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Steps to Follow if You’re Bitten by a Dog

Posted on February 9, 2023 in Dog Bites

Being attacked by a dog is a traumatic and frightening experience. You may not know what to do in the aftermath of the event or how to seek help. However, it is important to try to think ahead to a time when you may have to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the pet owner. Take these steps to protect yourself and your rights if you get bitten by a dog in Los Angeles.How to handle a dog bite

Stay Calm and Get to Safety

Put your personal well-being and safety first. Try to remain calm to avoid further aggravating the animal. If the dog that bit you is running at large, do not try to catch the animal. Get to a safe place away from the dog and call for help.

Contact the Authorities

If your injuries are severe enough to constitute an emergency, call 911 to request an ambulance. You should also contact animal control in your county to inform them of the situation and report the attack. If an aggressive dog is running at large, animal control can attempt to catch it. If the owner is present, animal control will still need to know about the incident for record-keeping purposes. They may also choose to quarantine the dog to check for rabies.

Identify the Dog Owner

While you are still at the scene of the dog attack, identify the owner or keeper of the dog and write down his or her information. This includes the pet owner’s name, address and information about the pet, such as when it received its last vaccinations. You may also wish to obtain the pet owner’s homeowners insurance information. This type of insurance will typically cover injuries and medical bills that result from a dog bite, as dogs are classified as property in California.

Document the Attack

Before you leave the scene of the attack, document the incident. Document things such as where you were when you were bitten, the time and date of the attack, a description of the dog, the pet owner’s information, photographs of the scene, and photos of your injuries.

Seek Medical Care

Get professional medical care after a dog bite incident that breaks the skin. The number one concern with a dog bite injury is the risk of infection. Dogs have many types of bacteria in their mouths that can be transferred to a victim. Dogs can also carry serious diseases, including rabies. If the dog has not been vaccinated, you may need to obtain a rabies shot. You may also need sutures, surgery and antibiotics. Obtain copies of all medical bills and records connected to a dog bite injury.

File an Insurance Claim

Contact the dog owner’s homeowners insurance company, if available, to file a claim. Explain what happened but do not admit fault for the incident. If the insurance company believes that you provoked or taunted the dog or that you were on private property, they may deny your claim. You may also receive a settlement offer that is inadequate for the extent of your severe dog bite injury and related losses. You may need to hire an attorney to help you negotiate with a pet owner’s insurance company after a dog attack.

Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer

A Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyer can help you seek a fair legal remedy to help you pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses that you suffered from the dog attack. An experienced attorney can help you pursue maximum financial compensation from the pet owner or his or her insurance company. For more information about what to do after a dog bite injury, request a free consultation with a lawyer at Rose, Klein & Marias, LLP.