Few scenarios are more jarring than the experience of suffering a dog bite. Dogs are almost everywhere we go, whether in public or private spaces. Although most dogs are affectionate enough, there are still around 2,400 dog attacks reported daily in the United States. When you or someone you love is bitten by a dog, it’s difficult to know what your next steps should or shouldn’t be.
Negligent dog owners will be quick to point their fingers at you for provoking the dog, or they may insist that the dog didn’t cause any serious injury. It’s important to remember that you have legal options after suffering a dog bite, but you should take care to avoid some common mistakes that could put your right to compensation in jeopardy.
Don’t Brush Off a Dog Bite
Dog bites are easy to brush off, and many people who are bitten are quick to say it was no big deal. Sometimes it’s because they don’t want to cause a scene, or they don’t want to make an already unpleasant situation more awkward and confrontational.
Whether the dog has a history of aggressive behavior is not the point. It’s important to hold the owner accountable not only for your own recovery but also so others won’t be harmed by the dog in the future.
If you or a loved one is bitten by a dog, you need to take the incident seriously. Injuries sustained are often more severe than you realize at first, and can lead to expensive medical bills or income lost from having to take off work. Common dog bite injuries include:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Tendon damage
- Muscle damage
If you’re bitten by a dog, you also need to confirm that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. It’s not enough to take the owner’s word for it. You need to see the rabies vaccination certification from the veterinarian.
It’s important to remember that dog attacks often result in severe emotional trauma as well, especially for children. A young child who is bitten by a dog may need counseling to deal with nightmares, anxiety, and a fear of future injury from other animals.
Don’t Assume a Dog Bite Is Your Fault
Many who are injured after a dog bite feel they must have done something to provoke the dog. This can be especially true when a young child is hurt by a dog. If the dog owner has an insurance policy that would cover the dog bite, the insurance company will be quick to point fault at the victim. They may say the victim was in the dog’s space, or that the victim must have done something to agitate the otherwise sweet and peaceful dog.
Dog bites are personal for both the victim and the owner. Whether you know the dog and the owner or not, you shouldn’t assume you are to blame for the actions of the dog that bit you.
Don’t Fail to Document the Dog Bite
If you or someone you care about is attacked or bitten by a dog, you should take steps to document the ordeal. Steps you can take to document a dog bite in Seattle include:
- Calling the police
- Seeking medical care
- Taking photos of the injuries
Calling the police ensures you have a police report to rely on when seeking compensation from the dog owner. Similarly, getting checked out by a medical professional is important not only because you need to take care of any dog bite injuries, but because a medical record serves as important evidence. Photos will help demonstrate how severely you or your loved one was injured.
Do Call a Seattle Dog Bite Attorney as Soon as Possible
If you’re bitten by a dog in Seattle, you should contact a Seattle dog bite lawyer right away. Not only will an experienced attorney help you avoid the common pitfalls many often make after they’ve been injured by a dog, but an attorney will also guide you through the legal process and help you understand what compensation you’re entitled to. The skilled attorneys of Max Meyers Law understand how traumatic dog bites injuries are, and if you’ve been attacked or bitten by a dog, contact us online today or call 425-399-7000 for a free case evaluation.