How to Proceed Following a Dog Bite

Dogs are Great Pets

Dogs are wonderful pets providing companionship and fun for countless people.   But when it comes to dogs you are not familiar with always listen to the dog’s owner or handler and be cautious with the dog.  

Each year in the United States there are at least 4.7 million dog bites.   Some of those bites are the result aggressive, vicious dogs attacking people.  But most dog bites were the result of people violating a dog’s boundaries and made the dog attack because it felt threatened and thought it must defend itself.

Dog Bites Can Be Avoided

A good portion of all dog bites should never have happened.   Unfortunately, many dog bite victims failed to seek approval  from a dog’s owner or handler before approaching or touching a dog. If a dog owner or handler asks you to keep a safe distance from their dog  do not argue, and spare yourself, the dog and the dog owner or handler the possibility of medical issues, expenses, suffering, squabbling and legal hassles.  Even small and cute dogs have sharp teeth  that can cause significant damage if frightened or provoked. Always respect both the wishes of a dog owner and a dog’s boundaries.

Dog Ownership is a Privilege that Carries Responsibilities 

Most states impose liability for dog bites on the dog owner, no matter how “good” the dog might previously have been.  Dog bite law in the United States is an impressive blending of city and county ordinances, state statutory law, state case law and common law legal principles derived from specific lawsuits from across the country.  In general, civil laws provide monetary compensation for the victim, criminal laws impose punishment on the dog owner, and administrative laws create a remedy against the dog itself. 

5 Things a Dog Bite Victim Should Do

If a dog bites you:

  1. Make sure you can identify the dog and find out who owns it.   The dog will need to be examined for rabies or other diseases, and the owner will most likely be responsible for all expenses, and none of this can be handled unless you know both the dog and the owner.
  2. Get medical attention immediately.   On average 1,000 Americans per day go to emergency rooms as the victims of dog bites.  This also begins the process of documenting any injuries.
  3. If the bite is in the face or is disfiguring, ask to see a plastic surgeon.  Emergencies Rooms are great places to stop the bleeding and stitches, but they are not always as concerned with disfigurement, so you need to ask.
  4. The doctor or emergency room will also address the issue of rabies.
  5. Contact a personal injury attorney or a lawyers experienced in dog bite law.  They will help protect your rights and provide for the best possible outcome.

3 Things a Dog Bite Victim Should Not Do

On the other hand, if you are the victim of a dog bite this is what you should NOT do:

  • Do not discuss financial issues connected with the dog bite until you have consulted a personal injury lawyer
  • Do not make any recorded statements or permit yourself to be photographed
  • Do not discuss the incident with anyone until you have consulted a personal injury attorney or personal injury lawyer specializing in dog bite law.