In personal injury cases involving a dog bite accident, or any other type of accident, time is rarely on the victim’s side. Even though dog bite injuries in Arizona don’t necessarily have to be settled immediately, but some actions should be taken as soon as possible.
The first few hours after a dog bite accident are crucial and can make or break your case. There’s no room for procrastination so you should make sure you get all the information in order to protect your rights.
File an incident report after a dog bite accident
The first step after the accident is to seek medical attention, if you’re in need of it. This is your top priority! Get yourself to safety and call 911.
When you dial 911 and you call the police and first responders, you create a paper trail if your injury. Once the law enforcement is notified, they will begin filing the report and other documents related to your dog bite accident.
The incident report is the founding block in building your case against the at-fault party, usually the dog’s owner. Furthermore, the police will also give you additional instructions on what to do such as working with animal control and investigating the Arizona dog bite injury case.
Some dog bite accidents require medical care
Getting the necessary treatment (if necessary) you’re not only protecting your health, but you will also prove to the at-fault party that you sustained certain damages and injuries. In the event that you need medical attention, make sure that you get it as soon as possible.
Getting prompts medical care firstly shows that your injuries were serious and that you couldn’t delay treating them. Secondly, it also shows that the injuries have been caused by the dog bit, and don’t originate from any other accident.
When you get medical care, the medical professionals will confirm with the police or animal control that a paper report was created.
Dog bit accidents sometimes carry the risk of rabies which is why it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible.
Collect contact information
Gathering contact information is also crucial, and should be done as soon as possible. First and foremost, you should seek out the dog’s owner, get his/her address, phone number or any other information that you can collect.
If someone witnessed your dog bite accident, get their contact information too. They might need to testify and that statement could further strengthen your case.
In some cases, you could get the dog owner’s insurance information, which is also a good thing to do. The same goes for the homeowner’s or renter’s liability insurance policy information. But, in case you don’t manage to get these, don’t worry. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how and where to get that information for you.
Veterinary information about the dog is also something you shouldn’t ignore. You can never be sure whether the dog is up to date with vaccinations, whether it has rabies or not. It’s not worth the risk.
Document your injuries
The medical records for your dog bit accident could be used as evidence in your lawsuit. However, they can sometimes lack the necessary information and don’t paint the whole picture about the accident and injuries.
This is why personal injury lawyers always recommend that the victims document their injuries e.g. to take photos. This should be done immediately after the attack.
Not only will you be able to document the full extent of your injuries, but you can also take photos of the scene, the dog (if it’s still there) or any other information that could protect you from disputes.
Taking photographs of your injuries should be an ongoing process. So instead of taking a few shots after the accident, make sure that you keep track of your injuries until they are fully healed.
Follow up with a physician
Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained in the dog bite accident, you might need to pay a visit to a doctor more than once e.g. if the dog caused serious injuries that need to be frequently cleaned and monitored how they heal.
You will most likely have a schedule when your next appointment is, and we highly recommend that you stick to it. This not only shows that you care about your health but it also shows the seriousness of the injuries. If you were, for example, to skip one or two appointments, the opposing side could argue that your injuries weren’t so serious after all and that your damages aren’t so high.
Get an experienced dog bit accident attorney
Dog bite accidents can be serious. Regardless whether you were seriously injuries by a dog or not, you have rights that you need to protect.
As with any other personal injury case, there are a lot of factors and variables that you need to consider. This is why it’s a good idea to have an experienced attorney at your side who is well-versed in these types of cases and knows the best approach to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you or your loved one were injured in a dog bite accident, make sure to contact us and schedule a consultation.