Steps to Take After a Dog Bite or Animal Attack

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Posted on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024 at 1:36 am    

Steps To Take After A Dog Bite Or Animal Attack

Being bitten or attacked by a dog or another animal can be a traumatic and painful experience, leaving you with both physical and emotional scars. In the immediate aftermath of such an incident, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next.

From seeking medical attention to reporting the incident and gathering evidence, the actions you take in the wake of an animal attack can have a significant impact on your recovery and your ability to seek compensation for your injuries.

What to do After a Dog Bite or Animal Attack

Take the following steps immediately after a dog or other animal attacks you:

  • Seek medical attention – Always seek medical care on the day of the attack after a dog bite. Seeing a doctor right away is essential, even if you think your injuries are minor. For example, you might think you don’t need to see a doctor if a bite barely breaks the skin. However, untreated dog bites can become infected. Guard against this by visiting an urgent care center or emergency room after an animal attack.
  • Exchange information and gather evidence – Exchange contact and insurance information with the owner of the dog that attacked you. During this stage, you may also photograph the property where the attack occurred. If it happened on the owner’s property, pictures may show they failed to take steps to adequately restrain a dog. While there, try to find anyone who might have witnessed the attack, such as a neighbor. Get witnesses’ names and contact information.
  • Report the incident – The process of officially reporting dog bites can vary from one place to another. For example, residents of Cook County, Illinois, should report dog bites to the police. In other areas, you might call animal control.

Save documentation of any losses you incur as a result of dog bite injuries. Along with copies of your medical bills, this may include documentation of lost wages.

Animal Attack Compensation Claims: When Are You Eligible for Compensation?

Medical bills and lost wages aren’t the only losses one might struggle with after a dog bite. Animal attack injuries could also result in long-term pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of the attack, they may also result in disfigurement.

You may be able to seek compensation for such losses after a dog bite or animal attack by filing a claim with the owner’s insurance. Sometimes, the insurance company denies liability or doesn’t offer a fair settlement. You could file a lawsuit in these circumstances.

Where the attack occurred can influence how you may build a case. For example, Illinois has a strict liability dog bite law. When someone’s dog or other such pet harms another person in Illinois, the owner is usually automatically liable for their injuries in Illinois.

That’s not necessarily the case in other states. In some states, a dog owner might only be liable if they knew their dog was vicious but they failed to take steps to prevent an attack regardless. A dog bite victim in this type of state might have to gather evidence proving a dog owner was careless when filing a claim for compensation.

Legal Steps Following an Animal Attack

Steps To Take After A Dog Bite Or Animal AttackFind out the process for reporting animal attacks in your area and file a report accordingly after being harmed. In many areas, the owner of an animal who attacks someone else may also have to take certain legal steps.

Contact the animal’s owner’s insurance company shortly after the attack. You don’t want to miss any filing deadlines.

However, negotiating a settlement directly with a claims adjuster may be unwise. Consider reviewing your case with a professional who may be qualified to offer medical and legal advice for dog bite victims. A legal professional could help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.

Don’t delay when taking legal action against the owner of a dangerous dog. Regardless of where you live, a statute of limitations will require you to file a dog bite lawsuit within a certain timeframe. You won’t be able to file a lawsuit and seek damages in court if you miss the deadline.

Contact a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Dog bite laws vary from place to place. Navigating your legal options after a dog bite or animal attack can be an overwhelming process.

It doesn’t have to be. At Wallace Miller, a dog bite lawyer can review your case and explain how to proceed. We’ll aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf if you decide to hire us. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at (312) 261-6193 for a free case review.

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