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What should you do if a dog attacks you?

Even though most dogs are "man's best friend," some of these animals are more dangerous than they appear. Depending on the circumstances, a dog attack can result in serious injury or even death.

If you find yourself the victim of a dog attack, there are four key steps you should attempt to take:

  • Obtain medical care: Once the dog is removed from the area, turn your attention to your medical care. In addition to first-aid, call 911 to request an ambulance. The responding paramedics can treat you at the scene, while also transporting you to a local hospital.
  • Exchange information: This may not be possible in the event of a serious injury, but if you're able to exchange information with the dog owner you should do so.
  • Talk to witnesses: If anyone witnessed the accident, such as a neighbor of passerby, exchange information with them as well. Their account of the incident can go a long way in helping you obtain compensation in the future.
  • Contact animal control: Once you file a report with animal control, the incident is in their hands. They'll launch an investigation with the goal of determining what went wrong and how to best take action.

How to document a dog bite

While your health is your top priority, documentation is critical to receiving compensation from the negligent party. Here's what you need to do:

  • Take photos of the scene and your injuries
  • Thoroughly document all injuries, including the physical and mental impact on your life
  • Keep copies of all medical records, such as doctor visits and test results

Also, since you're likely to deal with an insurance company at some point, document all correspondence with them. This can include phone calls, emails and snail mail.

Your medical team can provide you with a detailed treatment plan, along with information on your prognosis for making a full recovery.

As time allows, take the information you've collected to formulate a plan for obtaining compensation through the Pennsylvania legal system from the negligent dog owner. It can be a long and drawn-out process, but you've suffered a serious injury and you deserve to receive compensation for the impact it's had on your life.

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