Reporting a Dog Bite: How to Do It
Dogs can cause serious injuries, so it is important that you report all dog bites to the appropriate authorities so that they can investigate. Some dogs might need to be quarantined or even laid down. Read on for more information on reporting a dog bite.
Call the Police
A police officer can meet you at the scene of the incident and write up a police report. The police officer might also be better at calming down the situation and getting important information out of the owner. If you are too injured, ask someone else to call the police.
When the officer arrives, explain what happened. The officer will also want to speak to the dog owner if he or she is available. Make sure to get a copy of the police report or the incident report number. If you forget, you can go later to the police station and get a copy of the report.
Receive Medical Care
You need immediate treatment for a dog bite. Serious bites can cause considerable bleeding, which you can try to stanch by applying pressure with a clean garment. Elevate bleeding wounds above the level of your heart.
Even superficial wounds are dangerous because they can become infected. A dog’s mouth is host to many bacteria, any one of which could enter your bloodstream. If you contract an infection, you will want treatment as soon as possible.
Superficial wounds should be washed with warm water and soap before applying a sterile bandage. Go to the doctor and have your wound check out to see if it is becoming infected. You might also need a tetanus shot or a rabies vaccination based upon the dog’s health history.
Contact Animal Control
Once you feel stable, you can call animal control and report the dog bite. Reporting a dog bite is mandatory if you received medical care. Regardless, it is helpful to report to them.
Give animal control as much information as possible, such as:
- The date, time, and location of the dog bite;
- A description of the dog; and
- The dog owner’s name (if known).
Animal control will investigate the dog to check whether it has a history of biting people.
Make an Insurance Claim
Dog bites should be covered by the owner’s homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy. You can make a claim with them or contact your own homeowners’ insurer, which can work with the dog owner’s insurer to get compensation for your injuries.
Dog bites can take a long time to heal, and therefore can cost tens of thousands of dollars. In 2017, the average dog bite claim was a little over $37,000, so it is well worth your time to pursue an insurance claim. Hold onto all medical bills and document if you miss work.
Allen Law is Here for You
If an insurer is being difficult or if you have horrific injuries, you should speak to a dog bite attorney in the Monterey Bay Area. At the Allen Law Firm, we have helped numerous dog bite victims get the compensation they need after a dog attack.
For more information about how we can help, please contact us by scheduling a free initial consultation.
Scott Allen is the founder of Allen Law Firm. Scott earned his Juris Doctor degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law (now known as Berkeley Law) at the University of Berkeley in California and has over 20 years of experience practicing personal injury law. He is a member of the State Bar of California and has earned a Superb rating by Avvo. To learn more about Scott, read his full bio here.