Dog owners have the responsibility to make sure that their furry friends don’t destroy property and harm people. Despite that, dog bite incidents are common in Houston. If a dog injures you, it’s vital to know that a Houston dog bite attorney can help you receive the right medication and just compensation for your losses.
Dog bites are nothing to take for granted. Depending on the nature of the bites, your injuries could be serious. You could be the right candidate for financial compensation for medical bills, psychological damage, and loss of property. Most claims could benefit from hiring an experienced Houston dog bite attorney.
It doesn’t matter whether your dog bite injuries are serious to prevent you from working or mild; you’ll have to deal with pain and suffering as well as psychological and emotional distress. Partner with a knowledgeable lawyer in Houston to increase your chances of getting fair compensation. Let’s discover eight key steps you need to take after your dog bite incident in Houston.
1. Take Photos and Clean the Bite Wound
If it’s possible to take photos of the wound after the incident, do it on the spot. Keep in mind that you can take the photos when you get back home after receiving your first aid. If you’ve got pictures of the wound and other losses you suffered due to the incident, it is easier to prove that you’re entitled to just compensation. Don’t forget to take pictures. They’re very important!
Just after the incident, it’s vital that you clean and rinse your wound with water. The dog’s mouth is full of different types of bacteria. That means if you don’t start taking care of your wound immediately, the environment can inflame your wound. If it’s an abrasion or superficial wound, it is advisable to apply a disinfectant such as iodine. You can take these simple steps when cleaning your wound.
- Use warm water and soap to clean your wound
- Reduce bleeding by applying light pressure
- Apply some antibiotic cream on your wound if you’ve it
- Dress the wound using a bandage
- Keep the area elevated
2. Seek Medical Attention
Whether minor or major, you need to ensure your wound is treated professionally. If your wound is deeper, visit the emergency room of your medical facility or work with a general practitioner. Seek professional medical care. Contact your personal doctor to see if you can book an appointment. Go to an urgent care clinic near you if the physician is busy. Doctors will examine your injuries, disinfect the wound, and address it.
The medical experts will also prescribe the right antibiotics and advise you of any possible infection signs. They’ll also ask you if you know the owner of the dog and its vaccination status. The doctor may recommend that you receive a rabies vaccine if a strange animal injures you.
Your medical expert will help you record your damages, providing you with additional evidence that can help you establish a strong lawsuit. That means you’ll be able to increase your chances of recovering fair compensation from the at-fault party.
3. Engage an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Dog bite incidents are considered civil personal injury claims. An experienced attorney will evaluate your unique case and help you get the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can:
- Investigate your claim
- Help you determine the value of your case
- Analyze the insurance policy to know the extent and scope of coverage
- Create an animal bite demand letter and send it to the insurer as a third-party plaintiff
- Negotiate a fair dog bite injury settlement on your behalf. You don’t need to get involved in negotiations.
- File a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary
- Fight for you in a court of law if your case advances to this level
Many dog bite cases don’t go to trials. The at-fault parties usually agree on fair compensation and settle the matter out of court.
4. Follow the Orders of Your Doctor
As your lawyer fights for you to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve, it’s important to follow all the instructions from your medical professionals strictly. The most common instructions and tasks you need to perform include:
- Taking all prescribed medication correctly
- Changing wound dressings
- Visiting the medical facility when you notice any strange signs and symptoms
Sometimes, you’ll require surgery to help repair nerve or tissue damage. Also, you may need rehabilitation to restore function. It’s vital to store all your medical appointments and keep in touch with the doctor to make sure that you’re getting professional care.
5. Watch for Infection Symptoms
Infection is one of the major concerns following a dog bite incident. You can suffer major illnesses due to the bacteria in the dog’s mouth. Common infection symptoms to watch out for are:
- Pain and swelling around the wound
- Loss of sensation
- Localized redness
- Chills and fever
- Fatigue and weakness
- Pus coming out from the dog bite wound
- A warm feeling in the injured area
If you start experiencing any of these signs after a dog bite incident, inform your medical expert. A vast array of complications may pop up if an infected animal isn’t treated professionally.
6. Document Your Losses
You need to keep a record of any expenses you incur, especially those related to your dog bite incident. Some of the compensable losses in a dog bite lawsuit include:
- Medical bills
- Expenses related to therapy and rehabilitation
- Costs for psychological health counseling
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury, from assistive devices and prescription medications to accommodations and travel for medical care.
It’s also helpful to take stock of how the injuries affect your life. Keep a journal where you can record and store your feelings of anxiety, trouble sleeping, physical pain, and more. Emotional and physical issues aren’t economic in nature. But you may be able to receive fair compensation for your pain and suffering as long as you present enough evidence of how the injuries negatively affected your everyday life.
Dog bites are traumatic. You need enough time to recover from these injuries emotionally, physically, and mentally. There is no need to worry about the rocky legal landscape when you’re trying to heal. When you hire a knowledgeable Houston dog bite attorney, you can focus on your recovery as a professional handles the lawsuit section.