It’s easy to underestimate the damage that a large, aggressive dog can cause until you’re attacked. A serious bite can result in permanent scarring, amputated fingers, or even a potentially fatal infection. Our Santa Barbara dog bite attorneys are proud to help victims and their families fight for the compensation they need to cover medical care and other damages.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to compensation not only for healthcare bills but also for lost income, pain and suffering, and other non-economic damages. Our lawyers won’t settle for anything less than you deserve, and if the insurance company or defendant refuses to offer a fair payout, we’re not afraid to go to trial.
Thousands of clients have turned to us for assistance with personal injury and wrongful death cases, and we’ve won more than $300,000,000 in financial awards. To arrange a free case assessment, contact us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS.
What to do After Getting Bit by a Dog?
If you were attacked by a dog, your primary concern should be your health, but there are steps you can take while at the scene and over the hours and days that follow that could strengthen your personal injury claim.
Below is an overview of what you should do after being bitten:
- Compile Evidence: Write down the name and contact information of the dog owner and of any eyewitnesses. You’ll need the owner’s name to file your claim, and your Santa Barbara dog bite lawyer might use witness testimony to prove liability. You should also take photos of your injury, the dog that bit you, and the scene.
- Report the Incident to Animal Control: You might be reluctant to call animal patrol, but taking action could prevent other people from being attacked. Also, if animal control drafts an incident report, it may help your attorney prove liability.
- Seek Medical Care: Upon leaving the scene, your first destination should be a clinic or hospital. Delaying medical care could lead to an infection. The sooner you receive a diagnosis, the more favorable your prognosis might be. And if the insurance company or defendant disputes causation or damages, your medical records will serve as valuable evidence.
- Write down What Happened: It’s not uncommon for defendants in these cases to argue that the victim somehow instigated to the attack—for example, by throwing a rock at the dog or threatening the owner. Your attorney can perform an investigation to piece together what happened just before the incident. To ensure this investigation gets off to a strong start, it’s a good idea to write out everything you remember about the attack including where it happened, how it happened, and what you were doing immediately beforehand.
- Schedule a Consultation with an Attorney: Our dog bite attorneys in Santa Barbara offer free consultations. Even if you’re not sure whether you want to hire a lawyer, there’s no harm in contacting our office to get the advice you need to make informed decisions. If you decide to hire our law firm to represent you, we will take over all the logistics of your case including corresponding with the insurance company, gathering evidence, calculating your damages, and handling settlement negotiations. We can help you avoid critical mistakes and make sure you account for all the damages you might be owed.
- Keep Track of Damages: Preserve any receipts, invoices, and other documentation of expenses you incur as a result of the attack. Examples may include transportation to the doctor’s office, prescription medications, medical bills, childcare, and domestic help.
- Do Not Speak to the Insurer: Let your dog bite lawyer handle all correspondence with the insurance company. This will prevent you from providing statements that bring liability or the severity of your injuries into question.
- Do Not Post on Social Media: Being attacked by a dog is an uncommon and shocking event, so it’s only natural to want to tell friends and family what happened. But if the insurance adjuster sees photos of your injuries, text posts about the attack, or photos of you taken after the incident, that content might be used to dispute your claim. Rather than posting publicly about the attack, consider sending private messages to those whom you want to keep informed.
Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS for a Free Case Review with a Santa Barbara Dog Bite Lawyer
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we have extensive experience helping dog bite victims and their families navigate the legal system. We will prevent the insurance company from coercing you into accepting a low settlement. Our attorneys are seasoned litigators, so if a settlement cannot be reached, we’re not afraid to take your case to trial. To set up a free case review, send us a message or call 1-800-GO-HARRIS.