Canines may be considered one of the most pet-worthy animals on the planet, but they are not completely safe to be around and you never know when you could fall victim to an attack. If you are bitten by a dog on someone else's property, they have a legal obligation to make sure that your medical bills are paid. However, the days following an attack and how a pet owner reacts when their dog attacks may not always be so predictable.
The first thing you should do after being bitten is to seek out a personal injury attorney, even if you think everything will be fine. Here are a few questions you should ask the attorney during the initial consultation.
Could you be entitled to more compensation than just the bills you incurred?
A dog bite or attack may lead to more of a loss than just what you have to pay for medical expenses. You may be dealing with things like:
- Lost wages due to time off of work
- Injuries and scarring that will have to be treated in the future
- Pain and suffering or emotional distress
Should the attack be reported to local animal control authorities?
Every state has its own regulations about dogs who attack and whether they will have to be taken into protective custody after an attack. Some states will actually require that a violent dog be euthanized if it is indeed found guilty of an attack, but most just need to know in order to make sure the dog is vaccinated and well-contained to protect the rest of the public. It is best to talk to your attorney about the protective measures that should be taken.
Do you need to get the contact information of witnesses to the attack?
In a dog bite injury case, witnesses can be a big help. They can verify that you were not trespassing on the pet owner's property, which can be an issue in some states if you are bitten. They can also provide their testimony to prove that you were indeed attacked by a specific animal. This may sound unnecessary, but it is not at all uncommon for a pet owner to claim that you were never attacked by their animal.
If you have been the victim of a dog attack, it is imperative that you have an attorney on your side right from the start. Doing so will help ensure that you get the best treatment from the person responsible and are paid the money you actually deserve for your injuries. Contact a local attorney, like Boucher Law Firm, if you have questions.