- Get to a place of safety first. Never try to battle a vicious dog if you can escape by getting into a car or building. If the dog is attacking someone else, your intervention could cause it to turn on you. Do what you can to help other victims, but remember that your safety is priority. Immediately call 911 if you witness a dog attacking anyone else.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Dogs carry several diseases that are transmittable to human beings. Even if you do not think your bite is severe enough to warrant medical attention, it is important to be tested for several types of infection. Never assume that a dog has been vaccinated for rabies, even if the owner says the dog is current on vaccinations. Rabies is a deadly disease that is still widespread in many areas of the country. Assume that you have been exposed until you know otherwise, even if the owner is a friend or relative.
- Document the date, time, and place of the dog bite and collect records from your emergency room or doctor’s visit. It is important to get pictures if possible of the conditions under which the dog was kept when you were bitten. You should also, if possible, record the owner’s name, address, phone number, and any other pertinent information. Some dog bite victims have returned to an owner’s home after treatment to find that the dog has mysteriously vanished, so even though it may be difficult to do, try to have someone take pictures of the scene before you go to the hospital. Even a cell phone picture can provide proof of your claim.
- Ask the emergency room staff or the doctor to take pictures of your wounds before you receive stitches or other treatment. Pictures really are worth a thousand words when you must file a suit for damages, and having documentation of how bad your injuries looked prior to treatment may help a judge or jury understand the extent of your trauma, especially if your case comes to trial some time after the incident when your scars have healed.
- Get the names of any witnesses to the incident. Be sure to record any names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses, especially those who might be hard to locate after the fact. If any of the witnesses know the owner or dog, ask them to give this information to law enforcement officers if the dog is loose.
Contact the Dog Bite Law Firm of Bice Law
As you can see, there are several factors that need to be investigated in a dog bite case. An investigation is needed to uncover the dog’s past behavior, to identify if any insurance is available to satisfy a claim, and to understand who was accountable. If you have a question about whether you have a potential dog bite injury claim, take the first step to protect your legal rights contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly. Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling 877-BICE-877 or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a dog bite attorney. Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.