Dogs are a leading cause of animal bites across the country. In California, dog bites fall under a strict liability law, which means that dog owners are liable for any bite by their dog on public property or their own provided that the bite victim had permission to be on the premises. Breaking and entering, for example, precludes the application of strict liability for a dog bite suffered during the crime.
Taking the proper steps after a dog bite helps you protect your personal injury claim.
Gather as much information as you can
When possible, take pictures of the scene, the dog and the owner with your cell phone. Get names and contact information for the owner as well as any witnesses that may be present. This information is important for a potential personal injury case.
File a police report
A police report creates an official document of the incident, including the dog owner’s information, the dog’s history and your injuries. Calling the police right away to document the incident ensures that you have valuable information to support your case.
Seek medical attention right away
Dog bites put you at risk of infection if you do not seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel that the wound is minor, medical attention documents it and protects you from complications such as bacterial infections.
These steps help set the stage for any potential personal injury claim after the bite. Protect your personal interests by documenting as much information as you can, calling the police and seeking medical treatment for your injury.