The decisions you make after being injured in a San Diego dog attack can affect your ability to recover fair compensation for your injuries. Below is a general guideline from our San Diego dog bite lawyers on what to do after an animal attack.
1. Get to a Safe Place and Check for Injuries
After being attacked by a dog it is important to get to a safe place out of harm’s way and evaluate your injuries. Often dog bites cause significant injury and require immediate medical attention. Make sure to call 911 if it is a life threatening injury. After you are safe and have received medical treatment, here are a few steps to consider to protect your legal rights.
2. Obtain Important Information About the Dog and Owner
It is important to identify the type of dog, owner of the dog and where the dog lives. It is also important to document where the dog attacked you. All of this information is relevant to establish who is legally responsible for the dog that attacked you.
3. Report the Dog Attack
Next, report the dog bite to the San Diego police department and animal control. San Diego County Code requires that both the person bitten by a dog as well as the owner of a dog that bites a person, must promptly report the incident to the Department of Animal Services. Reporting the dog bite is important so that the animal can be temporarily isolated and observed for at least 10 days for any symptoms of rabies. The isolation of the dog also helps to ensure other people are protected from the animal.
4. See a Doctor and Document Dog Bite Injuries
It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a dog attack. Document your injuries by taking photographs of your injuries and continue to take photographs of how your injury heals. After seeing your physician, obtain a copy of your medical records relating to the accident and keep an accounting of your medical expenses.
5. Seek Legal Advice Prior to Giving a Statement
Do not discuss the specifics of the attack with an insurance adjuster or dog owner without first seeking legal advice. This may prejudice your ability to recover compensation from the dog owner including medical expenses, lost wages, future surgery, scars or disfigurement and pain and suffering. An experienced San Diego dog bite attorney can assist you in holding a negligent dog owner accountable and establishing a claim for compensation.