A Dog Bit Me. Should I See a Doctor? (Yes - And Here's How It Will Affect Your Insurance Claim)

 

If you were bit by a dog, you should see a doctor right away, especially if the dog was unfamiliar. 

Want more information? Download my free book "How to Make a Successful Dog Bite Injury Claim In Texas" here. 

When You Should See a Doctor for a Dog Bite

It's very important to see a doctor if you've been bitten by a dog and:

  • The wound won't stop bleeding
  • There's signs of infection like redness, swelling, pus or warmth
  • The dog was a stray
  • The bite is deep
  • You suspect a broken bone (even if the skin is intact) 
  • You're in pain

When in doubt, it's always best to err on the side of caution, especially if you don't know the dog that bit you. 

When you visit the doctor, be prepared to answer a few questions, like do you know the dog's owner? If so, was the dog up to date on all vaccinations? Rabies is uncommon but not unheard of in the United States and will be a concern moving forward. 

How Seeing a Doctor Will Affect Your Dog Bite Insurance Claim

Do you plan on making a claim against the owner of the dog who bit you? 

When You're Not Sure If You Want to Make a Claim

If you know the owner and aren't sure if you feel comfortable making a claim against them, you should know that you aren't alone. However, if you have serious medical bills as a result of the dog bite, making a claim is in your best interest. Dog bite claims are made through a person's homeowner's insurance (so it won't affect their rates) and will ensure you aren't left with unpaid medical bills. 

If you were bitten by someone else's dog, you should NOT front the cost. You're protected under Texas law and you deserve compensation for your injuries. 

READ: Should I Make a Dog Attack Claim When I Know the Owner?

When You're Ready to Make a Claim

If you've decided to make a claim, you're going to need to collect evidence to submit to the insurance company. Here's a hint: insurance companies don't just look at how big your medical bill was, but also how quickly you saw a doctor. 

They think that the longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the less hurt you must have been. 

If you wait too long to see a doctor after you've been bitten by a dog, the insurance company might have grounds to deny your claim.  

(If you want to learn about the money you can recover in Texas for a dog bite claim, read my article here). 

What To Do At the Doctor

When you see your doctor, ask them to be very detailed in their records. Again, it's your job to show the insurance company how hurt you were by the dog attack, and doctor's notes are a great way to do this. 

If you had to miss work due to your injuries, make sure your doctor notes that in your chart. 

If you were unable to participate in daily activities or you missed out on opportunities due to the injury, tell your doctor. 

Be descriptive when you're discussing your pain level with your doctor. Make sure they understand the full scope of the situation. 

Be honest. Don't exaggerate your injuries under any circumstances. 

What Happens Next? 

Once you've seen your doctor, it's very important to be a "good patient." If your doctor prescribes you medicine or asks you to continue treatment at home (like to ice the injury or to avoid using the injured area), do as they say. Not only will this help you heal more quickly, but insurance companies like to see you listen to your doctor's orders.

If you neglect to follow instructions, miss follow up appointments or fail to pick up prescriptions, the insurance company can use these things to devalue your claim. 

 

Want more information? Download my free book "How to Make a Successful Dog Bite Injury Claim In Texas" here. 

 

If you've been bitten by a dog in Fort Worth, call us today to schedule your free consultation with our dog bite lawyers at 817-294-1900. 

 

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas