According to one local news station, Utah ranks third in America for the most significant insurance claims related to dog bites. Despite the small population, Utahans have a strong love for animals. However, some pet owners engage in negligent behavior. When this causes injuries, the injured party may seek damages and receive compensation.

What Is a Dog Attack?

Dog bite lawyers handle more than just literal bite cases. For example, if a dog chases the pizza delivery guy who falls down the steps and breaks his leg, he might become eligible for compensation. The fact that the owner raced outside and grabbed the dog before he could bite the pizza guy does not change the fact that the dog caused the injury.

The example also reinforces that dogs do not have to make physical contact with injured persons for the owners to be held liable for damages. However, attacks involving bites tend to lead to the most severe injuries and the highest compensation.

What Should You Do After a Dog Attack?

Most health care professionals insist that you should receive medical attention after a dog bite. Aggressive dogs might not have all their vaccinations and might carry diseases. Even bites involving healthy dogs can become infected, creating even more complications. After receiving medical attention, you might want to consider taking the following steps:

  1. Gather information about the dog that attacked you. Get the name and contact information of the owner. If you do not know the owner, try to get information about the dog from neighbors or eyewitnesses.
  2. Start documenting your injuries as soon as possible after the attack. Take detailed photographs and keep a journal detailing your injuries, including when they started, how they have progressed and what treatments you have received.
  3. Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal options and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

How Can You Treat a Dog Wound Without a Doctor?

You might find yourself a long way from medical services. For example, you could get bitten while on a backpacking trip or during a retreat at a remote cabin. In these instances, you might need to administer wound care or enlist the help of a friend. Cleveland Clinic recommends taking these steps:

  1. Wash the wound with warm tap water and mild soap and rinse for about five to 10 minutes.
  2. Use a clean cloth to slow the bleeding.
  3. If you have over-the-counter antibiotic cream, apply it to the affected area.
  4. Use a sterile bandage to wrap the wound.
  5. Keep the wound bandaged until you can receive medical care.
  6. Your doctor will advise you on how to care for the wound and how often to change the bandages.
  7. Observe the wound and look out for signs of infection, such as pain, swelling, redness and fever.

Prioritize seeking medical care as soon as possible, even if it means derailing your plans. Failure to properly care for the wound could cause you to receive partial blame for complications or the extent of the injuries and disabilities.

What Are Some Potential Dog Bite Injuries?

Waiting to learn the extent of injuries in the ambulance or at the hospital is a nerve-wracking experience. Most people worry about the potential lifelong effects and the medical bills they might receive. Dog bites can lead to severe injuries and disabilities, so these are valid concerns. Here are some potential dog injuries you might face:

  • Lacerations: Puncture wounds and deep cuts are common with dog bites. Often, these require stitches or surgery to repair. The lacerations might sometimes damage nerves or muscles, leading to long-term complications.
  • Blood Loss: Severe bites might sever arteries or veins. In addition to the apparent dangers of blood loss, this might lead to infection. Cases might also involve internal bleeding, which can be fatal and even more difficult to detect.
  • Infection: Infections are one of the most common complications associated with dog bites. Even if the wound appears minor, you should still receive medical attention. Bacteria in a dog’s mouth can cause serious infections.
  • Facial Trauma: When dogs bite, they often go for the face. This tendency can damage the teeth, lips, nose or cheeks. In some cases, this might require reconstructive surgery. Sadly, facial trauma is prevalent among dog bite cases involving children.
  • Broken Bones: When dogs bite, they often shake their heads violently. This can lead to broken bones, especially in the extremities. Broken bones can also result from falls or the bite itself.

What Are the Potential Long-Term Effects of a Dog Attack?

Dog attacks can haunt injured persons for decades to come. Some people never fully recover from their injuries and many have faced the reality of amputations. Consider these potential long-term effects:

  • Nerve damage: Severe nerve damage is another common long-term effect of dog bites. This damage might cause paralysis, loss of sensation and chronic pain. People who suffer nerve damage also face a higher risk of potential addiction to opioids as they struggle to manage pain.
  • Disfigurement: Severe bites might cause loss of limb, permanent scars or other deformities. These cases can lead to a loss of self-confidence and issues with employment, social interactions and relationships. Sometimes, surgery can minimize the appearance of scars.
  • Strained Relationships: In some cases, you might personally know the negligent dog owner. Local authorities might choose euthanasia to eliminate further risk if this is not the first incident. The loss of a pet and the stress of proceedings could lead to strained relationships. However, it’s important to remember that the responsibility for managing a dog’s behavior rests solely with the owner.
  • Psychological Harm: This might manifest as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health conditions. The psychological effects of a dog attack can be just as debilitating as the physical ones.
  • Death and Grief: Unfortunately, some people do not survive dog attacks. If you have lost a loved one to a dog attack, you might struggle with profound grief and a sense of injustice. No sum of money can replace a life lost, but compensation can prevent additional stresses caused by medical bills and caring for dependents.

What Is the Claims Process for a Dog Bite?

The process usually involves filing a claim with the right insurance provider. This might be the dog owner’s homeowners insurance, renters insurance or another type of policy. You will likely need to provide evidence of your injuries, including medical records and bills. The insurance company will then investigate the claim and determine whether to approve it.

If it approves your claim, you will receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. An experienced attorney will attempt to negotiate the highest possible settlement. If the insurance company denies the claim or continues to send a lowball offer, the attorney will likely move forward with a lawsuit.

How Can Our Utah Dog Bite Lawyers Help You?

Our experienced attorneys at Siegfried and Jensen work hard to secure justice for clients attacked by dogs. We understand how horrifying this experience can be, especially when it results in disabilities, disfigurement or death. Consequently, we serve with compassion.

Our commitment to delivering results and putting our clients first has helped us secure more than $1.2 billion in personal injury compensation for our clients. Contact us today for a free case review and to see what our team can do for you.

Siegfried and Jensen’s accident and injury attorneys have settled many dog bite cases.

When you team up with our expert injury lawyers you can expect the best:

  • We’ll answer your questions and address your concerns throughout the entire process.
  • We’ll pull together the information needed to build your case, including medical records, police reports, insurance policies, expert testimony, etc.
  • We’ll help you get what you need to move forward with your life.
  • We’ll make sure everyone plays by the rules and treats you fairly.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an animal attack, contact Siegfried and Jensen today for a free, no-pressure consultation or for more information.