Five Crucial Steps to Follow If You Are Injured by a Dog
1. Photograph the Dog and Your Injuries, Then Report the Bite
If you’ve been attacked by a dog, make sure to get visual evidence. If you’re able to, take photos of the dog, your surrounding area, as well as any injuries or damages the animal caused.
In Central Oregon, you can report dog bites to the Deschutes County Animal Control at 541-693-6911. Oregon law requires your health care provider to report dog bites to the local health department using this form.
It’s important to know that dog bites and attacks are not the only type of incidents for which you can get compensation for. There’s a possibility you can get your medical bills covered – as well as compensation for pain and suffering – if a dog knocks you down and you are injured as a result.
2. Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Dog bites often result in severe infections. Their teeth can puncture deep into your body, leaving dangerous germs and bacteria. An infection can cause dog bite septicemia, sepsis, or a blood infection. Sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.
In the U.S. 258,000 people die each year from sepsis. If you see a red streak spreading from the wound, go to a hospital emergency room or urgent care center immediately.
Dog bites can also cause the spread of rabies, which can be fatal. Ask the dog owner, possessor or handler if the dog as been immunized for rabies. Let your medical provider know if you cannot confirm the dog has been immunized for rabies. You may have to have a series of PEP (preventable serum) injections.
3. Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer
After receiving medical attention, it’s important you contact an experienced dog bite lawyer immediately. They can help to ensure you don’t say anything damaging to the insurance company. You should also find an attorney who has handled numerous dog bite and attack jury trials.
Your dog bite lawyer will help you get your medical bills paid by investigating the case, and preserving the evidence to prove that the dog owner was at fault.
4. Get Your Medical Bills Paid
Often the dog owner’s insurance company will have MedPay or Medical Premises insurance coverage. This will pay your medical bills, even if the insurance company disputes that the dog owner was negligent and therefore liable for your injury.
This is a no-fault insurance coverage, so it’s a good idea to ask the dog owner about it.
5. Get Money for Pain and Suffering
Oregon dog bite laws are complex.