Bitten by a Dog? Steps to Take Immediately After

No one can adequately prepare themselves for a dog attack. Whether the dog was aggressive or it was a dog you knew, the emotional and mental trauma associated with such events can have lifelong consequences. However, what you do immediately after a dog attack is critical – especially if you were to file a claim against the dog’s owner for compensation. Dog attacks can be harmful to your health and even put you at risk for disease or infection on top of the physical scars and trauma. If you have been attacked by a dog, contact an attorney that specializes in dog bites to explore your options.

What to do Immediately After a Dog Attack

To protect yourself, there are things you must do immediately after a dog attack incident. These things include:

  1. Get immediate medical attention. If you are bleeding, contact 911 right away for assistance. Do not be afraid to go to the emergency room or seek immediate medical care. It is imperative that you do, because dogs could carry diseases in their saliva (including rabies) and you must be evaluated by a medical professional.
  2. Find out who owns the animal that bit you. Sometimes it is difficult to identify where the dog came from or who owns the dog, but if you can, work to identify the dog’s owner. It is important you find the owner and dog, so that you can determine if that dog was infected with rabies or had the proper vaccinations. Rabies shots are expensive and painful; therefore, if the dog is not positive for rabies, you can avoid the physical pain and cost of unnecessary treatment.
  3. Report the dog attack to the authorities. Even if you are unsure who owns the dog or where the dog went, you need to report the bite. Contact the police as well as your local animal control. Animal control will create a vicious dog report and do a search for the dog as well. If the animal’s owner has been identified, animal control and the local police department will go through the process of collecting the animal and filing a report against the owner.
  4. Talk to any witnesses you can find. Sometimes someone can witness the attack and you will need that witness’s information to file a claim later – especially if the dog’s owner attempts to say you provoked the bite.
  5. Do not discuss anything with the dog’s owner or their insurance company. Do not discuss details of the incident with anyone except your own attorney. The dog’s owner’s insurance may contact you trying to find a settlement amount, but you should refer them to your attorney instead. Do not discuss details with the owner either – even if you know them. Anything you say could be used against you in the claims process.
  6. Follow your doctor’s treatment orders. This is critical when filing an injury claim. If your doctor requires you to take antibiotics or seek wound care treatments, you must follow these orders. Failing to do so could result in your injury claim being denied or a settlement much lower than necessary for a full recovery.

Contact a Dog Bite Attorney Immediately

After an attack or bite, you must contact an attorney that has experience handling dog bite claims. The laws regarding dog attacks and the process for seeking compensation is extremely complex. The attorneys at Jacobs Law can assist you. We understand the emotional and physical trauma a dog attack takes on a victim and we want to help you recover. Give us a call today to schedule a no obligation consultation at (317) 794-2024 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.