What You Should Do After A Dog Bite

Dog bites are one of the most common forms of personal injury in the state of Michigan. They can vary widely in severity, from minor scratches to life threatening injuries.

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, your first reaction might to be to seek medical attention. If the injury is severe, you should certainly prioritize getting medical help. However, there are other steps you should take if you want to make a convincing legal case and receive damages for your dog bite injury.

Here, we’ll discuss what you need to do after a dog bite, and how you can take the necessary steps to secure the payout you are entitled to.

Gather Evidence Of The Dog Bite

Dog bites happen all of the time. However, it can sometimes be difficult to actually prove that you were bitten by someone else’s dog. That’s why it’s crucial that you take steps to gather evidence after the dog bite.  You’ll want to get the name and contact information of any witnesses to the dog bite, as well as of the owner of the dog. If the owner of the dog is not willing to cooperate, you can always call the police, especially if you believe the dog bite came as part of a crime.

You should also take photos of any injuries. Try to take the photos in an area with good lighting so that the extent of the injury is clear.  If the wound is severe enough to need medical attention, go to the doctor right away. Make sure that you get proper documentation for every doctor’s visit and procedure that they perform. And you’ll want a medical report that documents the severity of the injury at the time of the bite.

Clean The Wound

Even if you plan on going to the doctor, you should make sure to clean the wound out thoroughly. A dog’s mouth is packed with bacteria, many of which can cause severe infections in humans.  Use water to flush the wound, and apply an antibacterial product, such as hydrogen peroxide, to help clean out the site of the injury.

Proving Negligence Of The Dog Owner

Why do you need to gather so much information? Because proving that the dog owner was negligent can sometimes be difficult, so you’ll want as many supporting documents as possible.  Michigan law saws that a dog owner is responsible for the damages caused by their dog. That means that you can receive a payout if you are able to demonstrate that the dog that bit you belonged to a particular owner.

Call Animal Control

Accidents will happen, and not every dog bite should be reported to animal control. However, ff you believe that the dog that bit you is a threat to the safety of other people, you should report the incident to animal control.  Animal control investigators can see if the dog owner has a history of abuse or neglect, and if the animal that bit you has also been involved in other cases. If they do, this will make it easier to prove that the dog owner was negligent in their care of the dog.

The report that animal control puts together can be crucial when you are preparing your case and trying to establish the negligence of the dog owner.  And most importantly, they can help keep your community safe by getting dangerous animals off the street, and holding their owners responsible.

Will You Have To Get Rabies Treatment?

If you have been bitten by a stray dog, there is the possibility that you may have to submit yourself for rabies treatment. This is sometimes done in cases where the dog cannot be identified, so doctors take extra caution and treat you for rabies.  If the dog does have an ID tag, contact the owner to see if the dog has been treated for rabies.  Also, Michigan dog licensing laws requires the rabies vaccination to be legal in the county it resides.  There will be a tag which displays this information and you can check this to see if the dog is current on shots if the owner does not respond.  This treatment can be quite painful, so try to identify the dog and its owner if possible.

If you are bitten by a dog with an owner, it’s up to your doctor whether you receive treatment for rabies. Most doctors won’t give the treatment if the dog has been identified.

Contact A Skilled Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

Once you’ve taken the first steps in building a strong case, you should reach out to a skilled Michigan dog bite attorney. They can help you assess your legal options, as well as estimate the value of your claim.  At the Clark Law Office, we have years of experience working on dog bite cases in Michigan. We consult with your doctors, review documents and reports, and even speak to witnesses to help you build the strongest possible case.

Medical bills from a dog bite can be expensive.  Bite injuries and attacks can leave physical trauma that will never go away and affect you for the rest of your life both physically and mentally.   That’s why we fight to win you the maximum possible settlement for your case.  Fill out our free case evaluation form online, or contact us by phone today.