Man’s best friend is usually associated with fun and unconditional love, but some canines show a different side when they bite or attack. From the smallest terrier to the massive Bull Mastiff, any dog is capable of biting, scratching, or mauling, regardless of provocation. Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that around 4.5 million victims suffer dog bites every year or approximately one in every 72 people. Unfortunately, many children are victims because they do not know how to approach a dog or do not realize the threat. If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a dog bite in Maryland, it is critical to know what to do in the immediate aftermath and weeks after the incident.
Seek Proper Medical Care
Your health is the first priority, so head to an emergency room or trauma center depending on the severity of your injuries. Dogs’ mouths and claws can carry germs and bacteria, so the bite must be cleaned and attended immediately to avoid infection.
Report the Incident to Authorities
Your next step after seeking treatment is to file a report with local authorities in your community. The details will depend on where you live and which departments oversee dog attacks and related incidents. There may also be multiple offices to contact, including animal control, the health department, and Baltimore or Baltimore County agencies.
You will need to provide as much detail as you can when filling the required forms so be sure to gather and include information on:
- The dog’s owner and contact information;
- The location, time, and date of the animal attack
- The circumstances surrounding the encounter, such as what you were doing, where you were going, and related details;
- Whether you were bitten or mauled;
- A description of the animal based upon your observations, including breed, size, weight, coloring, and other physical attributes;
- Information regarding the injuries and where you received treatment; and,
- Any other details you can recall about the incident.
Consult with a Dog Bite Attorney
After you report a dog attack with local officials, you should also speak with a dog bite lawyer about the incident. Your injuries may not seem serious, but you could incur expensive medical bills for treatment. Surgery is often necessary for severe injuries due to bites, scratches, and puncture wounds associated with a dog attack. Plus, an animal attack can have long-lasting emotional consequences. Victims often suffer severe anxiety and a debilitating fear of dogs. The effects may require psychiatric or psychological treatment in the future. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses, but quick action is essential to protect your legal rights.
Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Maryland Dog Bite Lawyer
The effects of a dog attack may be can be catastrophic, especially considering the psychological impact and likelihood of infection. Therefore, it is critical to consult with an attorney who focuses on dog bite and other personal injury cases. For more information, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. Our legal team can answer your questions or schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.