Imagine you are bitten by your neighbor’s dog. The bite was minor and did not require any medical treatment. Should you report it?
You may not think anything of it, but the truth is that you should always report a dog bite, no matter how minor. You should always seek medical treatment after a dog bite, even if you don’t think treatment is necessary; the dog could have rabies, you could develop an infection from the wound or other life-threatening injuries. It’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Reporting a dog bite is important for community safety too. You may be scared to do so because the dog owner is a friend or family member. However, a report simply provides a paper record and helps document the dog’s history, which can aid others in determining whether a dog is too aggressive or dangerous.
If you have been bitten by a dog, one of the first steps is to contact the police or your local animal control department to file a report. You should also notify your local health department. In California, both the dog owner and the victim are required to notify the health department after a dog attack. If the owner fails to file a report, they can be charged with a misdemeanor.
What Happens Next?
The county agency will investigate the attack by:
- Obtaining additional information about the dog bite incident.
- Evaluating the risk of rabies, infection, and other possible consequences of the dog attack.
- Helping the victim obtain proper medical care.
- Informing the dog owner what they need to do to prevent future attacks.
- Quarantining the dog for 10 days to ensure it does not have rabies.
What Happens if I Don’t File a Report?
If you don’t do your duty and report a dog bite incident, the dog and its owner are not held responsible for what happened, and this means other people could be bitten in the future. Those people could suffer life-threatening injuries, amputations, disfigurements, or even death. Children and seniors are more likely to suffer severe injuries.
Additionally, if you fail to file a report, you will likely be on your own when it comes to treating your injuries. There is no guarantee that the dog owner will pay for your injuries.
By filing a report and personal injury claim, you can obtain the financial recovery you need to fully recover. Filing a report legally documents your case and helps future victims. It creates a paper trail and helps authorities enforce local laws.
Contact Us Today
Dog bites should always be reported to ensure you get the treatment you need. Do not be afraid to report a dog bite, even if you know the owner.
An experienced Huntington Beach Personal Injury Lawyer with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can help you file a claim so you can receive the injury settlement you need to recover from your dog bite injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 213-985-1120 or filling out the online form.