• Seek treatment immediately. The best thing you can do after a dog bite is to seek medical treatment and follow your doctor’s orders.
  • Notify authorities. If you have been bitten, contact the police or county dog warden so that the appropriate reports can be made. Also, all bites are required to be reported to the local health department. The dog must be quarantined for ten days in order to determine whether it had rabies at the time of the bite.
  • Do not rush to settle your claim. Don’t settle your claim before you complete your medical treatment. A few thousand dollars may sound good until you realize it doesn’t come close for compensating you for your injuries.
  • Do not underestimate the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters have a huge advantage over you because they settle claims every day. You need a lawyer to help deal with them.
  • Do not provide a statement to the adjuster. Don’t make any statements about your case until you consult with a lawyer.
  • Do not sign medical authorization forms. Don’t sign authorization forms that permit an insurance company access to your private medical records. Only sign forms completed by your lawyer and make sure that any documents you receive you send to your lawyer to review.
  • Document everything. Start your own file for all police, medical, and insurance documents related to your case. You can also use this file for correspondence from your attorney.
  • Photograph the wounds on the victim and the dog that bit the victim if possible. It will be very important later on that good photographs are taken immediately after the bite has occurred. This means you need to take photos of the injuries as well as the perpetrating dog, if at all possible, without trespassing on the owner’s property. We normally take photos later in the process, but sometimes a dog owner owns multiple dogs of the same breed and only an identifiable collar or specific marking showing up in a photograph will make it possible to identify the attacking dog later.
  • Honesty is the best policy. Be honest about your injuries. Nothing will destroy your claim faster than being caught in a lie.
  • Do not hide information from your lawyer. Your lawyer needs to know the good, bad, and ugly about your case to properly represent you. What you do not tell your lawyer now will inevitably come out later. You do not want your attorney to be surprised in the courtroom.
  • Do not exaggerate your injuries. Exaggerating the extent of your injuries could come back to haunt you if the insurance company films you participating in an activity you shouldn’t be able to do.
  • Hire a personal injury lawyer who has experience with dogbite cases. Insurance companies employ their own attorneys and professionals who deal with personal injury cases every day. You need an experienced attorney also!

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Critical Steps to Take Now in Case of a Dog Bite Attack
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