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Reporting a Dog Bite: What to Do If You Get Attacked by a Dog


Do you know what you should do in case you get bitten by a dog? Read our guide and learn everything you should know about reporting a dog bite.

Did you know that there are about 90 million pet dogs in the United States?

Dogs are often called “man’s best friend,” and they can be. In some cases though, a dog might not be quite so friendly.

If you or someone you love is attacked by a dog, it is important to know what steps to take both medically and legally. Let’s take a closer look at the process of responding to and reporting a dog bite.

Find the Owner

If you’ve been bit by a dog, the first thing you need to do is find the owner. You will want to confirm with the owner, and the dog’s vet, that the dog is up-to-date on all of its shots. This will help confirm that you do not need to get a rabies vaccination.

Reporting a Dog Bite to the Police

After you’ve been bit, it’s important to report the dog bite to the police. The owner may swear that the dog has never done anything like this before. The only way to know for sure, though, is to make a report. 

Once you make a report, you will have an option as to whether or not you want to press charges. Whether or not you decide to do this will not necessarily impact your ability to recover damages.

In some cases, the authorities may choose to press charges automatically. This usually happens if the dog in question has attacked someone before.

Get Medical Attention

Whether you got a small bite or a big one, it’s a good idea to visit the doctor. After a dog bite, it’s common to get a booster for your tetanus vaccine. You will likely also be prescribed a round of antibiotics to prevent infection.

Getting Compensation

After a dog bite, it can be tempting to settle things out of court with the dog’s owner. This is especially true if the owner is a friend or neighbor.

In reality, working with a personal injury law firm is your best bet. Working with a law firm will help ensure that all of your medical bills, and compensation for pain and suffering, is covered. 

It will also protect your interests. If you attempt to work out payment out of court, the dog’s owner could try to turn the tables and sue you. For instance, they may claim that you attempted to extort them for more money.

Not to mention, dog bite cases are generally easy for victims to win. Dog owners are responsible for having their dogs restrained, either in their home, behind a fence, or on a leash. If their dog got off leash and bit you, the liability lies with the owner.

Moving Forward

Getting bit by a dog is scary, but the process of reporting a dog bite doesn’t have to be.

Looking for some more health advice and tips? Check out the rest of our blog for more helpful articles.