Dog attacks occur a lot more commonly than you think, and they can cause us a lot of physical and emotional harm. If you were recently injured in a dog attack, then you need to seek compensation for your suffering and other misfortunes that are a direct result of the incident. However, you should keep in mind that personal injury claims involving dog attacks are a bit complex. You need to take certain steps to sue for dog bite injuries after the incident occurs to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Here are six steps our dog bite lawyers in San Diego recommend you take when injured in a dog attack:
Step #1 — Report the Incident Immediately
Don’t waste any time in reporting the attack to the proper authorities. You can either contact your local police department or animal control and tell them about the attack in full detail. If the owners of the dog did not witness the attack, you should also contact the owner of the animal to ensure that they are aware of what occurred.
Step #2 — Get Contact Information from Witnesses
After the attack occurs, make sure you speak with people nearby who witnessed everything and ask them for their contact information. This includes their names, phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. You don’t have to worry about getting statements from them right away. Witnesses will benefit your personal injury case because they can prove that you didn’t provoke the animal and support your account of the events.
Step #3 — Seek Medical Attention
Now you must seek treatment for your injuries and prevent them from getting any worse. For example, if the animal punctured or lacerated your skin, then the wound can easily become infected, which can lead to greater health complications. The dog could also have rabies if they never received their immunization shots.
Step #4 — Gather Evidence and Documentation
Without the proper documentation, you will have a tough time recovering compensation for your injuries. The insurance adjuster will do everything they can to try and dispute your side of the story. The less documentation you produce, the less money you will ultimately recover. Here are some examples of the evidence you need to provide:
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the dog (if you can)
- Photos of the treatment you are undergoing to your injuries
- Medical records and receipts
- All pertinent insurance documents
- A record of all the work you missed due to your injuries
Step #5 — Keep a Journal Detailing Your Pain and Suffering
It’s important that you capitalize on the full value of your personal injury claim. Injuries due to dog bites often take a long time to heal, and in the meantime, you are likely experiencing a lot of emotional anguish. We recommend that you keep a journal in which you describe your injuries and the progress you are making on a day-to-day basis. You are essentially providing everyone with insights into the nature of your injury and how it affects your routine. Also, take note of any medication you are taking as well as any changes in your mood/behavior.
Step #6 — Hire a Dog Bite Attorney
Don’t file a claim without first consulting a personal injury attorney to determine the best way to recover the most compensation. There are several ways that a personal injury attorney can help to settle your claim. Insurance providers are always going to offer you a settlement that comes up short of what you deserve. Retaining a dog bite attorney goes a long way in keeping the insurance companies honest and at bay.
Do you need a lawyer to help negotiate a personal injury settlement on your behalf? The experts here at HHJ Trial Attorneys in San Diego can provide you with reliable legal services. Our goal is to ensure that all Californians can recover compensation for any serious injuries that they sustain due to dog attacks, car accidents, and other catastrophic incidents. Get in touch with us today to book your appointment.
Testimonial from Irma, Victim of Dog Bite in San Diego
I had a dog bite incident and needed a personal injury attorney I chose HHJ to help me. Adam Hepburn was my attorney he’s great explained everything answered all my questions kept me up to date on my case and was just a phone call away. This was the first time I ever needed a personal injury attorney and am glad I went with HHJ highly recommended.