For delivery drivers, postal workers, and other employees who spend their time outdoors, dog bites are a serious occupational hazard. Dogs are a very popular pet in the United States, and every year, thousands of workers are injured by these animals.
If you suffered a dog bite at work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. You may also file a personal injury lawsuit against the animal’s owner. In these situations, it is important to take careful steps to protect your right to recovery and support your future case.
Seek Medical Attention
One of the very first actions that you should take after a dog bite injury is to go to the hospital and receive treatment. Dog bites can inflict significant damage, and they can even be life-threatening. Bacteria in the dog’s saliva can pass into your bloodstream and lead to dangerous infections.
As soon as possible after the attack, seek medical care. Save all records related to the injury and notify your medical provider that you suffered the injury while at work. The provider will complete a form about your injury, which you will need to submit to start the workers’ compensation process.
Report Your Injury to Your Employer
Once you receive medical care, notify your employer about the bite immediately. Your employer will then continue the workers’ compensation process by providing information to the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). After L&I is notified, the department will assess your eligibility and determine whether you can receive benefits.
Notify the Proper Authorities
Call 911 as soon as possible the attack if you need emergency help. The police will attend the scene and complete a report about the incident, which you can use to support your case. You should also notify your local animal control department about the incident and file a report as well. These documents will become valuable in a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim.
Gather Evidence of Your Injuries
If you can move around safely after the dog bite, you should try to gather evidence at the scene. Take photographs of the dog and your injuries. If there are any witnesses, ask if you can have their contact information. Try to find the animal’s owner and collect his or her details as well. Do not speak to the animal’s owner apart from gathering his or her information.
After receiving treatment, you may want to start a journal where you can keep track of your injuries, medical care, and how the bite has affected your daily life. This information can be valuable in proving the impact of the dog bite.
Contact a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
Finally, you should contact a lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation and dog bite injury cases. An attorney can help you better understand your options for benefits and initiate a lawsuit against the animal’s owner. Your lawyer can also represent you during these proceedings, advocating aggressively for your maximum compensation.
A Washington dog bite attorney can provide significant benefits in your case, from gathering evidence and calculating your potential award to crafting a compelling case in your favor. After the dog attack, schedule a free legal consultation right away to explore your next steps.