Your neighbor owns a dog that has been menacing the neighborhood. You've called animal control but the dog is always back in the yard by the time they arrive. However, the dog just got out and attacked you while you were in your own yard. Now you're injured and you don't know what to do. According to statistics, about 1,000 people require medical care for dog bites every day in the United States. Here's what you need to do to make sure you're neighbors are held responsible.
File a Police Report
As soon as you can get to a phone, you need to file a police report. The police will need to know that you've been bit by a dog. Filing a police report will help if you need to file a lawsuit against your neighbor. It will also help get the dog off the streets. Not only that, but there may be other complaints against the neighbor regarding the same dog. Your police report will help protect you and your neighbors from a dangerous animal.
Seek Medical Care
Even if you don't think the bites are serious, you should still seek emergency medical care. Be sure to let the medical staff know that you were attacked by a dog. They will need to confirm that the dog has current rabies vaccinations. If the dog is missing rabies vaccinations, you will need to receive a series of rabies shots to protect you from contracting the disease.
Document Your Injuries
Begin documenting your injuries as soon as you get home from the hospital. Keep a journal so that you can keep detailed notes about how the injuries are interfering with your life. Some of the things you should document in your journal will include these:
- Whether or not your injuries have kept you from work
- The level of pain you're experiencing
- Emotional or psychological trauma you're experiencing as a result of the attack
You'll need to take a couple different types of photographs in the days and weeks following the attack. If the dog continues to leave the yard, be sure to take pictures of the dog. You'll need to take photographs of the area that the dog is leaving the yard. For instance, if there is a damaged fence that the dog has been escaping through, take pictures of the fence. Finally, take photographs of your injuries in various stages of the healing process. This will document the damages, as well as any issues that develop as a result of the injuries, such as infections or scarring. Be sure to take photographs of the initial bites to document the severity of your injuries.
If you've been injured by the neighbor's dog, this list will help you recover from your injuries—physically, emotionally, and financially. If your neighbors refuse to accept responsibility for your injuries, you'll need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.