It doesn't matter if you're on the Betty-White level of animal lover, the Cruella-de-Vil level, or anywhere in between, being bitten or attacked by a dog can be an especially traumatic experience. In addition to the emotional trauma you may experience, dog bites and attacks can also cause severe injuries and result in a pile of medical bills. From broken skin and fractured bones to serious infection and potential permanent disfigurement, being attacked by a dog is no walk in the park. To make matters worse, if the dog belongs to a neighbor, you may feel even more hesitation to take legal action to get compensation for your injuries. It's important to know that if you've been bitten or attacked by your neighbor's dog, their home insurance may facilitate your recovery and healing. If you've been injured and are unsure where to turn next, read today's blog, which we've written to provide some clarity and direction on the confusing and emotionally taxing situation a neighbor's (or someone else's) dog may have put you in.
If you have additional questions or would like further guidance, please text or call our dog bite lawyers in Arizona and New Mexico at 602-345-1818. You may also opt to fill out our online form, and we will reach out to you to set up your free initial consultation and case review.
Steps to Take After a Dog Attack
To protect your wellbeing and legal rights, there are a few steps you'll want to take after being bitten or attacked by a dog:
- Find and talk to the dog's owner - If you don't know the owner, take steps to identify them. There are a few ways that you may go about this. You might ask around the neighborhood to see if your neighbors have seen the dog and have information on who the owner is. You can also contact the local law enforcement, animal control, humane society, or other rescues in the area. If your neighbor's dog attacks you, and you don't know their name, be sure to obtain their name, contact information, and the dog's vaccination records.
- Obtain any vaccination records available - One of the most important things you should do after a dog bite is find out about rabies vaccinations. Rabies can be extremely serious and often fatal in humans. If you cannot identify the owner of the dog, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once rabies symptoms begin to manifest, the chances of survival decrease.
- Don't talk to anyone about the incident - If you do go tell your neighbor that their dog is loose or go next door to obtain their contact information, be sure to keep the incident details at a minimum. You don't want to say anything that may jeopardize your recovery going forward.
- Contact Animal Control - Whenever a dog attacks a person or another animal, it should be reported to the local animal control, so they can make a report. Depending on your location, you may be able to file this report online or by phone. If you're in Maricopa County, Arizona, you can file online.
- Seek medical attention - Even minor dog bites can turn into something quite serious, as they have a high risk of becoming infected. It's advisable to seek medical attention and follow your doctor's orders. The medical report will help document your injury (and any potential worsening) as you commence your claim.
- Get as much evidence as you can - If possible, take photos of the dog, your injuries, the scene of the accident. Get names and contact information from witnesses who may have seen the attack. If you have bloody clothes from the attack, be sure to keep those, too. These things could serve as potential evidence to prove your damages.
- Consult an experienced dog bite lawyer - Filing a claim to obtain compensation for your damages can be complicated, tedious, and technical. Additionally, the homeowner's insurance company will try everything in its power to deny your claim or pay you as little as possible. Don't let anything stand in your way when it comes to your financial, physical, and emotional recovery.
Potential Dog Bite Injury Compensation
Your total dog bite settlement will depend on the specific facts of your case and the losses you incurred due to the incident. Generally, in a dog bite case, a few forms of compensation may be available to you:
- Medical expenses - If you've been injured by your neighbor's dog and need medical care to recover, compensation to cover these expenses may be awarded to you. This may include the initial emergency room or doctor visit, x-rays, stitches, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, etc. Be sure to keep good records of all costs associated with the dog attack.
- Lost income - If you missed one or more days of work, your lost wages may be compensated, as well. You may also be entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity if the injury has affected your ability to perform your job.
- Non-economic damages - Sometimes, you may be entitled to non-economic damages, which include things like emotional trauma, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
It's important to consult an experienced dog bite lawyer in Arizona or New Mexico to understand what your injury settlement could include.
Get Your Free Consultation Today
At Impact Legal, we provide free initial case reviews. To schedule yours, text or call us at 602-345-1818 if you're in Arizona or 505-386-2807 if you're in New Mexico. You may also fill out the contact form on our dog bite lawyer webpage. We will work tirelessly to fight for your right to recover. Don't wait to get your life back on track – contact us today! You deserve to get better.