A dog bite or animal attack can be a terrifying experience for adults and children alike. Not only can you sustain serious physical injuries, but you can also experience severe emotional trauma due to the incident. When a dog bite occurs, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, as well as emotional support.

This type of accident is serious and should not be dealt with lightly. In today’s post, we will explore the initial steps you should take after you or your child has sustained a personal injury from a dog bite. At Woods & Thompson, P.A. in the Twin Cities, our personal injury lawyers specialize in a variety of accident-related cases, including dog bite injuries and animal attacks. If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer to represent you in a case, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Seek Medical Attention

Animal teeth and claws can cause a serious amount of damage in very little time. Deep scratches or puncture wounds may require stitches or even surgery. On top of this, an animal attack can cause serious amounts of stress and anxiety after the fact, for which you should seek counseling.

Because animals carry diseases and bacteria, it’s also important to seek medical attention to make sure you don’t contract a disease or your bites don’t develop an infection.

Physical Care

As we’ve mentioned, dog bites can cause serious injuries. After you’ve sustained a bite or been involved in an animal attack, do your best to stop any bleeding and seek medical attention right away. A doctor will clean and examine the extent of your injuries, treating them as necessary. They may even prescribe painkillers.

Your doctor will want to know if the animal has been vaccinated for rabies and other harmful diseases, so you should gather this information from the owner of the pet. This is vital information so that you can be inoculated in a timely manner if necessary.

Emotional Support

A dog bite or animal attack can be emotionally traumatizing for adults and children alike, so it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms of increased stress and anxiety. If you’ve experienced a dog bite, you may experience:

  • A fear of dogs
  • A drop in self-esteem from scarring
  • Agoraphobia
  • Flashbacks
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

If your child has sustained an injury from a dog bite, they may display a change in behavior. Keep an eye out for:

  • Crying
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Recurring or worsening nightmares
  • Unexplainable fear or anger
  • Social withdrawal
  • Bed wetting
  • Becoming overly clingy

Like many personal injury accidents, the injuries sustained aren’t always physical, but emotional as well. Seek counseling after a dog bite or animal attack so that you can develop coping mechanisms to overcome any fear, stress, or anxiety that develops due to the accident.

Exchange Information

Seeking medical attention is vital, but you should also exchange contact information with the owner of the animal and any witnesses to the accident. Again, your medical provider will want to know about the animal’s vaccination history, so you need to be able to get in contact with the owner to verify this information.

Gathering contact information from witnesses will allow you to get more information about the events leading up to the incident, as well as how events transpired. 

Gather Witness Statements

It will help reinforce your claim if you have one or more witnesses who can verify your story. You can try to gather statements from the witnesses directly following the accident, or you can follow up with them afterward with the contact information you gathered.

Multiple points of view help prove a case when it goes to court and when an insurance claim is made, so the more witness statements you can gather, the better.

Contact Animal Control

Animal control is trained to understand dog and other animal behavior. Notify them of the accident so that they can investigate further and prevent future animal attacks. It can also reinforce your claims when you get animal control involved.

Document Injuries & Damage

On top of gathering witness statements, you should also make a written account of what happened in your own words. It can be difficult to recall memories shortly after events occur, so the sooner that you can write down what happened, the more information you’ll be able to provide the insurance company and your personal injury lawyer.

You should also take photographs of all injuries, torn clothing, and damaged property. Save clothing for evidence so that the jury has proof of the accident.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Dealing with the consequences of a dog bite incident is enough to handle — you shouldn’t have to handle legal processes on top of everything else. If you’ve sustained an injury from a dog bite or an animal attack, contact a personal injury lawyer to represent you. At Woods & Thompson, P.A. in the Twin Cities, we are dedicated to our clients and helping them receive the settlement they deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.