What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury

Whether you’re a dog lover or not, being bit by someone else’s animal can be a traumatic experience. It frequently happens throughout the U.S. to the tune of more than 4 million incidents per year, according to an estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent.

If you are injured by a dog bite, you might wonder what you should do in the moment and in the immediate aftermath. We’ll discuss some of the important actions you can take to protect yourself and a potential personal injury claim.

What Should I Do When a Dog Attacks Me?

If a dog is actively biting you or attempting to do so, retreat to an area where there is a barrier between you and the animal. This can be a structure or high ground that the dog can’t reach. While doing so, you can wave an object such as your purse, stick, or a shoe in front of the dog to block its bites or cause it to lose interest in you. You can also throw a jacket or shirt on the dog’s head to distract while you retreat.

If you carry any non-lethal or lethal weapons, make sure you understand the potential legal consequences for using them. You may not be protected from such consequences unless the dog was acting particularly vicious. Killing an attacking dog can even result in criminal charges for animal cruelty. Otherwise, avoid hitting or kicking an attacking dog because these actions may only exacerbate an attack.

As a last resort, you can also curl into a defensive ball on the ground. Use your arms and hands to protect your neck and head until help arrives.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Dog Attack?

Immediately. You should never wait to seek medical treatment after sustaining a dog bite injury, even if you think it wasn’t serious.

Not only can a dog bite cause lacerations and uncontrolled bleeding, but it can also introduce bacteria and other pathogens that can cause serious infection. Dog bites may also damage muscle and nerve tissue, and they can even break bones and cause bruising.

I’m Waiting for Medical Assistance, Now What?

While you wait for medical assistance to arrive, try to identify the dog’s owner and record their information. You’ll need their name and contact information as well as those of any witnesses. You or someone else should also take photos of your injuries, the accident scene, and the dog that bit you to document the incident.

If any clothing was torn or bloodied during the attack, don’t discard these items. They can be useful evidence to help you document the ferocity of the attack and your injuries.

What If I Think I Did Something to Provoke the Attack?

If you believe you did something that caused a dog to bite you, don’t say anything, even if it’s idle speculation. It can be used against you in a future personal injury lawsuit, which can result in a reduced award or judgment favoring the defendant.

Ultimately, the dog attacked you because it’s aggressive. Anything you believe you might have done to get bit doesn’t matter. Dog bites should not happen because dogs should not be aggressive toward people.

When Should I Contact a Dog Bite Personal Injury Lawyer?

Contact a personal injury lawyer about your dog bite injuries as soon as possible. In California, you have up to two years from the date of the dog bite incident to file a legal complaint seeking damages. Although this seems like a lot of time, it’s better to consult with an attorney while the evidence and memories of the incident are still fresh.

The Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser can help you seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property loss, and other damages caused by a dog bite attack. For a free consultation of our services, you can reach out to us today to learn more.

Get started now by contacting the Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser for help.


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