Important Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Accident in Washington
Dog bite incidents often result in severe injuries, and it is crucial for individuals to take certain steps right after a bite occurs. At Colburn Law, we have experience helping individuals recover compensation after they have sustained dog bite injuries. Here, we want to outline certain steps that people can take after being bitten by a dog to help ensure that they recover the compensation they need.
1. Go to the Hospital or Doctor Immediately
The first thing that you need to do if you or a loved one is bitten by a dog is to seek medical assistance immediately. There can be no wavering on this point. Seeking medical care ensures that you receive prompt treatment for any type of injury that may have occurred. Please understand that even a minor break of the skin with a dog bite can lead to a serious infection. In addition to receiving medical treatment, going to the doctor right away establishes a link between the dog bite incident and any injuries you sustained. This is important for insurance claims.
2. Report the Dog Bite
You will need to report the dog bite incident to the authorities as soon as possible. If the injuries are severe or if the dog continues to attack, you need to call 911 and let law enforcement come handle the situation. Regardless of the severity of the attack, we encourage you to look up the local animal control phone number and let them know what happened. Often, animal control works directly with police departments. These individuals can deal with any potentially dangerous dog situation appropriately.
3. Gather as Much Evidence as Possible
We encourage you to gather as much information as possible. In some cases, this may be able to happen at the scene of the dog bite incident. You could use your cell phone to take photographs or video footage of the dog, the location where the incident occurred, any injuries you sustained, and other relevant information. If there were any eyewitnesses to the dog bite incident, we encourage you to get their names and contact information quickly. These individuals can provide valuable information to the insurance carriers.
4. Reach out to an Attorney
A Washington dog bite injury lawyer can help you handle every aspect of your claim. They will step in and conduct an investigation into the incident, gather additional evidence, and handle all negotiations with the insurance carrier involved.
5. Report the Injury to the Insurance Carrier
Depending on where the dog bite occurred, there may be various insurance carriers you need to contact. This could include homeowners’ insurance, renters’ insurance, business insurance, or others. We encourage you to reach out to the dog owner’s insurance carrier to let them know about the bite and that a claim will be forthcoming. They do not need to know every detail right away, just that the bite occurred and that you were seeking medical care.
6. Continue Medical Treatment
You need to continue all medical treatment until your doctor says you have reached what they consider maximum medical improvement. If you discontinue medical care against a doctor’s advice after a dog bite, this could be used by insurance carriers to hamper your claim.