If possible, you'll want to locate and identify the dog's owner. This may not always be possible if the dog is a stray or is missing proper identification on it's collar. In the event that you can identify the owner, make sure to obtain all their contact information such as their name, phone number, address and email. You'll also need to write down their insurance company and policy number.
Seek Medical Attention
In the event that you've sustained injuries such as deep bite marks, immediately seek medical attention, particularly a plastic surgeon. If they prescribe medication like antibiotics, follow the directions and finish the prescription. Make it a priority to attend all necessary follow up appointments and treatments. Taking all these steps will be important to building your case.
Keep Quiet Regarding Your Case
One of the best ways to ensure the strength of your case is be remaining quiet about the details. Never talk about your claim's value to anyone. Besides the fact that you never really know the actual value of the case until it's settled, you could compromise this value by talking about it. You also never want to give a statement to anyone, whether it be written or verbal. Insurance companies can easily manipulate your words to use them against you, even when you think you're making an innocent comment. They'll find anything they can to break your case.
Gather Any Witnesses
If you suspect that someone saw the attack occur, you'll want to obtain their contact information to help build your case. Even if they didn't see the attack but helped afterwards and saw your wounds, they can still be a valuable asset so make sure you take down their name, address, phone number and email as well.
Don't Talk to the Defense Attorney
It's likely that the defense attorney will want to record a statement from you or photograph you. Do not do this under any circumstance. The lawyer you hire should be the only one in contact with the opposing counsel. You can guarantee that the defense attorney will find a way to use misconstrue anything you say, just like the insurance companies. Only allow your own attorney to video tape, record or photograph you.
Do Not Discuss Who is at Fault
In some instances, you may feel that you actually instigated the attack, but never admit this. Maintain that you are innocent in this situation until proven guilty. Keep any of these feelings to yourself because it will be used against you in your case.
Take Photographs of Your Wounds
As soon as possible following the attack, make sure to take as many photos of the injures as possible. Even a camera phone will work well to take photos immediately and then you can take some with a better camera later on. Any bite marks, punctures, lesions, bruises or other injuries you may have sustained will trying to get away from the dog should have photos taken of them. As time goes by, continue to take photos of the wounds progression, regardless of whether they're healing or getting worse. Often times, bruises will look their worst two or three days after the incident.
Contact an Attorney
If you've been attacked by a dog, you should contact an experience attorney as soon as possible, regardless of the severity of your injuries. They will be able to coach you on how to proceed with your case and will advise you of your legal rights. By hiring an attorney immediately, you'll have the greatest chance of gaining compensation to pay for your damages, lost wages, and any other costs you may incur as a result of the attack.
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