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What are the first steps to take after a dog bite?

A dog bite has the potential to result in serious scarring, disfigurement and emotional difficulties. Furthermore, depending on the severity and location, surgery may be the preferred method of treatment.

While you do your best to avoid a dog attack, there are times when you can't escape trouble. For example, you assume that a dog is friendly, but come to find that nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are the immediate steps to take if a dog attacks you:

  • Obtain medical care: Forget about what you think for the time being, as you're not a medical professional. Get treatment regardless of how an injury looks from the outside.
  • Exchange information: Sometimes this is possible, but sometimes it isn't. If you're feeling up to it, exchange information with the dog's owner. This should include their name, where they live and any vaccination history they have.
  • Talk to witnesses: If someone saw the attack, exchange information with them as well. Their account can come in handy when filing an insurance claim or lawsuit in the future.
  • Contact animal control: Not only does this document the accident, but it helps prevent the dog from doing the same to another person in the future.

Document the impact of the bite

Along with the above, document the many ways the bite is impacting your life. This can include things such as:

  • Pictures of visible injuries, such as lacerations
  • Decreased mobility
  • Medical records
  • Statements from your medical team

It's not always easy to collect this information up front, as you'll have a lot going on in the immediate aftermath of a dog bite attack. It's best to always focus your immediate attention on your health, especially if you've suffered a serious injury.

As you begin to recover, turn your attention to the cause of the accident, the responsible party and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.

With the right documentation on your side, as well as a plan for moving forward, you can more efficiently assess your situation with the idea of seeking compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Visit our website for more information on dog bites, your legal rights and the steps you should take.

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Marzzacco Niven & Associates

Marzzacco Niven & Associates
1909 North Front Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 1
Harrisburg, PA 17102

Toll Free: 866-321-5340
Phone: 717-260-3580
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