Being bitten by a dog can be a painful, scary experience. Fortunately, if you’ve suffered a dog bite, Arizona law offers you a way to recoup medical costs, financial losses, and emotional distress. Arizona has two laws that apply, a strict liability dog bite statute and the standard common law negligence statute that all other personal injury claims fall under. Here is everything you need to do after you’ve been bitten to ensure you have the strongest possible case.
Get Medical Attention
It’s important to have the bite examined as soon as possible, even if it means a trip to urgent care. Be sure to follow all care instructions and schedule any recommended follow-up visits to keep tabs on the bite as it heals. Keep in mind that bites in sensitive areas, such as the face, may require plastic surgery to reduce scarring and restore your former appearance.
Don’t Post on Social Media
While it may seem tempting to talk about your ordeal on social media, it’s best not to post about it. It’s especially important not to go to social media looking for advice. Social media posts can be used against you if you later decide to pursue legal action. The best way to ensure you don’t post the wrong thing is to not post anything about it at all.
Consult With an Attorney as Soon as Possible
The best person to answer your questions isn’t a friend on social media, but a seasoned dog bite attorney. Consultations are generally free, so discreetly ask around for attorney recommendations, and schedule an appointment as soon as you’re able to. It’s imperative for your case that you get legal advice as early as possible.
Collect Proof of the Incident
As soon as you can, start gathering proof of the incident. This may include video footage, photographs, and even witnesses who can corroborate your story of how you were bitten. If you were on the dog owner’s private property, it’s also important to show that you were visiting on their invitation, and not trespassing.
Keep All Medical Records
Depending on the severity of the dog bite, you may have numerous medical expenses piling up. Be sure to keep all medical records, bills, and receipts pertaining to the bite in a separate file. It’ll be important to keep the records in order to track the financial burden of the bite. Your attorney will want to see the file when you meet with them for the first time, and will help you build a strong case to show to the judge if you have to go to court.
Assemble Any Other Evidence
Medical expenses may not be the extent of the financial burden you suffer due to a bite. Missed work due to recovery time and doctor’s appointments also represents a financial burden, as it results in lost wages. Severe injuries can mean lost income over the long term as well, especially if they result in a temporary or permanent disability, a lost job, or an impacted career. Collect documentation of any and all ways the bite has impacted your finances.
Most important of all, don’t hesitate to act after you’ve been bitten. Under Arizona law, you have only a year to bring a a case to court under the dog bite statute, and two years under the less-favorable negligence statute.
Ready to take action on your dog bite? With an experienced attorney’s guidance, the medical bills and legal proceedings will seem less overwhelming. Schedule a consultation with the Simon Law Group today and let us help you with your case.