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Dog Bites: What to Do Before You Sue

By Edward Tan, JD | Last updated on

Dogs can be man's best friends -- that is until they bite another man. Being attacked by an animal can lead to serious injuries. And knowing what to do after a dog bites you can sometimes be unclear, particularly in terms of your rights.

Who's responsible for your medical expenses? Can you sue? What will happen to the dog? These are all common questions that people have after an animal attack.

So if you (or a loved one) is bitten by a dog, here are three simple steps you should follow to ensure your health and rights are protected.

1) Seek Medical Attention

Even though a dog's mouth is technically cleaner than a human's, a dog bite can still lead to serious infection if left untreated. Don't forget, dogs can carry diseases, such as rabies. Sterilize the injury and then get medical help as soon as possible.

2) File a Police or Animal Control Report

Filing a report with your local authorities might seem like an overreaction, but it's not. Regardless of whether the attacking dog was owned by a friend, neighbor, or stranger, reporting your injury is a vital step in the process. By doing so, you'll be creating an official public record of your attack. This will help if you decide to pursue legal action, and it'll also alert the public to a possibly dangerous animal.

3) Contact a "Dog Bite" Lawyer

Getting in touch with a lawyer specializing in animal bite litigation is an important final step. When you meet with your attorney, remember to be detailed and honest about what happened. They'll need accurate information from you in order to properly assess your case and advise you on your options.

Knowing what to do when a dog bites you can be difficult, but following these steps is a good start.

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