Get fair compensation for a dog attack against you or your child. This free checklist helps you gather the evidence you’ll need.
When you or your child are the victim of an unprovoked dog attack, your first priority is to get away from the dog and get immediate medical attention.
If 911 is called, let the paramedics treat you at the scene and transport you to the hospital. If you aren’t taken directly to the hospital, seek medical care with your primary care provider, and urgent care facility, or go to your local hospital’s emergency department.
When your health and safety needs are met, it’s time to start thinking about the proof you’ll need to create a strong claim for injury compensation. Use this free Dog Attack Checklist to help you gather important evidence to support your claim.
How to Use Your Dog Attack Checklist
Use this free resource to be sure you’ve collected as much evidence as possible to support your dog attack claim. When you’ve identified who should pay for your dog bite damages, you want to be ready to file a strong claim.
If you’ve fully recovered from relatively minor injuries, you can probably handle the dog bite claim on your own.
Either way, you or your attorney will need evidence to prove the dog owner was negligent, and to validate the scope of your injuries.
If you decide to meet with an attorney, bring all the evidence you have collected to your consultation.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
Immediately after a dog attack, get to as safe a place as possible. If necessary, call 911 for emergency medical services, if someone else hasn’t already called.
Never refuse medical attention at the scene. Let paramedics look you over and treat your wounds. After a terrifying dog attack, your adrenaline is running high. All that adrenaline may be masking symptoms of serious injuries, like a concussion or other internal injuries.
A refusal or delay in seeking medical attention can seriously undermine your dog attack claim.
If you are able, try to get the name and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the dog attack.
Use your cell phone to take photographs and videos of the dog, your location, and your injuries. Photographic evidence can be very compelling, like video of the snarling, snapping dog being dragged away by the owner, pictures of a hole in the dog owner’s fence, or photos of your wounds and bloody clothing.
As soon as possible after the attack, notify Animal Control. It’s important to get your local authorities involved, especially if there have been prior incidents with that dog. Ask for a copy of the animal control report for your injury claim file.
Try to find out the dog bite laws in effect for your location. Some cities make the dog owner liable for your damages, even if the dog had no prior history of aggression. Depending on where the bite occurred, you may not have to prove the owner was negligent.
Write down everything that happened while the event is still fresh in your mind. Write about the entire chain of events before, during, and after the attack.
Gathering Evidence of Dog Attack Injuries
Tell every medical provider who treats you exactly how and when you were injured. You must clearly link your injuries to the dog attack.
Discuss all your injuries with your medical care provider, not just the most obvious or painful injuries. Twisting or falling while trying to escape from a vicious dog attack can cause numerous types of injuries. For example, in addition to that bite on your leg, you may have scrapes and cuts on your knees and elbows, a twisted wrist, injuries to your back and neck, and so on.
Get copies of all medical records related to the dog attack, including records from the ambulance service, emergency room, physicians, physical therapy, and all diagnostic test reports.
Medical records not only support the scope of your damages, but also justify the cost of your treatments and the time you had to miss from work.
Family and friends can provide written statements about your pain and distress after the attack, and your need for help with activities of daily living during your recovery.
Create an injury diary to chronicle your pain and suffering. Continue to take detailed notes throughout your recovery to document your physical pain and limitations, and all the ways the vicious attack impacted your life.
Proving Dog Attack Damages
The amount of compensation you can reasonably expect to receive is largely based on the total of your injury-related hard costs, with one to five times that amount added on to account for your pain and suffering.
Hard costs are measurable economic damages, like medical bills and receipts, transportation costs for medical appointments, lost wages, and the cost of replacement services like lawn care.
Get itemized bills and records for every medical appointment or test, even if your care was covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, or private health insurance. Your claim value is based on the full cost of your medical expenses, before any offsets for health insurance.
Likewise, get an itemized bill for the full cost of any medications, crutches, bandages, or any other medical device prescribed by your doctor.
Transportation costs can include carfare and parking fees, or mileage costs to and from your appointments, even if a friend or family member took you.
Don’t forget to keep receipts for the repair or replacement cost of personal property that was damaged in the attack, such as clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, or jewelry. It’s a good idea to hold on to damaged personal items until your claim is settled.
Not only do you want to be reimbursed for your damaged property, but your ruined clothes and other items are good physical evidence of the violence of the dog attack you endured. Take color photographs of each item. Do not clean or mend the items. Store them in dated and labeled zip-top bags.
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