Common Mistakes People Make After Being Bitten by a Dog
Arizona is no stranger to dog bite victims, with hundreds of victims requiring emergency treatment for dog bites annually. Of course, preventing Arizona dog bites ahead of time is best, but even with perfect preparation, it’s impossible to completely negate the risk of a dog attacking someone; instead, many people make mistakes in the minutes and months following a bite. Take a moment to learn about some of the most common errors dog bite victims make, so that you can avoid them yourself if you’ve been bitten.
Failing to Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t need to go to the emergency room, all dog bites warrant a trip to the doctor’s office at a minimum. Dog bites and other puncture wounds have a very high likelihood of infection and could entail deep enough lacerations to cause permanent nerve damage or disfigurement. You should also contact the owner and check if their dog is up to date on vaccinations, to ensure that you won’t contract more serious diseases.
Getting treatment isn’t just good for your physical health—doing so will also generate vital medical records, which will prove the exact extent of your injuries. Insurance adjusters will also be unable to claim that you let your injuries intensify via negligent unwillingness to get them treated, further protecting your Arizona personal injury claim from ruthless tactics and doubt.
Not Documenting and Reporting the Bite
You’re likely going to need compensation for your medical bills, which means you’re going to need to prove that the owner was liable for the bite as per Arizona’s dog bite laws. The actual content of these laws is simple and generously in your favor as the victim, stating that, as long as you weren’t trespassing or provoking the dog, the owner will be liable for any bite you sustain, even if the dog was never violent in the past.
However, that statute is moot if you can’t prove that the dog bit you, that your injuries are as bad as you say they are, and that you were bitten while legally on the property. In order to avoid having an unsubstantiated claim, there are a few key steps you should take:
- Take photos and document everything, including the location of the bite, the dog that bit you, the wounds you suffered (and their healing process), the owner, and anything else that comes to mind.
- If your bite is severe, you may wish to contact the police. Request a copy of the incident police report that they’ll generate; this can further legitimize your incident and will provide strong documentation.
- Eyewitness testimonies are a great way to prove that you didn’t provoke the dog beforehand, so be sure to gather statements and contact info from anyone who saw what happened.
Neglecting to Talk to an Arizona Dog Bite Attorney
Arizona’s statute of limitations for dog bites is debatable, ranging from one to two years depending on the particulars of your case and what cause of action you file it under. As such, it’s generally safest to file your claim within a year; however, even if one year has passed, it’s still a good idea to talk to an Arizona dog bite attorney to see if you might have a valid case. Because dog bites are often subjective affairs, where owners and adjusters alike will argue that you provoked them, it’s best to give ELG a call at (623) 877-3600 to get the help of strong legal representation, leveling the playing field against those who seek to minimize your claim and deny you the compensation you deserve.