How to Handle a Dog Bite Accident: A Step-By-Step Legal Guide


A dog bite accident will leave you in pain, confused, and, often, scared. No matter how trivial we think of it, a dog bite is quite fatal. In just a decade between 2011-2021, over 468 deaths were caused just by dog bites in the U.S.

This alarms us to seek medical help as soon as needed, along with some serious legal actions.

You must protect yourself even after the accident. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility, and by building your case and getting the justice you deserve, you, in turn, protect others in your community to prevent the same predicament. This guide will lead you to each step you should take after getting bitten.

Immediate Actions After a Dog Bite Accident

Immediate Actions After a Dog Bite Accident

It’s easy to panic when a dog bites you, but try to remain calm and collected. You need a clear mind to take the next steps after the bite.

Seek Medical Attention

First things first, attend to immediate medical attention. You are most likely going to need vaccines, even if the bite is minor. Dog bites causing a small puncture on the skin might turn to further complications. 

This is exactly why we should never give up on immediate dog bite actions. Call paramedics or head straight to your nearest medical center, if possible.

Due to the nature of some bite wounds, medical fees can skyrocket. That’s why it’s important to hire a trusted dog bite lawyer in Utah or wherever the incident took place. Professional dog-bite lawyers comprehend the nuances of such events. They could also help you receive fair compensation for the attack, recovering you from the costs of medical expenses. 

Clean and Dress the Wound

While waiting for paramedics to arrive, wash the wound with soap and warm tap water. Let the water run over the bite for five to ten minutes. This eliminates bacteria and prevents severe infection. Apply gentle pressure to stop the bleeding, if any. If you have an antibiotic cream, spread a liberal amount on the bitten area and wrap the wound in a sterile bandage. 

The doctor will examine the bite, wash it more thoroughly, and provide you with instructions to minimize pain and address potential rabies risks. They’ll also document your injury for your medical records.

Report The Bite

Reporting the bite is essential to protecting yourself and others from future attacks. Head to the local bite control center with all the information you can gather. That includes the breed of dog, the owner, and the incident itself. For more severe bites, consider filing a police report.

Understanding Dog Bite Laws

Understanding Dog Bite Laws

Laws surrounding dog bite injuries vary per state. Some states follow the one-bite rule and negligence laws, with 14 states only allowing you to sue under the latter. However, 36 states follow ‘strict liability.’ 

Now, what’s that?

Well, strict liability basically refers to the dog owner’s responsibility if their pet causes an injury to someone else. There are some exceptions to the law, such as no charges would be made against the dog if the victim trespasses on private property.

But even the exceptions can be narrow, complicating specific laws in your jurisdiction. Therefore, it necessitates the importance of a skilled lawyer who has previous experience of dealing with a dog bite case.

Furthermore, they can use their expertise to guide you on your rights so that you get the best results. 

Gathering Evidence

Once you’ve found a lawyer, it’s time to gather evidence for your dog bite attack. Your attorney will assist with collecting the following details.

Witness Information

If you’re lucky, you may have had witnesses around during the dog bite incident. Get their names and contact information. Their first-hand accounts can back up your claim and help prove what exactly happened.

Scene Photos

When it comes to crime scenes, we know the undeniable importance of photographs. Hence, do not refrain from taking clear pictures of visible physical injuries, the dog, and also the crime scene. They can help you and the eyewitnesses recall important memories.

Dog Owner Information

This is particularly true for people who are well aware of the dog’s owner. Collect their name, phone number, address, homeowner’s insurance and also the vaccination history of their pet. 

Medical Records

Fourthly, legal enterprises prioritize medical records. Try collecting copies of your doctor reports, prescriptions and medical bills, as well. All in all, every document makes your case stronger. 

Not only does this documentation help in proving you not guilty, but it also focuses on the extent of your injuries and the associated medical costs.

It All Begins With Filing a Claim

As soon as you have filed a claim, the legal process hastens. Here, you get two ways to achieve your dog bite compensation.

Firstly, you can register a claim with the insurance company of this pet owner. You can easily do this by submitting the entire incident report. Make sure to add medical bills and records, too, to make the case stronger. 

Pro Tip: Take note of the deadline if you are looking forward to a smooth claiming approach with the insurance company.

Secondly, what if the insurance claim is marked insufficient or denied? 

In that case, you will first need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner. That’s why you should have a lawyer around. They understand the legal procedures and requirements for filing a lawsuit successfully.

Lawyer Intervention For Making The Case Stronger

Lawyer Intervention For Making The Case Stronger

Dog bite injury cases might be rare but not uncommon, thus, having a personal injury lawyer works as a great asset. 

With the evidence you’ve gathered, they’ll compile it to show the dog owner’s negligence and liability. Lawyers also help their clients to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf.

They’ll do this while advocating for you to receive fair compensation. Your dog bite attorney will explain what damages you may be entitled to, such as lost wages or medical expenses.

What Damages Can You Recover?

A dog bite accident is financially, emotionally, and physically expensive. If you and your attorney successfully file a claim, you may be eligible for the following compensations:

  • Medical expenses for treatment, surgery, medication, and future care
  • Lost wages from time away from work
  • Pain and suffering endured due to the physical injuries
  • Emotional distress and psychological trauma caused by the attack

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost per dog bite claim in 2022 was USD 64,555. Insurance companies paid out an estimated total of USD 1.13 billion for dog bite incidents in that year. That shows hope that you could receive reasonable compensation for your particular case.


The extent of dog bites doesn’t matter. What really matters is seeking a fair compensation for all the damages done to you. Hence, you have to take the most important and stern step along with seeking help from an expert lawyer. 

This article comes to an end. But I hope it portrayed the steps to file a claim as a dog bite victim. 

So, if you ever find yourself injured by the actions of negligent dog owners, find a reputable lawyer as soon as you can. Take one step further to protect your rights and potentially reduce the emotional and physical consequences of the incident.

Related Articles:

Back To Home

© Copyright 2023 LawyersInventory. All rights reserved. RedHatMedia