Having dogs can benefit you in many ways. These furry friends will keep you company when you’re lonely, double as your running buddy to keep you in shape, and even become your faithful buddy to the end. They make excellent pets and help out on the farm. You can even serve alongside law enforcement to protect you and the community.
But like any animal, its gentle nature can change. Dogs can also become triggered and aggressive through no fault of their own. It can startle you with a loud bark, but there may be times when it can cause more serious injuries.
A dog’s strong legs can knock you over and sprain your ankle. It can lunge at you, landing you face first on the concrete or sidewalk. Sharp claws can scratch your arms or face. Worse, there might be no warning until you feel its teeth on your clothing and skin. Dogs can also chase bicycles, motorcycles, and cars, which can result in injury or even death to drivers and passengers.
Dog injuries, no matter how small they may seem, cannot be ignored. Knowing what to do when a dog bites or hurts you can not only save your life but also support your claims should you decide to go to court.
The dog bites
According to Oklahoma-based Dogbite Safety, dog bites are the fifth leading cause of hospital emergency room visits. About 10,000 to 13,000 are hospitalized each year. Of these, 30 to 50 people die.
Dog injuries can range from minor scratches to deep wounds. Here are the things to do if you get bitten by a dog:
Open wounds are prone to infection and rabies. You should seek medical help immediately. Wounds also need to be monitored until they are fully healed. It’s also best to keep a medical record and copies of hospital bills.
- Get dog and owner information
After the incident, ask the dog owner and handler their names and contact information. You can also check if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies. Also inquire if their pet insurance has liability insurance to cover your claims.
- Report the incident
In addition to contacting owners or carers, you would also need to report the incident to animal welfare authorities. You can pick up the dog to check if it is rabid and quarantine the animal if necessary. You can even check with the authorities to see if there have been similar incidents involving the dog in the past that could increase your claim for damages.
- Contact a dog bite attorney
If you find yourself, a Victim of a dog bite in Oklahoma, you can consult attorneys to evaluate your dog-related injury case. They can use the documents you’ve collected and even help provide additional evidence to support your claims. They can provide expert assistance with local state laws and help determine the compensation you are entitled to.
Bites aren’t the only ways dogs can cause harm. Encounters can lead to serious falls or even car accidents. Aside from the above, to show the extent of your dog-related injuries, you must also collect the following:
Take photos of the dog or the area where the incident happened. You can include details like an open gate, a hole in the fence, or a sidewalk. You must also take photos of your visible injuries as evidence of the accident.
Aside from photos, journal entries detailing the event can help inform authorities of what happened. To get proper compensation, you need to factor in hospital bills, medical records, lost wages, and even travel expenses.
Witnesses are people who have seen the incident and are willing to testify. You would need their statements to support your story and disprove the owner’s version of the incident. testimonies are also helpful with insurance claims and if you decide to take legal action.
Keep a record of all correspondence you receive regarding the incident. You can communicate with witnesses, negotiate with dog owners or with insurance adjusters. These records can build your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Dog bites can endanger your health and safety. Seeking medical help can help eliminate possible signs of infection and rabies. While minor wounds may require a visit to the local clinic or emergency room, serious injuries may require hospitalization. These not only bring pain, but can also result in lost hours and income. It can even be so severe that it can lead to reduced mobility or even disability.
Keeping relevant documents and correspondence with witnesses can help you file insurance claims or lawsuits. It’s also best to work with experienced injury attorneys to get compensation for dog-related injuries.