If you suffer a dog bite, it can be a distressing experience. Because of the potential for serious injury and an expensive recovery, it is important not to simply brush the incident off.

When there are dogs in your neighborhood, take time to educate yourself about dealing with the aftermath of a bite.

Seek immediate medical attention

After a dog bite, be sure to prioritize your health. Seek immediate medical attention, no matter how minor the bite may seem. Infections and complications can arise, so prompt medical care is wise.

Identify the dog and owner

Try to identify the dog and its owner. This information will be helpful when addressing the incident and seeking resolution. If you do not know the owner, inquire with neighbors or witnesses who might be able to provide this information.

Document the incident

Documenting the incident is key. Take clear photographs of your injuries, the location where the bite occurred, and any visible details, such as the dog’s leash or any signs indicating ownership. These records can be useful if you need to take further action.

Report to animal control

Contact your local animal control agency to report the dog bite incident. Provide them with all relevant details, including the dog’s description, the owner’s information, and any other pertinent information. Animal control will investigate the matter and take appropriate action.

Cooperate with authorities

If animal control or law enforcement becomes involved, cooperate fully with their inquiries. Share all the information you have and follow any instructions provided by the authorities. This collaboration ensures a thorough investigation into the incident.

Verify vaccination records

Inquire about the dog’s vaccination records, especially regarding rabies. Confirming that the dog is up-to-date on vaccinations is necessary for your safety. If there are concerns about the dog’s health status, inform the appropriate authorities.

Consider recourse

Recovering from a dog bite can be expensive. In 2022, the liability claims for dog-related injuries in the U.S. totaled over $1 billion. If the bite you experience results in significant injuries or emotional distress, it is wise to review your legal options and seek compensation.

By following these measures, you not only address the immediate consequences of the incident but also contribute to the overall safety and well-being of the community.