If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Iowa, there are certain mistakes you need to avoid making after the incident in order to protect yourself and your rights. Here are the six most common mistakes we see Iowa dog bite victims make – and what steps you can take to avoid them.
1. Failure to get treatment for your dog bite injuries right away.
Even if the bites don’t seem serious, it’s important to be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. If a dog has broken skin while biting you, you need to have the wounds cleaned and dressed or else you risk infection. If your wounds are serious, you may need a plastic surgeon to repair the damage.
You may also need to get rabies prevention shots if the dog has not been vaccinated recently. Rabies is a fatal disease if not treated, so it’s important to see a doctor right away.
2. Failure to take pictures.
Photographs can help explain what happened and show the extent of your injuries. It’s one thing to have medical records documenting your injuries, but photos of these wounds are much more powerful. When it comes to documenting injuries from an animal attack, pictures really are worth a thousand words.
If you are able, try to get the following photographs:
- Pictures of your injuries without bandages soon after the attack
- Pictures of your injuries during the healing process
- Pictures of the location of the attack
- Pictures of the attacking animal
- Pictures of the dog’s owner
Do not put yourself in further danger by attempting to take these photographs. Your safety is more important than these pictures.
3. Failure to seek medical treatment for an injured pet.
Many times, an animal attack can also involve your pet. Just like when you fail to get medical treatment for yourself, failure to get treatment for your pet after it’s been bitten can result in worsening injuries and lack of documentation for a possible Iowa personal injury case. You can seek compensation for your animal’s injuries, but it’s hard to put a number on these injuries if treatment was never sought after an attack.
If your pet has wounds, have those injuries treated. Also make sure to take pictures of the injuries, just like you would for yourself.
4. Failure to notify the authorities after your dog bite.
Iowa law requires the owner of a dog that has attacked someone to report the attack to local authorities. The victim of a dog bite is also able to submit a report of the incident. Even if the dog owner claims they will submit a bite report, it is a good idea to do one yourself. This way you know the attack is properly documented and the appropriate authorities have been notified of the dangerous animal.
5. Giving a recorded statement to the dog owner’s insurance company.
Most insurance adjusters know much more than you do when it comes to personal injury cases. That means that giving any recorded statements to an insurance company after a dog bite case could weaken or eliminate your claim. Insurance representatives are trained to take recorded statements that can be used against you. They may seem concerned about your injuries on the phone, but don’t be fooled – they are trained by their employers to get damaging statements from you.
6. Settling your Iowa dog bite case too soon.
Settling your case before you’re completely healed means that you could be left paying medical expenses out of your own pocket. The insurance company will only write you one settlement check. If you continue to rack up medical bills from your dog bite after you have settled, these bills will have to be paid out of your settlement money. Very little could be left in your pocket after all of the medical bills have been paid.
You don’t want to sign away your rights without having someone on your side. That is why we recommend contacting an experienced Iowa dog bite attorney. An attorney can deal with the insurance company and fight for fair compensation for your injuries.
RSH Legal offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Call us today at 1-319-774-1783 to schedule your free case evaluation today.