Our Dedicated Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses 5 Important Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

Taking the right steps following a dog bite can help protect your legal rights and ensure you receive fair compensation if you pursue a personal injury claim. However, when you’re a victim it’s sometimes difficult to know what to do when you’re reeling from shock and pain. Next steps after a dog bite

The personal injury attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey help dog bite victims in Central KY manage the legal process and find a path to physical and financial recovery.

Dog bites can cause severe and debilitating injuries that may result in disfigurement, permanent scarring, and psychological trauma. If you have been the victim of an unprovoked dog attack, you’ll need a skilled lawyer to help. Our experienced legal team discusses five important steps to take after you’ve been bitten by a dog and why it’s so important to obtain legal counsel immediately.

Steps to Take if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog in Kentucky

1. Identify the Owner of the Animal

In Kentucky, dog owners are “strictly liable” for injuries caused to another person by their dog. Many people wrongly believe that dogs and their owners get “one free bite” before they can be held liable. This is not true. Although you may be in pain after the dog bite, it’s important to find the owner of the dog. Without the owner’s identification and address, you may not be able to successfully pursue a personal injury claim for compensation. If you can’t find the owner of the dog, there are other ways you might be able to identify them, including the following:

  • Get a photo. If you have your cellphone, take a picture of the dog that bit you. If you’re too injured or don’t have a phone, write down a description of the dog or try to remember details about the animal, including the color of its fur, size, and appearance.
  • Contact animal control. Animal control may be able to locate and capture the dog that attacked you. In doing so, they may also be able to find the owner.

2. Report the Bite 

If you need medical attention for your dog bite and see a doctor, they are required by Kentucky law to report the bite to the Kentucky Department of Public Health and Wellness within 12 hours of your visit. However, if you didn’t seek medical care, you can call your local health department and report the bite yourself. Staff personnel may take your information over the phone, and you’ll need to provide critical details about the attack, including the following:

  • A description of the dog, including any details you have of its size, breed, and fur color
  • The date and time of the attack
  • The location where the dog bite occurred

3. Seek Medical Attention Right Away

Even if you think your dog bite wounds are superficial, we can’t stress enough the importance of receiving prompt medical care. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, one in five dog bite victims will require professional medical care. It’s especially important to see a doctor for a dog bite injury for:

  • A wound that is deep or bleeding uncontrollably
  • A wound that is causing you severe pain
  • A wound that results in loss of mobility, feeling, or function
  • A wound that shows signs of infection, including swelling, redness, and fever

If the dog that bit you has rabies or is believed to have rabies, you may need to undergo a course of treatment to ensure that your body can fight the virus. Rabies is incurable once symptoms of the disease manifest themselves.

4. Keep a Journal Documenting Your Injuries

The dog bite injury lawyers at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey suggest that victims keep a journal to document their injury. You should write down the severity of your pain and any other symptoms you experience after the attack. You should also document the details of your medical treatment, medical appointments, and the names of any witnesses who might have information about what happened. You should also include how the injury interferes with your daily activities. Be sure to ask your attorney what you should and shouldn’t write about in the journal.

5. Discuss the Case With a Kentucky Dog Bite Attorney

Even people who love dogs  pursue personal injury claims when the dog bite has negatively impacted their lives. The goal of an injury claim is to make you whole for the damages you have suffered. The injury lawyers at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey will help you recover fair compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Future medical costs of caring for long-lasting injuries
  • Lost wages due to time missed from work
  • Loss of future income potential due to disability
  • Pain and suffering

How Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey Can Help

Recovering from a dog attack can be stressful. During this difficult time, you will have questions about the legal process and whether or not you can obtain compensation for your injuries.

The personal injury lawyers at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey have the skill and experience necessary to help you navigate that process. We will be there if you receive a low-ball offer to settle your claim quickly, often before you know the full extent of your condition and necessary treatment. We will also advise you on mistakes to avoid that can ruin your chances of a fair settlement. We are here to help dog bite victims by providing clear, honest, and helpful answers to their questions and offering solid legal advice you need during what could be one of the most difficult times of your life. We make your peace of mind a priority.

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