Written by Stryder Wegener
Seattle is full of dogs and pet-friendly establishments that welcome canines with open arms. While dogs bring great joy to residents and visitors in the area, they can also be quite dangerous. Unfortunately, dog bites do happen and lead to hefty medical bills, time away from work, pain and suffering, and other damages.
If you incur a dog bite in Seattle, follow the steps below and consult the experienced dog bite lawyers at Emerald City Law Group. We are well-versed in these accidents and can inform you of your legal options. Call us at (206) 973-0407 today, or reach out through the online form to schedule a free, initial consultation of your case.
What to Do After a Seattle Dog Bite
After a dog bite, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. It’s important to stay calm and follow these steps so you can protect your health and rights.
1. Treat the wound.
As soon as a dog bites you, press on the wound gently and flush out as much bacteria as you possibly can. Then, wash the wound with warm soap and water. Lastly, apply an antibiotic cream and use a sterile bandage to wrap the wound. Change the bandage several times each day until you see a doctor.
2. Seek medical attention.
Seeing a doctor after a dog bite is essential, even if you think you’re fine or your dog bite is no big deal. A physician will likely ask you for details of what happened and thoroughly clean your wound again. If the bite has been infected, you can expect them to prescribe you antibiotics. Also, if the dog that bit you didn’t have up-to-date vaccines, your doctor may recommend various shots.
3. Report the dog bite.
Once your dog bite is taken care of, and you’re on your way to recovery, report the injury and situation to Seattle Animal Control. Reporting the bite can reduce the risk of others in your area getting attacked by the same dog. The report can also be used as valuable evidence if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
4. Collect contact information.
You’ll need to collect the contact information of the owner, even if you don’t know them personally. Find out their name and phone number as well as information about the dog’s name, their breed, and whether they’ve bitten others in the past.
5. Gather evidence.
Use your phone to take photos of the dog and the wound they’ve inflicted upon you. It’s also a good idea to ask your doctor for medical documentation of your injuries and keep the clothing you were wearing at the time of the bite.
6. Consult a dog bite attorney.
A dog bite lawyer can educate you about your rights and help you file a claim against the appropriate owner. In most cases, the process involves contacting the dog owner’s homeowners insurance company and filing a report. If the owner doesn’t have insurance, they may be required to pay for your damages out-of-pocket.
Who is Liable After a Dog Bite?
According to Washington laws, a dog’s owner is responsible for damages a bite causes to any individual while they are on the pet owner’s public or private property. Whether or not the owner knew or reasonably should have known of their dog’s viciousness is irrelevant. The owner will almost always be on the hook for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Hurt After a Dog Bite in Seattle? Call Us Today
You have three years from the date a dog bit you to file a claim against the owner for a chance to recover compensation for your damages. If a dog in Seattle has hurt you, reach out to Emerald City Law Group as soon as possible so we can get the claims process started. Contact us today at (206) 973-0407 to get started.