While dogs are popular pets in Oregon, these animals can be very dangerous when they bite. Not only do dogs have the potential to cause deep lacerations—but these animals may also carry dangerous bacteria that can develop into life-threatening infections. If your neighbor’s dog attacks you, it is important to protect yourself and others from further harm, preserve as much evidence as possible, and seek immediate medical attention.
Typically, the first step that any dog bite victim should take is to identify the dog and its owner. Not only is this helpful for filing a claim, but if you cannot ensure that the dog is not rapid, medical personnel may force you to take expensive rabies shots. If the dog is your neighbor’s, you should be able to confirm the owner’s name, address, and the dog’s vaccination history.
Dog bite injuries can be painful and debilitating. As soon as you can, get to a safe location away from the animal. If you are able, apply first aid to reduce your risk of infection until you reach a hospital.
You should always go to the hospital after a dog bite—first aid is not a replacement for professional medical care. These injuries can lead to serious, debilitating infections without prompt treatment. Additionally, your medical records will serve as valuable pieces of evidence in your claim. While receiving care, save all documents related to your treatment and injuries.
As soon as possible after the attack, take photographs of your injuries, the area of the attack, and the clothes you were wearing at the time of the bite. Aim to take as many pictures from as many angles as possible. You should also save any physical evidence that was present during the attack, such as your torn or bloody clothing.
After you receive treatment, you should file a dog bite report with the proper authorities. In Portland, for example, you will need to file a report with the Multnomah County Animal Services. You will need to file an Animal Bite Report and provide information such as where you sought treatment, the time and circumstances of the bite, and information about the animal. Filing a report will also establish evidence for your future claim.
Dog bites can cause financial hardship, physical pain, and emotional trauma. To keep track of the bite’s impacts, start a journal. Each day, record information about your medical care, any symptoms you have, and how the attack is affecting your daily life. This journal will help the court better understand the gravity of the bite and can serve as an important piece of evidence in your claim.
As soon as you receive medical attention for your injuries, speak to a dog bite attorney in Portland. Navigating the dog bite litigation process can be difficult without a lawyer on your side. An attorney will understand each stage and can handle every aspect of your case on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovery. Contact a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.