An attack by a dog is a terrifying event and can be even more heartbreaking if a child is involved. If your child has been bitten by a dog, there are 5 steps to take to preserve your rights and get fair compensation:
Get Your Child Medical Treatment
The most important thing to do after a dog attack is to get your child medical treatment. Call 911 and request an ambulance. Even if your child does not seem seriously hurt, it’s crucial that your child receives a medical evaluation.
Dog mouths are filled with bacteria and bites need to be cleaned thoroughly and checked for infection. Injuries could need stitches or even plastic surgery. A series of rabies shots may also be necessary for your child if there is no proof of the dog’s vaccination history.
There may also be emotional trauma that needs to be addressed as well. Your child may feel nervous or anxious in the days following the attack. It’s important to keep treating any injuries – physical or mental – until your child is healed, or as healed as a doctor says they will get.
Identify the Owner of the Dog
If you are able, identify the owner of the dog who bit your child. Let them know that your child has serious injuries and has gotten medical treatment for those injuries. Ask them for their name and contact information, as well as their policy number for their homeowner’s insurance.
Preserve Evidence of the Dog Attack
While your most important job is to get your child treatment for their injuries, it is also crucial to preserve as much evidence of the dog attack as possible. One of the ways you can do this is to take photos.
We recommend you get photos of the following:
- Any injuries your child suffered while they are fresh, and then pictures throughout the healing process
- Photos of the dog that bit your child, if you can safely
- Gather witness information and testimony, if there were any witnesses to the attack
- Photos of any property damage (like damaged fences) or blood at the scene of the attack
- Any clothes that were ripped or torn off during the attack. Also, make sure to keep these clothes in a paper or plastic bag with the date attached and do not wash them.
Report the Dog Bite to the Proper Authorities
As soon as you are able, report the dog bite to your local authorities. That may be the local animal control or local law enforcement. While the hospital that treats your child is required to make a report, you should do so as well to make sure the report is filed.
Supply the authorities with as much information as you can about the dog, the dog owner, and where and when the attack happened.
Speak to an Experienced Iowa Dog Bite Lawyer
You need to speak with an experienced Iowa animal attack lawyer to get a fair settlement for your child’s injuries. An attorney can help determine what types of compensation your child could receive, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Payment of medical bills
- Any lost wages that you suffered when taking your child to doctors’ appointments
- Loss of function – if your child’s injuries will limit their options for job opportunities in the future, you may be able to get compensation for this.
RSH Legal offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation for dog bite victims. To schedule yours, call 1-800-433-0283 today.