Dog owners are required by law to be responsible for the actions of their animals. While dogs can be beloved, cuddly pets, if poorly trained or left to develop bad habits, they can pose a serious threat to the humans and animals around them. If you ever find yourself (or your pet) on the receiving end of a dog attack, there are important steps to take to ensure you bring the strongest possible case to your personal injury attorney in Los Angeles.
Seek Medical Treatment for your Injury
Your first priority should be to seek medical attention immediately. A dog bite is no joking matter. Even a small dog bite may pose serious risks to your health. If not treated early, complications may develop. Ask the doctor to document the injury and its treatment as thoroughly as possible.
It is important to photograph the injuries the dog caused as soon as possible. Specifically, it is best to have photographic evidence of the damage at its worst and not after it has been sutured or left to heal. The better your records of the injury, the stronger your case will be.
Get Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers
Your next priority should be to document the date, time and location of the incident, names, phone numbers, and addresses of both the owner of the dog and any witnesses that may have been around. There are two reasons this step matters. First, identifying the dog’s owner ensures you know who is liable for its behavior. Second, finding the owner allows you to check the dog’s vaccination records, which will help determine whether you end up receiving rabies shots or other treatment.
File an Official Report
You need to file an official report with both the police and your local animal control organization. Following the official line of reporting and investigating will help create a strong record of events surrounding the bite and will create a documentable paper trail that ensures the details of your case stay in order. If you haven’t yet filed a report, odds are good your personal injury attorney will request that you file one ASAP.
Discuss the value of your injury or potential settlements with an insurance company or the dog owner. If you are contacted by anyone representing the dog owner, whether it be an insurance company or attorney, inform them that you are being represented by a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles and provide them with your attorney’s contact information.