Statistically, dogs bite about one in seventy Americans every year. Many of these bites come from large breed Mastiff dogs, such as Rottweilers, pit bulls, German shepherds, Doberman pinschers, and bulldogs. So, about twenty percent of these victims receive treatment in a hospital emergency room.
Complications often develop. A significant number of these cases involve wound infection. Once these bacterial infections set in, they cause significant injury and are difficult to cure. Many Washington dog bites also involve rabies. Sometimes, the animal was infected. More often, an infected animal bit the dog which in turn bit a human.
Because of the risk of complication, and also to set the stage for a successful damages claim, it’s very important to report animal attacks in Washington. Prompt reporting also helps protect other members of the public, including the animal owner.
Where to Report a Dog Bite
In an emergency, it’s best just to call 9-1-1. The wake of an attack is no time to look in different places for the right number to call. The emergency operator can take your information and refer you to another agency, if necessary. As a bonus, 9-1-1 calls are always recorded, so there’s a good record. Furthermore, the emergency operator is trained to deal with emergency situations.
After you hang up, reach out to the local animal control office. It’s usually a division of the city government. Just call the main number, and an operator will direct you.
During both these exchanges, it’s important to have the right information. The operator will need lots of data, especially if the operator must also dispatch first responders. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
● Description of the animal,
● Specific location, like 750 South Third Street, the southwest corner of Main and Oak, or the playground at James Elementary School,
● Description of the injury,
● Identity of the victim, and
● Identity of the owner, including name, address, and driver’s license number if possible.
If the animal shows any signs of rabies, emphasize these symptoms to the operator.
The Next Steps
Once you have done your part to help secure the area and prevent the animal from attacking someone else, it’s time to think about your future claim for damages. The first responders who come to the scene are not there to collect evidence for a future court case. Instead, that’s your job.
If possible, remain at the scene long enough to speak with first responders. Your initial statements are usually the best evidence of what happened. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Even if they only saw part of the incident, their testimony can still be quite valuable.
It’s always a good idea to go to the hospital emergency room. The doctors there are used to dealing with trauma injuries. You may not “feel” hurt, but that is usually adrenaline. If you wait until after it wears off, your injuries are more difficult to treat.
Damages in a Washington dog bite case usually include compensation for both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. There are several theories of recovery available, including strict liability.
Connect with a Tenacious Yakima Dog Bite Lawyer
There are a number of things that dog bite victims can do to protect themselves and their families. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact the dog bite lawyers at Kapuza Lighty.