Being bitten by a dog is a traumatic event. Due to the initial shock and the pain you’re feeling, you may not know what to do next. Here are 3 things to know after suffering a dog bite in Iowa:
1. See a doctor about your dog attack injuries as soon as possible.
If the dog bite is serious enough that you’re unable to stop the bleeding, or there has been serious damage to skin or muscle tissue, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately. Depending on the level of damage, you may need stitches or even surgery to close up open injuries. Reconstructive surgery to repair wound sites may also be necessary.
This type of injury can also easily become infected if it is not cleaned out properly. Infection can damage the wounds further and can make your recovery time longer.
Be aware that doctors are required by Iowa law to report a dog bite to local authorities. If you are seen in the hospital or clinic with dog bite wounds, your doctor is required to give details to the local police department about what has occurred. If you are able, give the following details to your doctor:
- Where the dog bite took place
- If the animal has been vaccinated for rabies
- Any information about the pet owner
If you do not seek treatment at a doctor, it’s important that you call your local authorities or animal control agency to report the bite yourself. If you decide to file an Iowa dog bite lawsuit later, this report will substantiate your claim.
2. Take pictures.
Pictures can be crucial when it comes to proving to a jury how badly you were hurt. Take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible after the incident and periodically during the healing process. Photos with bandages off are especially important, so the wounds can be seen clearly. If you need to have surgery, photograph the surgical site before and after the procedure.
If you can, also take pictures of the dog that attacked you, where the attack took place, and pictures of the dog’s owner.
3. Don’t settle your Iowa dog bite claim too soon.
Settling your personal injury case before you have healed from your injuries is a bad idea. The insurance company for the dog owner will only want to write one check for any damages. If you continue to accrue medical bills after you settle, you are on the hook for those charges.
Instead, do not settle your case until you have completely healed – or as healed as a doctor says you will get. After this, it will be a good idea to talk with an Iowa personal injury lawyer experienced in dog bite cases. Initial consultations are usually free, and an attorney can help you decide what steps to take next.
RSH Legal offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation for dog bite victims. If you have been bitten by a dog and suffered serious injuries, call us today at 1-319-774-1783.