Dog bite injuries can be very scary, not only because of the initial damage that may have been done, but also because infection can often set in and cause a whole world of hurt beyond what you may have initially expected. When a dog bite unexpectedly occurs, it may have been the result of a pet owner’s irresponsible training regimen, a random occurrence, or a dog mistakenly thinking that someone was making an aggressive move and trying to defend itself or its owner.
Whatever the reason for the bite, it might seem like the situation became even more complicated if it happened while you were on the job — but that isn’t the case. You should react in much the same way as if you were just going about your daily business.
Here’s what you should do!
- You have the option of calling the police, but when attacked by an animal it might be more prudent to make an inquiry to animal control. If the animal in question has a pattern of aggressive behavior, this may be the only way to truly prevent a repeat occurrence. Remember: children are more often the victims of aggressive dogs, and their injuries are often more serious.
- Write down the contact information of anyone who witnessed the attack.
- Write down the contact information of the pet owner. If you cannot find the owner, call the police to let them know about the dog; they will find the owner if possible. In addition to contact information write down insurance information and vaccination information if it’s available.
- Photograph your injuries from multiple angles if possible, and do so again after you receive medical attention.
- Seek out immediate medical attention. Keep diligent records of bills. Your employer will want this information for the workers’ compensation paperwork. If you file a lawsuit, your lawyer will want the information as well.
- Keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings throughout recovery.
The only thing that really makes a dog bite that occurs on the job different from one that occurs anywhere else is options. When mauled at work or on the job, you would immediately tell your employer what happened. Your employer would go through the usual motions to make sure you get workers compensation. However, you still have the option of suing the dog’s owner, because pet owners have strict liability. Keep in mind, though, that a personal injury case is icing on the cake, and judges are less likely to rule in your favor when they know you’re only out to make a profit.
Either way, you should still consult with a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your options. Why shouldn’t you? Consultations are free!