A dog bite can happen in the blink of an eye and leave you or a loved one severely injured, confused and in pain. You may not know what to do next. If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog in Iowa, keep reading to find out what next steps you should take.
If you have been attacked by a dog, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. As you may imagine, a dog’s mouth is not very hygienic, which could lead to a serious infection or other complications from the bite. It’s important to have any bites and scrapes cleaned out properly by a doctor. If your injuries are severe enough, you may need physical therapy or reconstructive surgery.
The dog’s owner is required to report the attack to the proper law enforcement authorities, but this does not always happen. Therefore, we recommend reporting the attack yourself. The report may need to be filed with your local animal control officer or health department. You usually find this information on your city or county’s website.
Iowa law says the owner of the dog is liable for any injuries you suffer from the animal attack. If you are bitten or fall down and hurt yourself while being attacked by a dog, the owner of the dog is required to pay for all medical bills associated with your injuries.
However, the dog owner may not be responsible for your injuries if you were bitten or injured while engaging in an unlawful act. For example, if you were breaking into someone’s house, and you were bitten by the homeowner’s dog, then you would not be able to get compensation for your injuries.
Frequently in cases involving dog bites, a person experiences physical scarring in the area of the wounds, as well as fear and anxiety around animals in the future. Do not hesitate to talk to medical professionals, including a plastic surgeon, about all of your injuries. You should also speak with a therapist to help you cope with being around other dogs you will experience in your life.
In Iowa, you generally have two years from the date of the dog attack to settle your claim or file a lawsuit. If you do not do one of these two things before the two year anniversary is up, you may lose out on your right to any compensation.
That is why it is important to speak with an experienced Iowa personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. An attorney may be able to get you compensation for your medical bills and any pain and suffering associated with the attack.
Don’t let the dog owner’s insurance company offer you a lowball settlement for your harms and losses. Call RSH Legal at 1-800-433-0283 and get your free, no-obligation, personalized case evaluation from one of our experienced Iowa personal injury attorneys.
Fill out the quick contact form below to get in touch with the Fighting For Fairness team. Tell us your story, and we'll tell you how we can help.