A male German shepherd bites a man by the hand

Why You Should Contact a Lawyer Quickly After Your Dog Bite

Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney June 27, 2023

You're walking down the street, minding your own business, when a dog comes out of nowhere and bites you. It's a situation that nobody wants to go through, but unfortunately, it happens all too often - especially in Ohio, a state that ranks third in the country for dog bite claims. 

If you find yourself in this situation, you may be wondering whether you should contact a lawyer.

At Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney, we've helped countless victims of dog bites get the compensation they deserve. Our personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, compassion, and experience to assist your case during these challenging times. We proudly serve clients in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Toledo, Ohio, and throughout both states.   

What to Do After a Dog Bite

Dog bites can be a traumatizing experience, leaving you with physical, emotional, and psychological scars. It is vital to take several steps after a dog bite. 

Understand Liability

In most cases, dog owners are responsible for their pets' actions, which means that if you've been bitten, the owner of the dog is liable for any medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses that arise as a result of the bite. That's why it's essential to contact a lawyer who is well-versed in dog bite laws in your area.  

The timeframe for claiming damages after a dog bite varies, but there are many steps involved with properly establishing and presenting a claim. Again, this is why you'll want to get in touch with a lawyer immediately. The timeframe is limited by a statute of limitations, and each state has its own specific timeframe.

Get the Contact Information of the Dog’s Owner

Get the contact information of the dog's owner. This includes their name, address, and phone number. If the owner is not present at the time of the bite, make sure to get the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the incident occur. Ifpossible, take photos of any information regarding the dog or its owner. Having this information will be crucial in building a case against the dog's owner. 

Get Witness Statements

In addition to getting contact information, it's important to obtain witness statements. A witness statement is a written or recorded account of what a witness saw during the incident. Having multiple witness statements that corroborate your version of events can add weight to your case and make it stronger in court.  Also, be sure to obtain the full name and contact information for the witness.

Take Pictures 

This may be difficult to do immediately after being bitten, but it's important to document the extent of your injuries as best as you can. This will help to paint a clear picture of the severity of the attack and may also help to demonstrate the amount of financial compensation you are owed. Also try to get a picture of the dog, if you can do so without risking injury.

Get Medical Attention

Should a dog bite be treated immediately? Yes - even if you think you're okay.  

The most important thing you can do after a dog bite is to tend to your injuries. Clean the wound thoroughly and seek medical attention right away. You may require antibiotics or a tetanus shot, rabies shots, or in some cases, you may need to get stitches.   Many times, the injuries require surgery.

Once you've tended to your injuries, make sure you take certain steps to ensure that you have a solid case if you decide to seek legal action. 

Report the Incident

Report the dog bite to your local animal control agency. That agency can investigate and determine if the dog is a danger to others. Reporting the incident also creates a record that can be used as evidence in a legal case. As soon as you seek medical attention, the medical providers should immediately notify the local dog warden or animal control office. 

Reasons to Contact a Dog Bite Attorney

If a dog has attacked or bitten you, contacting a dog bite attorney is a smart move. Why do I need a dog bite lawyer? Here are a few good reasons. 

They Will Help You Understand Your Rights

Dog bite laws can be complicated, and your attorney can help you navigate those laws. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and even emotional distress. Your attorney will help you understand what to expect and what you are entitled to under the law. 

They Will File a Claim and Deal With Insurance Companies

After a dog bite, the owner's homeowners or renters insurance may cover the costs associated with the injury; however, filing a claim and dealing with the insurance company can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Your attorney will handle it all for you, ensuring that you don't have to go through this alone. 

They Will Advocate for You in and out of Court

If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement or if court proceedings become necessary, your attorney will be by your side every step of the way. They will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. They will be your voice in court and will fight for your rights. 

They Will Work With Investigators and Other Experts

In some cases, you may need an investigator or other experts to prove your case. Your attorney has the resources and connections to find the right professionals to work with. They can help gather the evidence necessary to prove liability and damages. 

They Will Increase the Likelihood of Covering All Costs and Maximizing Your Recovery

A dog bite can result in a lot of unexpected expenses, including medical bills and lost wages.   

Your personal injury attorney is more likely to be able to help you receive compensation that will cover all of your expenses, now and in the future. They will work hard to maximize your recovery, ensuring that you are not left with any out-of-pocket expenses. 

Get the Support of an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer Today

Dog bite cases can be complicated, which is why it's so important to work with a lawyer who understands the laws and the processes involved.  

You need a lawyer on your side who can navigate the intricacies of your particular case. Our team of attorneys, Ron and Gerald Weiss, have proudly served West Bloomfield, Michigan, Toledo, Ohio, and the surrounding areas for many decades and have helped countless clients with their dog bite cases, in fact we have over 80 years of combined experience. We consult with and represent many dog bite victims and we make sure that their needs are protected.

Give us a call today - we'd be happy to help.