How Do I Report a Dog Bite?
Helpful Tips for Dog Bite Victims
As dog bite attorneys, we know dealing with a dog bite can be frightening, confusing, and full of uncertainty. It’s often such a shock that it’s hard to process, but as the seconds tick by, you know you have to act. The question is how do you act? What do you do, and what’s going to happen to the dog if you report? First things first, if you’ve been bitten by a dog or someone you care for has, it’s important to report it, for a number of reasons. Understandably, you may be unsure of where to start or what to do. So let’s walk through it, step by step.
Call the Police
Maybe this seems extreme, but it’s an important first step. If the bite is not severe, call the non-emergency line and be sure to explain that all parties involved in the bite are still present at the site. However, if you’re bleeding, significantly injured, or going into shock, it’s time to call 9-1-1. After the police complete a report, make sure to get the incident report number for your records. It will help as you consider your options.
Identify the Owner and Dog
Whether it’s someone you know or not, identifying the parties involved in the bite is an important step for reporting purposes. It might be difficult to obtain this information, but do what you can to do so, because it will save you time and expensive and painful tests and shots if the people treating your wound can look up the dog’s vaccination history.
It’s also important information to have as you work through the rest of the reporting steps. It’s not about punishing the dog or the owner, it’s about protecting you and your family from a financial and safety standpoint.
See a Doctor
This one should be obvious, but before you get too far into the reporting process, get that wound tended to! Even minor bites have the potential to become medically complicated if not treated in a timely manner. Ask for copies of all the work your doctor does and make sure you receive any and all documentation that can help with your report.
Document the Bite
Take photos of the bite itself as well as your surroundings when the bite happened, any torn or bloody clothing, and whatever else you can document about the bite. This may not all be photos. Some of this information may come from the incident report filed by the police, or from your own notes (you can write them down or type them out in your phone), but having as much information as possible taken down as soon as possible after the bite takes place can be a huge asset later.
Report to Animal Control – No Matter What
We know this is a scary step for a lot of people. Especially if you know the owner or don’t want anything to happen to the dog, but it’s important to report the bite to your local animal control organization. It doesn’t mean the dog will be put down, but it does open an investigation that could lead to required safety measures for the owner to take to keep the public (and the dog) safe and prevent further bites from happening. Often, it is only in extreme cases that a dog bite report results in a dog having to be put down.
Consider Your Legal Options
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you may be eligible for legal compensation. Dog bites can wreak havoc on your life – from medical bills to recovery time to potential psychological issues you may face in the wake of an attack. You deserve to seek what’s right for the situation you encountered, and we’re dedicated to making sure you receive that just compensation. If you want to know more about your legal options and want to speak with a personal injury attorney, give us a call today at 303-372-6145 and schedule a consultation. We’ll talk about your case specifics and determine what the best course of action to help you get back to your life with the recompense you deserve.
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