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4 Steps to Take After Receiving a Dog Bite

Published on July 14th, 2020

There are an estimated 78 million pet dogs living in the United States (ASPCA). Many dog owners could never imagine their pet attacking anyone. Even with ample training, there are circumstances that can cause a dog to behave unpredictably. When a dog attacks a person, the resulting injuries can be very serious and cause a financial burden. 

In Illinois, the statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit after a dog bite is two (2) years. Here are the first steps to take after the unthinkable has happened.

Step 1: Seek Medical Treatment

Many people don’t take their injury seriously in the immediate aftermath of an encounter with an animal. Unfortunately, some bites will be more harmful than they appear. The dog may have a transmittable disease, like rabies, which can seriously harm and kill a person who contracts it. A bite from a dog or any other animal can also carry harmful bacteria which could result in an infection. Not only is seeking medical attention important for your safety, visiting can help you establish the connection necessary to support a future personal injury lawsuit.

Tip: Avoid Giving a Statement to an Insurance Company

If you are approached by an insurance company representative at this stage or later on, do not provide a statement regarding the nature of your injury. In many cases, insurance adjusters will look for reasons to use your statement against you and deny you coverage. It’s best to make any official statements through a Rockford personal injury attorney.

Step 2: Photograph Injuries

Never prioritize gathering photographs over your own safety; once you have sought medical attention, ask someone to take a few pictures of your wound. It’s also a good idea to continue to take photos as your wound heals. Photographic evidence of your injuries supports claims made in court and provides juries with a visceral sense of the pain you went through.

Step 3: Report the Bite

Notifying police or animal control about the incident is another way to document the incident. If you ultimately file a lawsuit against the pet owner, a police report or records from animal control can provide corroborating evidence of your claim. 

Step 4: Contact Our Rockford Personal Injury Attorney

Getting a lawyer involved early on can improve your chances of success at court. The American Law Firm offers free consultations to all prospective clients to encourage people to seek the legal advice they need. If you’ve been recently injured, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask for help.

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