Getting bitten by an animal isn’t something that pops into your head when thinking of legal damages, but a dog attack can be worse than you imagine and it often calls for legal action. Sometimes dog attacks are accidents, and the dog may have previously been well-behaved, but this is why these dog bites come as a surprise for unprepared owners and bystanders. Here are some tips when looking to take legal action after you or someone you know is bitten by a dog.

Evaluate what is worth your time and money

Look at the bite or attack that occurred and think about whether it’s complicated your life or left more damage than you thought. If the bite or attack caused serious health problems and led to several doctor visits, this means it might be time to take legal action. Often times, the dog owner will feel bad and cooperate, especially if the damage from the bite is severe. It is especially important to take legal action if you need surgery or have to stay home from work. Many people brush a dog bite off and don’t know that legal action is completely called for in such situations, so it’s important to take a step back and evaluate.

Make sure to take photographs after the injury to document it, in the instance you decide to take legal action. Keep track of medical bills and doctor visits. Be sure to get the contact information of the dog owner as well. These steps will make your life 100 percent easier when or if you decide to take legal action.

Look for a lawyer who will help you win the case

There’s always a specialty lawyer nearby, so if you’re in California for example, it’s crucial to look for a dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles who’s well-educated in this area of law. Lawyers in this field have experience with similar cases and are more likely to be worth your time and money.  Looking for and finding the right lawyer might be the longest part of the process.

The next step is to schedule a court date where your side and the dog owner’s side are heard in front of a judge. It is best to remain honest, polite, and assured when discussing your side of the dog attack. When heading to court, it also works in your favor to dress nicely. Many wear suits or business formal dresses when heading to a meeting with a lawyer or a court date. It is also suitable to wear a skirt and a nice shirt.

What if you own the dog?

If you are a dog owner, you are usually held accountable if your dog bites someone. This is why it’s important to keep your dog on a leash in public areas and make sure it is trained to not be violent. These steps will keep your dog from attacking a stranger, which could save you lots of money and emotional distress in the future.

Many cities such as Los Angeles are dog-friendly areas and you should be educated and prepared in the scenario that a dog loses its temper or attacks. The best thing to do is to be on your guard around dogs and steer clear of dogs not on leashes when in public. A bad dog bite is not favorable for the person bitten nor the owner of the dog.