What to Do After a Dog Bite: Addressing Injuries and Pursuing Justice
Dog bites are relatively common occurrences, with approximately 4.5 million incidents reported nationwide each year, according to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2001. Children are the most frequent victims, in large part, due to their tendency to be less cautious around dogs. However, anyone can be bitten while out and about. It's not uncommon to encounter a neighbor or stranger walking a dog in your neighborhood, and an incident may occur as you venture out for a stroll or visit a park with your kids.
Dog owners in both Michigan and Ohio are strictly liable for their dogs' behavior. Unlike some states, neither Michigan nor Ohio follows a "one bite" rule that absolves dog owners from liability during their pet's first biting encounter. In a strict liability state, like Michigan and Ohio, it means that if you or a loved one is a victim of a dog bite or dog attack, the owner is held responsible for medical bills, bodily injury damages (also known as pain and suffering), and other expenses. Typically, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy or rental insurance policy would cover such an incident.
Moreover, the emotional trauma resulting from a dog bite should not be underestimated. It can leave lasting scars, both physically and mentally. The psychological impact can include symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Coping with these emotional challenges can be as demanding as dealing with the physical wounds.
In addition to the immediate physical and emotional aftermath, dog bite victims may face significant financial burdens. Medical bills can pile up quickly, and if the injury leads to missed work or long-term disability, the financial strain can become overwhelming. This is where seeking legal assistance becomes crucial.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in or around West Bloomfield, Michigan, or in or around Toledo, Ohio, don't hesitate to contact us at the law firm of Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney.
What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog
In many cases, dog bites can be minor incidents. Sometimes, there are no open wounds or punctures from bites. However, if there is a puncture wound, it should be attended to immediately. Go to a doctor as soon as possible.
One significant health concern in a dog bite is the possible transmission of rabies. However, cases of rabies transmission are rare, since many dogs have been vaccinated against it, reducing the risk of transmission.
Nonetheless, it is a valid concern, and if possible, you should check with the dog's owner about its vaccination record. Additionally, make sure to obtain the owner's contact information for any further insurance claims or personal injury legal actions. Also, the medical provider would want the dog owner’s information so that it can give that information to the local dog warden or animal control officer. If the dog is a stray, not only should you seek medical evaluation for the possibility of infection, but it is also advisable to report the dog to animal control.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If there is any punctured skin or open wounds, get medical attention. This is especially true if the victim has medical problems such as diabetes, a heart condition, and/or issues that affect the immune system. These conditions can decrease blood circulation and can impact the body's ability to heal wounds and fight infections.
How an Attorney Can Help
Seeking medical attention can also support your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit by providing not only receipts but also documentation of the wound's severity. An experienced dog bite/personal injury attorney can assist you in assembling the necessary documentation to support your claim or lawsuit. They can also handle interactions with the insurance company's claims adjuster or initiate a lawsuit to fight for your just compensation.
Fighting for Your Well-Being
Remember, the aftermath of a dog bite is not just about physical wounds; it's about reclaiming your life and your sense of security. If you or a loved one has been involved in a dog bite incident in Ohio or Michigan, don't hesitate to contact us at the law firm of Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney. We proudly serve clients in both states. Together, we have over 80 years of experience fighting for our clients' just compensation in dog bite and personal injury situations. Reach out to us for a free consultation.
Ron and Gerald Weiss are experienced dog bite and personal injury attorneys who can help you receive the just compensation you deserve for any medical or related expenses, as well as for the pain and suffering you experienced. Although we are based in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, we handle cases throughout both states.