According to a CDC report, around 4.7 million Americans suffer from dog bites, and half of them are children aged between 5 and 9. Dog bites can sustain severe injuries and lead to expensive medical treatment.
Most US states have a law that imposes a liability on the dog owner for dog bites, even if it was a good dog earlier. You can file a lawsuit against the dog owner and claim compensation with the help of a dog bite lawyer. To make things simple, here are discussed steps you need to take after sustaining a dog bite injury.
Clean the Wound
If you have suffered such a dog bite, the very first thing you need to do is manage the wound properly. Wash the dog bite area with a soapy solution and apply some antibiotic lotion over the area. The soapy water and the antibiotic ointment will help sterilize the wound and prevent infection. It is an essential step until you go for further medical care.
Follow First Aid Rules
If the wound is bleeding, elevate the dog bite area. Cover the dog bite area with a sterile bandage to stop the bleeding. If you don’t have access to a sterile bandage, you can use a clean towel to cover the wound and stop bleeding.
Get Medical Care
After following the first aid rules, the next thing to do is visit a doctor. Even if the wound is not that serious, you need to visit a doctor. Dog bites are severe injuries, and there is a risk of infection from bacteria. Going to a doctor after a dog bite injury is also a requirement to file a personal injury claim. The doctor report and treatment can be used as a testimonial in the personal injury claim.
After receiving proper medical treatment, you can contact a dog bite lawyerand explain the incident to him/her. The lawyer will study the case and analyze the merit of the case. Since the dog bite laws differ in the state, the lawyer will check whether the case will get admitted in the court and what kind of compensation you might receive.
When to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
The severity of the injuries is a deciding factor when filing a dog bite lawsuit against the owner. If the dog bite wounds are severe and will lead to expensive medical treatment, loss of wages, or permanent scarring, you can consider filing a dog bite lawsuit.
If the bite is minor and you want compensation from the dog owner, the lawyer can help you get compensation by settling the matter out of the court. According to a leading attorney, most dog bite cases get settled out of court through negotiations between the lawyer of the injured person, insurance company, or the dog owner.
How Does the Lawyer Help?
When you contact the lawyer after a dog bite, he will write to the owner describing the injuries you have sustained from the dog bite incident. The lawyer will also share an itemized bill of the medical expenses and mention any state and local dog bite laws applicable in your dog bite incident.
The attorney will give the dog owner a deadline for payment. If the dog owner is not ready for the damages, the lawyer will file a dog bite lawsuit in civil court. In some states, you can sue the dog owner for $10,000 in small claims. In most cases, dog owners are aware of the case’s outcome and would ask your lawyer to negotiate a settlement.
To sum up, a dog bite is a severe injury that causes pain, suffering and might lead to substantial medical bills. You should not feel helpless in a dog bite incident and contact a lawyer to get compensation for the suffering, which is your right.