what to do after dog bite

What to Do After a Dog Bite in West Virginia: 5-Step Guide for Victims

No one expects to be attacked by a dog, so when you do, it’s understandable to not know what comes next.

Should you see a doctor? Do you have to report it? Could you be compensated for your injuries?

When these questions come flooding in all at once, it’s overwhelming.

At Miley Legal, our team can provide straightforward answers. Strategically located in Clarksburg and Morgantown, we assist dog bite victims daily on the next best steps for medical care, documentation, and understanding claims options after bites here in West Virginia.

This blog will walk through the key need-to-know details we share with new clients. Our goal is to simplify the process so you feel empowered to make informed choices while recovering from a dog attack.

Step 1: Collect The Dog Owners Information

When a dog attacks, get information on the animal and owner while the facts are clear. The most important things to gather are:

  • Their full name, contact information, and insurance details
  • Rabies vaccination status
  • Breed and physical description of the biting dog
  • Circumstances triggering aggressive behavior

Having these details readily available saves time tracking liable parties later if legal action is necessary. Our attorneys can assist you in gathering any missing pieces down the road.

Step 2: Seek Medical Attention Immediately

The priority is to seek medical attention. Even minor puncture wounds or scratches can develop into infections. Seek treatment from a doctor, hospital, urgent care clinic, or other healthcare provider. Your doctor will help you:

  • Properly assess bite severity
  • Clean the injury
  • Administer antibiotics or rabies shots if needed, and
  • Determine if stitches, surgery, or other care is required

Documenting all medical treatment also provides vital evidence if you later pursue legal action and need to substantiate injury claims. Keep complete medical records and billing statements to establish the specific treatments received and the overall impact of bite trauma.

Step 3: Report The Dog Bite to Local Authorities

After securing medical care, immediately report dog bites to local animal control agencies. Provide detailed statements on the attack, descriptions of dogs and owners, addresses where incidents happened, and other relevant facts.

Animal control officers can then investigate, ensure rabies vaccine compliance, and record information to identify potentially dangerous dogs in the community.

Similarly, filing dog bite reports with police creates an official record that may aid future legal action. Police statements help capture identifying details on animals and owners and provide additional evidence against negligent parties.

Step 4: Understand Your Legal Rights and Options

West Virginia law treats dog bites differently depending on location. For attacks in public spaces, dog owners face strict liability – no proof of prior aggression or negligence is required. But bites at the owner’s home follow a negligence standard instead.

Victims typically must demonstrate the owner knew or should have reasonably foreseen their dog’s threatening behaviors yet failed to take adequate precautions. Experienced lawyers pursue all avenues to secure compensation if you suffered a dog bite injury based on applicable state laws.

Our dog bite lawyers can help you understand your available legal options after traumatic attacks. Based on case specifics, we determine the potential grounds for injury lawsuits. This includes evaluating:

  • Dog owner negligence
  • Inadequate restraints
  • Poor supervision
  • Prior bite histories
  • Strict liability statutes
  • Other liability factors

Our attorneys will also identify financial recovery options from dog owners, insurance coverage, or other sources.

Step 5: File a Dog Bite Claim

If grounds exist to hold irresponsible owners accountable, we can handle the heavy lifting by:

  • Gathering medical evidence of your suffering
  • Proving negligence or liability depending on the location
  • Calculating both economic and non-economic damages
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Taking court action, if needed

Securing rightful compensation not only covers accident costs but can provide a sense of closure after a traumatic dog bite.

Were You Bitten By Dog in West Virginia?

Take action immediately. West Virginia laws protect victims when dog owners are negligent. At Miley Legal, our team has helped countless dog bite victims across West Virginia determine their rights and pursue maximum compensation when irresponsible owners and animals have devasted lives.

We offer all new clients:

  • Free consultations evaluating your unique circumstances
  • Insight on whether reasonable grounds exist to recover damages
  • No upfront fees or charges – we only collect payment if money is secured on your behalf
  • Support gathering documentation and communicating with animal control officers and medical professionals
  • Relentless negotiation and court advocacy to fight for justice as warranted

Don’t endure lost wages, trauma, and expenses alone. Contact our dog bite attorneys to discuss your situation at no obligation. We’re ready when you are.

Author Bio

Tim Miley is the Founder of Miley Legal Accident Injury Lawyers, a West Virginia personal injury law firm he formed in 2006. With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, brain injuries, wrongful death, and other personal injury matters.

Tim received his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University and is a member of the West Virginia State Bar and the Harrison County Bar Association. He has helped his clients win more than $10 million in personal injury verdicts and settlements and has further served the people of West Virginia by filling legislative roles in the state’s government since 2004.

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