4 Mistakes to Avoid after a Dog Bite
Dog bites are fairly regular occurrences in Florida, unfortunately. According to Florida Health, about 600 Floridians are hospitalized each year due to dog bites, and about 2 people die. Even normally well-behaved dogs sometimes go off the rails and attack children, neighbors, and complete strangers.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you might be in shock. However, you need to swing into action to protect your right to compensation. At our law firm, we meet with dog bite victims who made critical errors in the moments and days after the attack. Here’s what not to do after a dog bite.
Mistake #1: You Don’t Identify the Dog Owner
Someone is responsible for the dog that attacked you, and you might be able to sue this person for compensation. However, you need to know the dog owner. If you were bitten on private property or inside someone’s home, then identifying the owner is relatively easy.
If a dog ran up to you on the sidewalk, though, then you might not immediately know who owns it. In this case, call the police. They can investigate and identify the dog owner for you.
Mistake #2: You Don’t Receive Prompt Medical Attention
Unless the dog bite is truly superficial—meaning the skin wasn’t broken—you should go to the hospital soon after the attack. Dog bites are often infectious, and you want a doctor to clean the wound and close it. Your doctor will also decide whether you need a tetanus booster or a rabies vaccination. If you don’t go to the doctor, then you could suffer a terrible infection and be left with serious scarring. Even worse, you might die from rabies.
If you are bleeding profusely, you can use a shirt, towel, or other piece of cloth to stop the bleeding. If necessary, you can also clean the wound at home with soap and warm water. However, you should get to the hospital soon for professional attention.
Mistake #3: You Don’t Make an Insurance Claim
A dog bite should be covered by the dog owner’s renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy. You can receive compensation for medical care, any lost income, and pain and suffering.
Some people don’t make a claim or never even find out if the dog owner has insurance. If you wait too long, it can become nearly impossible to get compensation. As soon as feasible, ask the dog owner for their insurance information and contact the insurer to report the attack.
Mistake #4: You Wait to Hire an Attorney
The sooner you hire a Delray Beach dog bite lawyer, the faster we can go about building your case for compensation. An experienced attorney can carefully document what happened, using witness testimony, medical records, and a police report. We can also negotiate with an insurer or the dog owner for money.
Reach out to Earnhart Law today. You can call 561-265-2220 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We will meet with you to go over the dog attack and develop a plan for maximizing your recovery.