A lot of people are bitten by dogs owned by friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. If you've just been bitten by a dog owned by one of your neighbors, you might be in pain and unsure about how you should proceed. Here are some steps to take after you clean your wound.
Be Seen By Your Doctor
Even if you don't think the dog bite is serious, you should see your doctor after you've been bitten. You may not know what kind of immunizations your neighbor's dog has; your physician will run a full battery of tests to ensure that you're not at risk for a health problem. Of particular note is tetanus, so mention if you are having the symptoms below.
- Irritable behavior
- Stiff jaw
- Unbearable headache
Talking to your physician can help you protect your health, but you'll also have medical records to present in court if the situation comes to that. The doctor might also take photographs of your dog bite so that you'll have more complete records.
Type Up Your Memories
Even though the dog biting incident might be crystal clear in your memory, it is easy to start to forget different details about the day it happened. If you eventually decide to resolve things through a court, it's smart to type up a list of things you remember. For example, you should note how you happened to be close enough to the dog that it bit you or the specific statements your neighbor made immediately after the biting occurred. Being able to draw on your memories can help you build a strong case, if it comes to that.
As the days go by, you might feel as if talking to your neighbor about what happened. You might want to let off steam, but it is not a good idea to head over to their home. You don't know how they will react to requests to pay your medical bills and the situation might escalate. You may say something you regret and cause additional problems. Wait until you've discussed the situation with an attorney so that they can communicate with your neighbor on your behalf if you decide to file a claim.
With the information above, you'll be ready to take legal action, if that is what you choose. Meet with a personal injury lawyer from the Owen Law Firm or elsewhere to talk about what options are available to you.