While many dogs are loyal, friendly companions, approximately 4.5 million adults and children are bitten by dogs each year. If a dog bit or attacked you, you could suffer an infection, scarring and disfigurement, nerve damage, and other serious injuries. Here are essential steps you should take to protect your health and your right to compensation for your injuries under Virginia’s dog bite laws.
Step #1: Seek Prompt Medical Care
If you were attacked by a dog and suffered a serious injury, you should call 911 for immediate medical care. You should try to stop the bleeding if the injury was a puncture wound and seek prompt medical care to avoid infection, nerve damage, and other injuries.
Step #2: Obtain Information on the Dog and Owner
Identify the owner of the dog and get their contact information and their insurance information if available. It is also crucial to obtain the vaccination information for the dog to avoid unnecessarily having to get painful rabies shots.
Step #3: File a Report
File a report about the dog attack with your local health department. Call animal control if the dog fled so that they can locate the dog and determine if the dog was vaccinated. Reporting the dog bite documents that you were bitten and may also protect others if the dog is dangerous.
Step #4: Get Witness Contact Information
If there were witnesses to the dog attack, obtain their contain information. They can corroborate what happened if the dog owner denies their liability for compensating you.
Step #5: Take Pictures
Use your cell phone camera to take pictures of the dog, the scene of your attack, and your injuries. If you are too hurt to do this, ask a bystander to take them for you.
Step #6: Retain a Lawyer
You should hire an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible after you were bitten. They can determine what insurance coverage the dog owner has and collect the evidence you need to support your claim. They will also fight with the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Did a dog in Norfolk bite you or a family member? Call our office to schedule a free consultation today to get your questions answered and learn about how we can assist you.