Dog bites are traumatic in a unique way. You used to enjoy a stroll through Village Point Park or around D’Olive Bay, but an unexpected and painful dog bite can transform your favorite park or even in your own neighborhood painful reminder of a terrifying attack.
If this sounds like your story, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million people suffer from dog bites each year. Even when an animal is a pet someone knows well, it can become a dangerous dog under the wrong circumstances, whether it’s a pit bull or a spaniel.
Most of these the people injured in dog attacks are young children between the ages of five and nine years old. Understandably, many parents worry about infection and other healthcare needs, medical expenses, disfigurement, and the psychological harm caused by a dog attack.
If you or your child has suffered a dog attack in Daphne, the greater Baldwin County, or the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, one of our dog bite lawyers at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys can listen to your story and help you decide what to do next.
Important Steps to Take After Suffering a Dog Bite
If a dog attacks you, take these important steps:
- Immediately seek medical attention for any injuries either from your primary care doctor, the emergency room, or urgent care. Even if they seem minor, your injuries could become infected, or you could develop symptoms of a more severe condition over time. Do not wait to get medical treatment.
- If it is safe to do so, find out if the dog that bit you has received rabies vaccinations and try to determine if the dog has a history of aggressive behavior. Ask if the dog has attacked others in the past.
- Write down the names and contact information of the dog owner and any witnesses who saw the attack. The owner may be subject to strict liability, and responsible for the injury despite no negligence or criminal intent.
- File a report with a local animal control center or police department. Make a note of the time you called and the name of the person you spoke to about the attack. Your local city hall or animal control may have dog bite records and further input on how to best proceed with your case.
- If it is safe to do so, take photographs of your injuries, the place where the attack took place, and the dog that hurt you.
- Contact the experienced dog bite lawyers at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys for legal advice and to help with your claim.
In many dog bite cases, witnesses and injured people forget important details of the incident and evidence gets lost. Contacting a law firm and personal injury lawyer quickly will help them gather relevant, accurate information that can be used if you decide to pursue compensation for your dog bite injuries.
RELATED ARTICLE: How to Treat a Dog Bite
Why Getting Medical Attention After a Dog Bite Matters
The injury from a dog bite might be a few little scratches or it might be a deep, angry wound. Even a mild dog bite injury should receive immediate medical attention. This is especially important if you do not know the dog’s health and immunization history.
Typical dog bite injuries include:
- Puncture wounds: The dog’s teeth sink directly down into your skin. Children are more likely to get these on their faces, and adults may get them on their hands, forearms, and legs.
- Eye injuries: The delicate tissue in and around the eye is vulnerable to scratches and infection.
- Rips and tears: The dog’s teeth can rip and tear your skin, as well as the muscles, ligaments, and tendons underneath.
The faster you receive medical care for the wounds, the lesser your chances for infection (such as rabies) and significant scarring.
The mental and emotional injuries of a dog bite may take longer to appear. While they don’t carry immediate physical risks, these scars may have a greater impact on quality of life and emotional wellbeing, especially for a child.
Filing an Alabama Dog Bite Claim
If someone else’s dangerous dog hurt you, you have a limited period of time to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. This limit is known as the statute of limitations, and in Alabama, the limit on dog bite claims is two years in. If you file a dog bite claim within that period, a reputable attorney will:
- Examine all records associated with the event, such as pictures of the dog, the wounds, and where it happened, medical bills, and other evidence
- Walk you through the process of filing an insurance claim with the dog owner’s insurance company
- Communicate with the dog owner’s insurance representative on your behalf, advocating for your case and fair compensation
- Offer sound legal advice throughout the process, ensuring you have all the available evidence and don’t accept a lowball settlement
- Represent you in court if the owner’s insurance refuses to offer fair compensation, and you need to take the case to trial
- Treat you like family every step of the way, making your healing, stability, and quality of life a priority
We Stand Up for People Suffering From Dog Bites and Their Loved Ones in Daphne
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, our team of personal injury attorneys has experience handling all sorts of dog bite lawsuits and can help you with your claim by:
- Conducting an investigation and interviewing witnesses of the dog attack
- Analyzing your dog bite claim based on Alabama or dog bite liability laws and filing a lawsuit on your behalf
- Consulting with medical experts to get a fair assessment of your current and future medical bills
- Determining whether you are entitled to additional compensation for lost work, loss of future earnings, and other losses
- Handling negotiations with the insurance company to ensure that you receive compensation for your losses, including pain and suffering
As your dog bite attorney, we are also there to help you navigate the challenging social aspects of dog attacks. In a close-knit city like Daphne, Alabama, dog bites can cause a rift between the injured person and the dog’s owner as friends, neighbors, or co-workers. We make it easier for you to draw a clear line between an existing relationship and the legal actions of personal injury claims.
RELATED ARTICLE: Children and Dog Bites
Hurt by a Dog in Daphne, Alabama? Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys Today
Dog attack and dog bite laws are different in each state. If you’re suffering from severe injuries, stress, or can’t get back to life before the attack, you need the help of a dog bite injury lawyer who understands animal bite laws in your area. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in the city of Daphne, Alabama, you may be eligible to pursue financial compensation for your losses. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, and emotional trauma.
With decades of experience handling personal injury lawsuits, the lawyers at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys have the knowledge, resources, and determination to fight for you. We prioritize the attorney-client relationship, truly getting to know you and your specific needs.
Dixon, C. A., Mahabee-Gittens, E. M., Hart, K. W., & Lindsell, C. J. (2012). Dog bite prevention: an assessment of child knowledge. The Journal of pediatrics, 160(2), 337–341.e2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.07.016
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.