A dog attack can leave lasting physical and emotional damage on anyone unfortunate enough to experience one. Man’s best friend is instantly changed into his worst enemy as soon as a dog attack commences.
Dog attacks are common occurrences that affect a significant amount of people worldwide. In fact, roughly 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States alone.
If you have been recently attacked by a dog, you may not know what to do next. The intense physical and emotional stress that a dog attack can produce may make it hard for you to plan your next move.
Fortunately, this dog attack survival guide lays out all the steps you need to follow after being attacked by a dog. Knowledge is power and this guide will give you all the knowledge you need to move forward after an assault by a vicious animal.
1. Disengage Yourself From the Dog Attack
This is the single most important step to follow in the dog attack recovery process. In the heat of the moment, it is nearly impossible to start identifying the dog or its owner.
During a dog attack, your primary priority should be removing yourself from the situation. If the dog refuses to let go after biting you, or repeatedly engages you, fight back aggressively using any items in your immediate vicinity.
Only after subduing the dog or escaping from it can you begin the evaluation process. Don’t try to identify the dog or its owner while in the midst of an attack. Wait until the danger has subsided to proceed.
2. I.D. the Dog and Its Owner
If you are safely out of harm’s way but still in the vicinity of the dog it may be useful to take a photo. If the dog is on private property, this may give you clues to its owner. Take pictures of any addresses or mailboxes nearby to substantiate your claim.
Try to at least record what breed of dog attacked you, any notable characteristics such as color or size, and the location in which the dog attack occurred.
If the owner is present and non-hostile, you may want to approach them and take down their information. Do so at your own risk.
If you can communicate with the owner, ensure that they provide you some proof of a recent rabies vaccination. If they cannot, or the dog displays any symptoms of rabies such as foaming at the mouth, you will need to undergo a series of rabies shots.
3. Obtain Care for Your Injuries
At this point, you can begin to take stock of your injuries. The more documentation the better. Start by taking pictures of any wounds before receiving medical treatment. Depending on the extent of your injuries you may need to visit the hospital.
Regardless of if you visit a hospital, walk-in clinic, or your primary care practitioner, make sure to have the medical professional give you comprehensive medical notes upon discharge.
This will help you keep records in the event you want to substantiate a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. It will also be of use to any authorities that intend on investigating the incident.
Taking care of your injuries should be a primary concern after being attacked by a dog. This can make the difference between life or death. Life-altering complications can arise if dog attack-related injuries are left untreated.
You may need to seek treatment for rabies as well if you cannot be sure that the dog who attacked you has been recently vaccinated for the disease. This involves a series of expensive and painful rabies shots.
4. File a Police Report
After seeking medical treatment for your injuries the next logical step is to contact the authorities. In order to substantiate any sort of claim for a lawsuit, you will need a proper police report.
It is not up to you to decide who is at fault. If a dog was put in the position to attack you the police need to be notified for the interest of public safety. Give the police any documentation you have already recorded at this time as well.
5. Contact a Lawyer
Now that you have recovered from the experience and recorded it in detail, you can begin seeking legal compensation. Any dog attack injury should be dealt with by a specialized dog bite lawyer.
Only they can compile all of your necessary evidence and take your case to court. That way you will be able to seek just compensation for the terrible events that have befallen you at the hands of a dog owner’s neglect.
6. Keep a Record After Being Attacked by a Dog
In order to claim physical or emotional damages from a dog attack, you need to begin recording your day-to-day existence after the grueling ordeal. How does this dog attack affect you? How does it alter your life each day?
These are the questions you need to answer via written record until the conclusion of your lawsuit. A lawyer can only monetize your level of damages with copious records that include dates and times.
Any bouts of depression or anxiety related to the attack should be recorded. As should any recurring physical effects or lasting injuries. Be specific and don’t withhold anything from your records. It all will help substantiate your case.
After being attacked by a dog the one thing that you want to do is forget about the whole terrible experience. Unfortunately, until you receive just compensation for your injuries or mental traumatization you may need to relive it over and over.
Keep in mind that it will all be over eventually and that you will be given the due compensation that you deserve. All things must pass, and a dog attack is no exception. For all of your other news needs make sure to check out the rest of our blog!