Personal Injury

7 Steps to Protect Yourself After a Dog Bite

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Wednesday May 22, 2024

Dog bite accidents can be frightening and traumatic experiences for both the victim and the dog owner. While most dogs are friendly and pose no threat, there are occasions when a dog may bite and cause injury and distress. In such situations, it’s crucial to respond promptly and appropriately to ensure the safety of everyone involved. This article outlines the steps to take after a dog bite accident to ensure proper care, safety, and recovery.

Step 1) Seek Immediate Medical Attention

The first and most important step after a dog bite accident is to seek immediate medical attention, regardless of the severity of the injury. Even seemingly minor bites can lead to complications (such as infection), so it’s essential to have a healthcare professional assess the wound and determine the appropriate course of treatment. This may involve cleaning and disinfecting the wound, suturing if necessary, and administering antibiotics to prevent infection.

Step 2) Identify the Dog and Its Owner

After receiving medical treatment, it’s important to identify the dog and its owner. If possible, obtain the owner’s contact information and any relevant details about the dog, such as its breed and vaccination history. This information may be crucial for medical and legal purposes, especially if rabies or other diseases are a concern.

Risk of rabies is one of the biggest issues we see in dog bite injury cases.  Properly identifying the animal and its vaccination history may prevent the injured party from having to undergo rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) after suffering a dog bite.

Step 3) Report the Incident

Depending on the severity of the bite and local regulations, it may be necessary to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. In Nebraska, Neb. Rev. Stat. §54-601 states that “the owner or owners of a dog or dogs shall be liable for any and all damages that may accrue to any person, other than a trespasser” who was bitten by the dog.

Incident reporting typically involves contacting animal control or local law enforcement to file a report. This process not only helps ensure that the dog is properly monitored for signs of illness, but also creates a record of the incident, which may be useful if legal action becomes necessary.

Step 4) Document the Injury

To support any potential legal claims or insurance claims, it’s essential to thoroughly document the injury. This may include taking photographs of the wound immediately after the incident and throughout the healing process. Additionally, keep detailed records of medical expenses, including bills for treatment, medication, and any other related costs.

Step 5) Follow Medical Advice

After receiving initial treatment for the dog bite, it’s crucial to follow any further medical advice provided by healthcare professionals. This may include attending follow-up appointments, completing a course of antibiotics, or undergoing additional procedures such as rabies vaccination or a tetanus shot, depending on the circumstances of the bite.

Step 6) Monitor for Signs of Infection

Even with proper medical treatment, dog bites can still become infected. It’s essential to monitor the wound closely for any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, warmth, or drainage. If any signs of infection develop, seek medical attention immediately to prevent further complications.

Step 7) Consider Legal Recourse

In cases where the dog bite results in significant injury or medical expenses, it may be necessary to consider legal recourse. This typically involves consulting with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases to determine the best course of action.

Depending on the circumstances, legal action may be pursued against the dog owner to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.  Most dog bite injury claims will be covered under the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.


Use Chandler|Conway Attorneys for Dog Bite Accidents

All of the steps provided in this guide are essential to take after a dog bite accident. In addition to the pain, dog bite injuries can be extremely traumatic regardless of the severity of the injury.

At Chandler|Conway PC LLO, our personal injury attorneys have several years experience successfully representing victims of dog bites. Contact us or explore our website to see how we can help you.


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