What should a person do if they have been bitten by a dog?

Frank S. Clowney III

There are many people in the San Diego area who own a dog. In fact, it is estimated that over 50% of Americans own a dog. Most of the time these dogs are friendly, family pets that would only hurt a squirrel. But occasionally a dog can turn dangerous and unexpectedly bite someone. If a person is bit by a dog there are certain steps they should take.

  1. Identify the dog. If a person is bit by a dog they should identify the dog that bit them. That includes tracking down the owner’s name and address. If the owner is not able to be found promptly the victim may have to go through a series of painful rabies shots.
  2. Seek medical attention. A victim of a dog bite should seek medical attention in the emergency room as soon as possible. The risk of infection is far too great to ignore.
  3. File a dog bite report. The victim of a dog bite should contact the city to submit a dog bite report no matter how minor the injury. This will legally document the case.
  4. Photograph injuries. A victim should take pictures of all their injuries, including bruises and pictures of the torn and bloodied clothing.
  5. Contact an attorney. A dog bite victim should contact an attorney who specializes in dog bites as soon as they are able. An attorney has the skills necessary to protect their client’s legal rights and make sure their best interest is kept in mind.

Besides physical injuries, many dog bite victims also suffer from emotional scarring. It is important that dog bite victims understand that they have the legal right to hold dog owners responsible for their vicious dog. A dog bite victim may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.