Most California residents own a dog or two. And while these fluffy canines can be very friendly, it is not uncommon for them to cause serious injuries. If another person’s dog attacks you, then you may be able to pursue the animal’s owner for damages.
However, to successfully litigate your claim, it is important that you know the steps to take and mishaps to avoid immediately following the attack. Here are two crucial steps you need to take after a dog attack.
Besides the physical injuries that can lead to excessive blood loss, the wound left behind following the attack can also be an ideal entry point for disease-causing pathogens into your body. A dog bite can leave you with serious infections like rabies, sepsis and Capnocytophaga, among others.
Seeking treatment immediately not only ensures that you are treated for your injuries and vaccinated against rabies, but it also ensures that you obtain the medical report that you will table as evidence when litigating your dog bite claim.
File your claim
Most dog bite claims are usually settled out of court. However, if you and the dog owner cannot reach a settlement, then you will need to file a lawsuit against the animal owner. In this case, you need to put your evidence together (your medical report, witness testimonies, photos and surveillance footage) and head to civic court. However, do keep in mind that your claim will only be valid if you file it within the statute of limitations period. In California, you have up to two years from the date of the attack to sue the dog owner for damages.
Knowing what to do in the minutes, hours and days following the attack is not only crucial for your health but can also help you navigate the legal process that might come thereafter.