When someone has been bitten by a dog, it’s important to take the right steps in order to protect one’s rights. This could affect the victim’s ability to pursue a claim and be compensated for injuries and damages sustained.
What to Do after a Dog Bite
Take these steps if bitten by a dog:
- Seek immediate medical attention. A doctor should examine even minor scratches because open wounds could lead to an infection. Punctures and tears are especially at risk, and the extent of damage could be much worse than it appears.
- Keep copies of medical records and bills. These will be necessary to prove injuries and help when determining recoverable compensation if filing a claim later.
- Get contact information of anyone who witnessed the bite. Not only could another individual explain what happened, but he/she might be able to provide a better description of the animal attack, or where the dog came from.
- Contact animal control to report the bite. This is especially important in order to know if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies and so it doesn’t injure someone else.
- Identify the dog’s owner if possible. If the owner was present when the bite occurred, write down his/her name, address and phone number. If you know where the dog came from, inform the owner of the bite.
- Take pictures of any visible injuries. Also write down the effects of the injury. For instance, did it result in missed time from work? Was there a lot of pain associated with the injuries that impacted one’s daily life?
- Gather any other information or documentation that may be relevant. Were there violations of leash laws? Had the dog previously been reported for an animal attack?