What to Do After a Dog Attack: Tips from our Dog Bites Attorney

Dog bites are a surprisingly common occurrence, affecting thousands of people each year. While some bites may be minor, others can cause serious injuries, emotional trauma, and significant financial burdens.

If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of a dog attack, understanding the immediate steps you should take can help protect your rights and ensure you receive proper compensation. Here, the dog bite attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth G. Egan offer a guide on what to do after a dog attack.

1. Seek Medical Attention

The most important step is to prioritize your health. Even seemingly minor wounds can become infected. Seek immediate medical attention at a hospital or urgent care center. Be sure to explain how the injury occurred and request documentation of your wounds and any treatment received.

2. Report the Attack

Contact animal control to report the dog attack. They will investigate the incident and ensure the animal’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Additionally, if the attack occurred on public property, you may also want to file a report with the police. Remember: the proof you have that the attack happened, the better. That way it will be very difficult for insurance companies to poke holes in your claims.

3. Gather Evidence

If possible, try to take photos of your injuries at the scene of the attack. Note the location of the attack, the time of day, and any witnesses present. Obtain contact information from anyone who witnessed the incident, as their testimony can be crucial later.

4. Secure the Dog’s & Dog Owner’s Information

Find out who owns the dog and obtain their contact information. Additionally, note the dog’s breed and any visible collar tags. Frequently, we see the dog owner be a friend of the victim. Even if they are your friend, you need to be able to get the care you need. 

Dog attacks can strain even the strongest relationships. A dog bites attorney can advise you on your options and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

5. Understand Dog Bite Laws (Strict Liability vs. One-Bite Rule)

Dog bite laws vary by state. New Mexico operates under a system similar to the “one-bite rule,” but with some key distinctions. Here, a dog owner’s liability depends on whether the dog had a history of vicious tendencies and if the owner knew or should have known about them.  

6. Keep Records of All Expenses

Following a dog attack, you may incur medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, and other expenses related to your injury. Be sure to keep detailed records of all your expenses for potential use in a future legal claim.

7. Contact a Dog Bites Attorney

As mentioned, dog bite laws vary from state to state. An experienced dog bites attorney will be able to advise you of your legal rights and determine the best course of action in your specific case.

The Law Offices of Kenneth G. Egan understand that dog bite injuries can have a lasting impact on your life. We are committed to protecting the rights of dog bite victims and helping them obtain the compensation they need to recover from their injuries.