Bitten by a Dog? What Should You Do?


Millions of people suffer dog bites or attacks every year. Unfortunately, most do not know what to do in the event that they’re bitten by a dog.

First, immediately seek medical treatment by going to the emergency room, urgent care center or your doctor. Bite wounds need to be treated as soon as possible.

Second, prepare a detailed written statement of what happened, including a description of the dog and location of incident. You think you will not ever forget all the details, but you will — so write them down. Take clear photos of all injuries, and include any article of clothing or personal item that might have been ripped or damaged during the attack.

Be sure to obtain information of the dog owner(s) and any witnesses. This information is important should you seek to make a claim (medical expense reimbursement, lost wages, damaged clothing or personal items, pain and suffering).

Contact the local health department to report the incident and find out about the dog’s vaccinations. You may need to get a tetanus or rabies shot(s) as soon after the bite as possible. Ohio law requires a dog bite be reported within 24 hours of the incident so the dog can be quarantined for rabies observation. Reporting to the local police and dog warden is also helpful with the investigation and prevention of future incidents from this same dog.

Finally you may want to consider making a legal claim for costs of medical treatment, lost time from work and for pain of the bite and required treatment and maybe a disfiguring scar. Such a claim would be against the dog owner’s insurance company and you can be sure they have any attorney. So you should consider working with an attorney such as my firm which has experience with these claims. Give us a call; there is no cost to you for a consultation.