Worst Mistakes to Make After a Dog Bite

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Dog attacks can cause severe and life-threatening injuries. A victim may not be able to ever fully recover from a serious dog bite injury and could suffer lasting physical and emotional scars. If you get bitten by a dog in Nebraska, it is important to take certain steps to protect your health and legal rights. This includes avoiding these common dog bite injury mistakes.

Worst Mistakes to Make After a Dog Bite

Admitting Fault

It may be in your nature to be polite or not want to cause a scene. After a dog bites you, you may instinctively tell the pet owner, “It’s okay,” or, “It was my fault.” You may even apologize to the owner if you had been attempting to pet the dog when it bit you. However, it is critical to protect your rights by not admitting fault. These statements could put your ability to recover financial compensation for your medical bills at risk. Do not discuss the incident with anyone other than your Omaha dog bite attorney – or the police, if they are called to the scene. 

Failing to Seek Medical Attention

It is imperative to get professional medical care after getting bitten by a dog. Many dog attacks result in serious injuries, such as puncture wounds, deep lacerations, and eye and face injuries. Even if the bite doesn’t seem severe, if it broke the skin, you could be at risk of infection or a serious disease, including rabies. Go to a hospital and explain what happened to a doctor. You may need wound cleaning or debridement, antibiotics, stitches, or even more extensive treatment such as a skin graft, depending on the severity of the injury.

Deciding Not to Report the Attack

All dog bite incidents should be reported to the local animal control center, such as the Nebraska Humane Society. Local authorities need to know about dog attacks for their records. That way, if the same dog continues to bite or injure people or domestic animals in the future, they can take action to protect the public. Animal control may quarantine the dog to check for rabies, for example, or classify it as a “dangerous dog,” which will require the owner to take certain steps to prevent attacks (e.g., muzzling the dog on walks, keeping it contained, etc.).

Forgetting to Document the Incident

Do your best to document the dog bite incident early on, while you are still at the scene of the attack. Get the name of the pet owner, his or her phone number, the breed of the dog, the dog’s shot and vaccine history, the location where the attack occurred, and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Also, request copies of your medical records and bills for any necessary treatment. Documenting the attack can be invaluable for a dog bite injury claim later.

Dealing With an Insurance Company Without an Attorney

In Nebraska, state law (N.R.S. 54-601) declares that all pet owners shall be liable to any person who is bitten or harmed by a dog, regardless of the question of the pet owner’s negligence. Nebraska’s dog bite law means that you typically do not have to prove that the owner was negligent or did something wrong to cause the dog bite injury, such as allowing the pet to run at large, to qualify for compensation.Despite the strict liability law, it can still be difficult to get a pet owner’s property insurance company to pay you a fair amount. An insurance company is a for-profit business that may use many tactics to convince you to settle for less than your claim is worth. This is why it is important to contact an Omaha dog bite attorney to help you deal with an insurance adjuster as soon as possible. Your lawyer can negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf to maximize your financial recovery.