Dogs can make great pets. But some of them can turn from friendly to aggressive in the blink of an eye. Sadly, for many Richmond-area residents, this means that they’re taken by surprise and suffer serious, oftentimes disfiguring injuries. The damages from a dog attack can be extensive, too, stretching far beyond just the immediate physical pain and suffering and is readily apparent. The medical expenses incurred from treatment of these injuries can be financially ruinous, and the emotional pain and suffering can be overwhelming.
All of this can be engulfing in the aftermath of a dog attack, leaving you uncertain of your next steps. Here, though, we discuss three of the very first things you should do following one of these instances:
- Seek immediate medical care: Dog bite injuries are oftentimes more severe than they seem on the surface. Gouges can run deep, and the risk of infection is very high. If left untreated, your dog bite injury could worsen and lead to a more serious medical condition that could’ve been avoided. Prompt medical attention is the only way to avoid a worse outcome. Additionally, if you plan on pursuing legal action, then you’re going to need to demonstrate the extent of your harm, which is usually shown through medical records and doctor testimony. So, make sure that you’re being timely in seeking treatment so that you can get on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. Also, don’t neglect to obtain follow up care as recommended by your doctor and get a sense of what kind of treatment you’ll need in the future.
- Exchange information: Following a dog attack, you’ll want to make sure that you exchange information with the dog’s owner. After all, you may need to contact them later on to discuss insurance or a potential legal claim. If you don’t obtain the dog owner’s information and later decide to take legal action, you might have a hard time tracking that dog owner down. If you can’t find him or her to serve him or her with notice of your lawsuit, then you’ll probably be unable to recover the compensation that you need and deserve.
- Gather evidence: If you’re going to seek compensation for your damages, then you’re going to need evidence of the dog attack itself. While your medical records will certainly help you establish the extent of your injuries and help speak to damages, you’ll need evidence of the event that caused you that harm. Oftentimes this boils down to securing witness statements. Talk to those who were present when the attack occurred and take notes as to what they say. Also, make sure that you obtain their contact information so that you can subpoena them to testify later, if needed. Also, document the extent of your wounds and how they affect your daily life. This can help you speak to the damages that you’ve suffered.
Take care of yourself to take care of your claim
We know that in the aftermath of a dog attack you just want to find accountability and the stability that you need to be able to focus on your recovery. Obtaining that outcome isn’t always as easy as it seems, but by taking care of yourself you can take care of your legal claim. After all, you can find support navigating the intricacies of your claim. By following the three steps mentioned above, you can go a long way toward protecting your interests. That said, just remember that your health is of paramount importance.