Most dogs are wonderful animals, and it is not surprising that dogs are incredibly popular pets. But while many dogs are loving and friendly, dog bites and attacks are not uncommon in the United States. Depending on the breed and the severity of the attack, dog bites can create a number of medical problems, and a victim may require extensive medical and surgical treatment. If you are bitten or attacked by a dog owned by one of your neighbors, take the following steps:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Dog bites need to be examined by medical professionals as soon as possible to prevent an infection from setting in. More serious dog bites may require stitches or other medical attention. Any time you are bit by a dog, it is in your best interest to head to a hospital or urgent care center to ensure that the wound is cared for properly. If you sustain a dog bite to the face, it is especially important to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine if you may need plastic surgery to prevent obvious scaring.
Ask Your Neighbor for the Dog's Shot Records
While being attacked by a dog is a horrible event, you may be able to avoid painful treatments if they have the dog's medical history. Ask your neighbor for the dog's shot records to make sure that the dog is up to date on its rabies vaccination. Rabies is a fatal condition, and dog owners are typically required to have their dog vaccinated. If your neighbor is unable to provide proof that the dog is vaccinated against rabies, consult your doctor for further treatment to ensure that you do not contract this condition.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are attacked by a neighbor's dog out of the blue, there is a good chance that you are entitled to compensation to pay for your medical bills and any pain and suffering that you endure. Your best bet is to consult a personal injury lawyer in your area for advice and representation. Depending on the relationship that you have with your neighbor, you may feel uncomfortable filing a law suit against him or her. But you may feel better knowing that a person's homeowners insurance will typically cover the damages awarded in a dog bite claim, so you are not directly taking money out of your neighbor's pocket to cover medical bills and any other damages awarded.
After being involved in a serious auto accident with a drunk driver, I struggled heavily with getting the driver's insurance company to open a claim. When the insurance company started pushing back, I knew I needed to do something. I spent a lot of time digging through the laws surrounding auto accident claims so that I knew what my legal rights were. I even talked with an auto accident attorney. I created this site to teach others about what I learned, including my court experience. I hope it helps you to determine how you should proceed with your auto accident case.