailed list of the ten things you should do immmediately after a dog bite.
- Report the incident to the police while still at the scene. As soon as possible thereafter, report the incident to municipal animal control.
- Truthfully tell the police just the facts of what happened. Don’t argue. Don’t become emotional.
- Obtain the dog owner’s name, address, phone number, and email address. Again, DON’T ARGUE. Don’t become emotional.
- If possible, take photos of the scene, the dog and your injuries. Also photograph any security cameras directed at the scene.
- Obtain any witness’ information: This includes name, address, phone number, and email.
- Call an ambulance to take you to the emergency room to get immediate medical treatment.
- Keep, don’t clean and don’t wear again the shoes and clothing that you wore when the dog bit you.
- Collect evidence. Ask for and keep copies of all paperwork connected with the incident and your injuries, such as police reports, hospital reports, prescriptions, animal control reports and medical reports. Write down the name and address all medical providers. (If any video cameras poined to the scene, immediately request from the camera owner in writing that any video be preserved, and a copy of the video sent to you. (Keep a copy of your letter and obtain a signed delivery receipt.)
- Don’t discuss the case with anyone else, especially the dog owner’s insurance company. Anything you say may be held against you. Thus, don’t sign anything without consulting a lawyer. (You can sign medical consent forms necessary to get immediate treatment.)
- Call a Dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Preferably not later than when you leave the emergency room. Evidence might be lost if you delay.
If you follow these ten steps after a dog bite, your lawyer will be able to better represent you.