Florida attorneys who have worked with clients who have suffered a dog attack know how frightening and difficult a dog bite can be. In addition to the pain experienced, most dog attacks occur suddenly and quickly, leaving little time for thinking. Experienced Florida lawyers suggest that anyone involved in a dog attack needs to remember that there are only three things that a victim should do:
1) Get help. The immediate goal should be to get the victim and everyone else away from the aggressive dog. It is also essential to seek medical help immediately. In cases where a dog attack survivor has lost consciousness or is seriously injured, it is better to wait for medical attention to arrive rather than attempt moving the victim. Even if a dog bite is small, it is imperative to get medical attention, since even small personal injuries may become infected or cause scarring. Seeking medical attention is also important for gathering evidence of what happened.
2) Secure any evidence that exists. Once the immediate danger is removed, you can help establish the facts of the case by securing evidence. Get a description of the dog, the address of where the dog lives, any name or numbers on the dog collar. Get the names and numbers of any witnesses, if possible. Be sure to keep any torn or damaged clothing worn during the attack and keep a record of the medical file from the treatment of the bite. If there are police reports, get a copy of them. If you have a camera, consider taking a picture of the scene or injuries. At the same time, remember to never put yourself in danger to secure evidence.
3) As soon as possible after a dog bite, consult a qualified Florida attorney. A good Florida lawyer familiar with dog bite cases will be able to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries and get the help you need. It is important that you not sign any papers or discuss the situation with the dog owner, the insurance company or any lawyer working for the insurers or dog owner before you have your own lawyer. It is very likely that the attorneys for the owners or insurance company may try to offer you an agreement, payment, or settlement for the case. It is important not to accept any discussion of the case before you have your own attorney to advise you. You may end up signing over your rights to the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, your immediate concern will be to heal from the attack. It is important to preserve legal rights as far as possible, though. Many dog bites are scarring or cause serious injury that requires treatment not covered by most medical insurance. A Florida attorney can help protect your interests so that you get the best chances of healing possible.