What to Do After a Dog Attack
A dog bite can produce a variety of injuries. Each type of injury requires different levels of medical attention, and even the most superficial of wounds should not be brushed off. In addition to medical attention for the wound, it is important to get all (or at least some) of the following information:
- Name and address of the owner (or the person responsible for it at the time of the attack)
- Information about the dog (including medical history if available--check with the dog's veterinarian once other more important details have been taken care of)
- Photographs of the wound soon after the bite
Once you have this information, it is also important to report the incident to the police or animal control agency in your area. This can be done after you seek out medical attention. After receiving the proper medical attention and following the doctor's directions, you can get back to the business of figuring out what happened and if you have any legal recourse to recover medical costs and receive compensation for mental and physical anguish. In order to help your attorney make this determination, you should attain the following information when available: name of insurance company, name of company representative, as well as her number and email. It is also important to get a claim number as soon as possible. Finally, get the name of the person who is on the insurance policy, and the amount of the coverage available by the policy.
There are also things you need to avoid if you speak to an insurance company representative:
- Never discuss compensation without your attorney present
- Never enter into written communication or face-to-face meeting
- Never allow the insurance company or the dog owner to do a recording of any conversations you have with them
- Never allow another party to photograph the victim or the wound?the only photos should be taken by the victim or a representative/friend of the victim.
- Never accept any kind of compensation for the injuries sustain before consulting an attorney.
It is worth repeating that the level of communication with the owner of the dog and their representatives should be kept at a minimum until you have had a chance to seek the advice of an attorney that is experienced in dog bite injury cases (see California dog bite laws.