If you were bit by someone else’s dog, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury claim. After all, the damages resulting from even a single laceration can add up fast. From medical bills and missed work to scarring and disfigurement, such losses can quickly amount to tens of thousands of dollars—or more.
To ensure you can pursue every dollar you deserve, it’s important to mitigate damages in the meantime. That means taking reasonable measures to keep unwarranted costs from accumulating alongside your recoverable losses.
If you’re wondering how to do so, read on. Here are some of the easiest—and most widely recognized—ways to mitigate damages in the wake of an animal attack:
1. Seek Prompt Treatment
Even if the wound doesn’t look like it needs stitches, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible after the attack (ideally later that same day). This is especially important if the owner or handler is unable to confirm the date of the dog’s last rabies vaccination. Should the animal’s status be unclear, you may need a fast-acting injection to prevent the virus from infecting you in the event that the dog was infected at the time of the bite.
Postponing medical care might be tempting, especially if you’re able to bandage the wounds on your own, but if you end up suffering complications—by developing an infection, for example—you could be deemed partially liable for their severity. If the insurance adjuster can make the case that you failed to mitigate damages, you may not be able to seek compensation for 100 percent of the losses you incur.
2. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Once you do start treatment, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions diligently. Taking care of an open wound, like the kind that can result from a dog bite, is inherently challenging. Regardless, if you fail to do so properly, you might be considered responsible for any complications that arise.
3. Do What You Can on Your Own
Although your doctor may instruct you to take it easy, they may also encourage you to devise a routine that ensures you keep busy. After all, lying in bed all day—even when you’re injured—is a foolproof way to develop depression and anxiety spurred on by isolation and inactivity.
While the cost of reasonably necessary replacement services is a recoverable loss under Texas tort law, you may be advised to cook for yourself or maintain your household, so you have a reason to get out of bed each day.
Before enlisting help, talk to your doctor. If they think you should handle certain tasks yourself, you may not be able to include the cost of outsourcing them in your dog bite claim.
Discuss Your Case with a Dog Bite Attorney in Houston
For help with your dog bite claim, turn to Chelsie King Garza, P.C. For nearly two decades, Chelsie Garza has been advocating for injured parties who are just trying to get their lives back on track. To set up your free initial consultation with this Houston dog bite lawyer, call 713-893-8808 or submit the Contact Form on her website.