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report a dog bite accident

After being attacked by a dog, you may be wondering if you should make a claim against the owner.

Victims often don’t know how to report a dog bite in their area, especially since every jurisdiction has its own rules.

Here are some tips on reporting a dog bite to your local government and how a personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Should You Report a Dog Bite?

You should always report a dog bite if the attack causes injury, especially if those injuries involve puncture wounds. This is especially true if you cannot find the owner of the dog to confirm if the animal has updated immunizations.

The risk of either rabies or other infections is extremely high after being bit, so it’s important to seek medical attention afterward. 

Reporting a dog bite also helps prevent the dog from attacking others in the future. Generally, states ask owners to take reasonable precautions to protect others from their dog or risk penalties. 

Finally, if you want to receive compensation for your medical bills, you need to report the dog bite. This report serves as the most important piece of evidence in your case.

Reporting a Dog Attack

If you get bitten by a dog and receive medical treatment, the first thing you should do is contact the applicable city or county authority.

This is usually a health services department or a similar entity. While some counties require medical professionals to report any dog bite cases, you should report it as well. 

When you file your report, you may need the following information:

  • Name and address of the victim;
  • Name and contact information of the dog owner (if known);
  • Date of the dog’s most recent rabies vaccination (if known);
  • Date, time, and location of the attack; and
  • Medical treatment received for the injury.

If you can’t find the owner of the dog, try to also include a description of the animal. This may help authorities narrow down potential owners based on the location of the attack.

Once you make this report, if you decide to file a lawsuit, you must do so within your state’s statute of limitations.

How an Attorney Can Help

Having legal representation for your case is essential if you have trouble finding the dog’s owner or sustain serious injuries.

While a dog bite case may seem straightforward at first, the defendant may try to claim that you instigated the attack or trespassed on their property.

An attorney knows these tactics and focuses on showing the owner’s liability by:

  • Gathering evidence to support your claim;
  • Determining the true cost of your injuries, both immediate and future;
  • Negotiating with the defendant and their representation on your behalf; and
  • Managing the filings for your case.

At the Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima, we offer these services and more to victims of dog bites and other personal injuries from animal attacks.

Still Figuring Out How to Report a Dog Bite? Contact Us Today

If you were bitten by a dog in either New York or Florida, call attorney Ted Naima. With over 25 years of experience in personal injury, Ted knows how devastating unprovoked dog bites are for individuals and families.

Contact us online or give us a call at 516-280-7311 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients from our offices in NYC, Long Island, and Miami, FL.

Author Photo

Theodore A. Naima

Theodore A. Naima is the founding partner of the Law Offices of Theodore A. Naima, a Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Law Firm based in New York. In 2015, Ted was awarded the prestigious AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the company that has long been recognized as setting the gold standard for lawyer ratings, signifying the highest degree of peer recognition and professional excellence.

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