If you are walking in your neighborhood and a dog passes by you and bites you on the leg, you might have a lawsuit on your hands. At the very least, the owner of the dog should be liable for any medical expenses incurred, missed work and income, and emotional trauma if it was a scary experience for you. Here are some steps to take if you are ever bitten by a dog.
Ask for the Owner's Personal Information
With most personal injury cases, getting the owner's information is crucial. If you know the owner or they were nearby when the dog bit you, get their contact information. You need their name, address, phone number, and any other information they will give you. If it was a stray dog, at least write down the address where you were bit, as it might belong to a home nearby. Even if it doesn't, there may be someone in that area that knows who the dog belongs to.
Gather Evidence and Witnesses
While you are still in the same area where you were bit, get evidence and find witnesses. If you see anyone nearby that saw the dog bite you, ask for their contact information as well. This helps if your case turns into a lawsuit. Your lawyer will contact them to get information about what they saw occur. Also get out your cell phone and take pictures of the area. If the dog is still in the vicinity, get a picture of it if it is safe to do so, but don't do this if the dog is acting defensive toward you. Get pictures of the street and nearby houses in case you forget exactly where you were when the incident occurred.
Visit Your Doctor
As soon as you have gathered your evidence, you need to get medical attention. If you can't see your doctor because their office isn't open, go to urgent care or the closest emergency room. You may need to get a shot to prevent a serious illness, especially if you don't know the owner of the dog and can't verify it has had its vaccinations. This also helps you get proper treatment for the wound and to get evidence of medical care. It is very useful in a personal injury case when you have medical records to show the court.
Get Advice From a Lawyer
Finally, speak to a personal injury attorney about the incident. They will ask for details about where you were and how the incident occurred, then offer advice about how to proceed next. They will help you with the case if they feel you should sue the owner of the dog.
If you were bit by a stray dog, it is a good idea to call animal control. This keeps the dog off the streets so it doesn't harm anyone else.
If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, you may qualify for social security disability payments. This money comes from a fund you have probably contributed to during your time in the work force, and it is likely that you have the right to disability payments using this money. As an attorney specializing in social security disability, I have a great deal of experience in helping clients determine if they qualify for disability payments. I hope that this blog will help people who have been injured understand what it means to qualify for social security disability benefits and how to go about getting that help.