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What to Do if Attacked by a Dog While Walking

 Posted on June 19, 2024 in Personal Injury

Joliet personal injury lawyerA dog attack can be a horrific experience, leaving you with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and a long road to recovery. After such an incident, you should take the necessary steps to protect your health, well-being, and legal rights. An Illinois lawyer can guide you through the process so you know what to do next.

Prioritize Your Health

Seek medical attention immediately, even if the injuries appear minor. Dog bites can lead to serious infections, such as tetanus or rabies, and may require antibiotics or other treatments. A medical professional will clean and dress your wounds, assess the extent of your injuries, and provide you with a treatment plan. Be sure to follow instructions carefully and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and to minimize the risk of complications.

Document the Incident

As soon as possible, report the dog attack to your local animal control agency or police department. Provide a detailed account of the incident, including the date, time, location, and a description of the dog and its owner, if known. Request a copy of the incident report for your records.

Gather evidence to support your case, such as photos of your injuries, torn clothing, and the scene of the attack. If there were witnesses, collect their contact information, as their statements can corroborate your account of the incident.

Keep a journal documenting your physical and emotional recovery process, including any pain, discomfort, or limitations you experience. Keep copies of all medical records, bills, and correspondence related to the attack.

Protect Your Legal Rights

Contact an attorney who specializes in dog bite cases. In Illinois, dog owners are generally liable for injuries caused by their pets, even if the animal has no prior history of aggression. However, proving liability and securing fair compensation can be complex.

An attorney can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. He or she can also handle communications with insurance companies and negotiate a settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters; they may attempt to minimize your injuries or pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer. Instead, direct them to your attorney, who can protect your interests and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Address Your Emotional Well-Being

The trauma of a dog attack can have lasting psychological effects, such as anxiety, fear, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Do not hesitate to seek the help of a mental health professional who can provide you with coping strategies and support during your recovery.

Consider joining a support group for dog bite victims, where you can connect with others who have gone through similar experiences and share your feelings in a safe and understanding environment.

Take Legal Action With a Joliet, IL Personal Injury Lawyer

You have the right to pursue potential compensation for damages resulting from a dog attack. A Will County, IL personal injury attorney can help you file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner, seeking possible reimbursement for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC at 815-727-0100 for a free consultation.

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