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What am I supposed to do if I get bitten by a dog?

Every year many Americans get bitten or are badly injured by dogs (and other animals). Many of the injuries may not be too serious, but there are a significant number of people that “are” badly hurt. Some may even be killed by a dog.

One of the first things that you need to do is to get medical treatment as soon as possible and make certain to document every step. Take pictures of the injuries, the doctor’s report, your other medical bills, such as medications and gather as much information as you can about the person who owns the dog, the dog and the incident you can.

If you are able to provide pictures of the dog and owner, that is also helpful. If you are able to find out if the dog has a prior history of attacking people it is also is good idea to find out if that dog has had it’s rabies shots. Do you know the owner? Does anyone in your area know the dog and/or the owner? Has their been other incidents involving this dog and owner?

Was the dog on a leash at the time of the incident? Was the dog off leash? Try to write down everything that you can recall about the attack. While you may be in shock, if you can get down as much information as possible, it would give bylaw officers and/or police a good start on trying to find the owner and the dog.

If your goal is to make a claim for injuries, that is usually done against the owner of the animal(s) and his or her home insurance company. It’s likely the insurance company is going to make every attempt they can to persuade you that you do not need to call a lawyer. Call a lawyer for advice on your legal rights.

They may also tell you the are not going to pay in advance for treatment and are only going to pay you for your out of pocket expenses. Call a lawyer and do not listen to the insurance company, because it’s in “their” best interest that you do not hire an attorney. Protect “your” rights, because the insurance company is not going to protect them.

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