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8 Things to Do To Document the Injuries and Damages Caused by a Dog Bite in Idaho.


After you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, it is imperative that you document not only the occurrence itself, but also the injuries and damages you have incurred. Remember that in Idaho, it is the plaintiff who has the burden of proof to establish that the damages incurred were proximately caused as a result of the negligence of the defendant. In order to assist you in that endeavor, here are 8 suggestions as to how to document the injury and damages you have or may in the future incur as a result of a dog bite.

1)  Call Animal Control to have them investigate and make a report of the incident. Typically, Animal Control may issue a citation to the at fault party.  The investigation will include when and where the attack occurred, the dog involved, the owner of the animal and the facts surrounding the attack and dog bite;

2)  Go to the hospital to obtain treatment to avoid incurring an infection and to minimize scarring or nerve damage;

3)  Take photographs and/or video record the injuries. You should place a ruler next to the wound to give the viewer an understanding of how large is the wound;

4)   Make a pain journal that discusses:

     a)   What is the date and time you are having pain?

     b) Where are you having pain in your body?

     c) What type of pain you are having, i.e, is the pain a dull ache that spikes with activity or a type of pain that is a burning pain, or one that is a stabbing pain or being poked with pins and needles, etc.;

     d) The intensity of the pain, i.e., is the pain mild; mild to moderate; moderate; moderate to severe; severe; severe to very severe; very severe; very severe to excruciating or excruciating.  Some facilities will ask that you classify your pain by number on a pain scale to one to 10, howver, there a number of different pain scales out there.  If asked to classify the number, look up and copy the pain scale you are using to avoid being misconstrued at a later time.  It's probably best to descibe your pain qualitatively rather than quantitatively.  In Boise, the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and the St. Luke's Regional Medical Center use different pain scales in reference to your pain.  It's good to document which pain scale you are using or avoid the conflict by simply writing in terms of your pain qualitiatively using the reference noted above; 

     e) How frequent is the pain, i.e., is the pain chronic meaning all the time or intermittent meaning just some of the time. If the later, how often to you feel pain? At what intervals do you feel pain? Hourly? Daily? How many times a week, etc.

     f) What activities aggravate or make the pain worse?

     g) What efforts you take to mitigate or reduce the pain? What medications did you take; when did you take them and what dosage did you take; and what was the effect on the pain. and what dosage do you take and what time of day?

    h) What did the pain prevent you from doing or how did the pain affect what you are doing recreationally or vocationally?

5)  Check with animal control and neighbors to see if they have knowledge whether the dog has bitten, attacked or otherwise acted aggressively to any other animal or person (adult or child) previous to your occurrence and find out where and when that occurrence occurred and the identity of any witnesses pertaining thereto;

6)   If you miss work as a result of the dog bite, note the date you missed work, the reason why you missed work, the hours you were scheduled to work which you missed work; your rate of pay; and whether you also lost any benefits, too. Identify the person or persons who can sign off and verify your lost wages, salary, income and benefits;

7)   Keep a journal regarding your treatment and therapy. Write down the events that occur at each meeting, treatment and/or therapy session including what you said to your healthcare provider, what they told you and what the treatment or therapy consists of; and,

8)   Keep a journal regarding what medication you took, the dosage you took and the date and time in which you took the medication. Write down what affect, if any, the medication had upon the pain.

If you have been biten by a dog or otherwise attacked, Boise Personal Injury and Dog Bite Attorney Alan Morton has a team of investigators that can assist in documenting the incident as well as researching what other incidents the dog has been involved which establishes the prior incidents that the dog may have attacked or otherwise shown aggressive tendencies to other adults, children or animals. Mr. Morton's telephone number is 208.344.5555 or call toll free at 888.716.8021 or you may contact him via our online contact form.

Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer