Ralph A. Schwartz, P.C.

Key steps after a dog attack

There are some times when man's best friend may turn out to be not so friendly. If you suffer from a dog bite, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim for compensation.

However, in order to win a case, it is important that you understand the process. There are a few important things to do after a dog attack. 

Seek medical attention

Even an attack that does not break the skin can leave you with an adrenaline rush and feelings of panic, and if you are bleeding, handling the situation in a calm manner may seem impossible. Scrapes and shallow puncture wounds will need immediate attention from you, as bacteria from the dog's mouth is likely to cause you a serious infection if you do not clean it thoroughly. However, if the puncture wounds are deeper than half the length of the dog's canine teeth, or if you have lacerations, you may need a professional to clean the wound.

Report the dog

There are three contacts you should make about the dog attack right away. The owner, law enforcement and animal control need to know about the incident as quickly as possible.

In Nevada, there is a "one bite rule," which states that if a dog has no record of previously biting individuals, the owner may not be held liable for the bite. However, after a dog bites someone, it earns the title of a dangerous or vicious dog. Outside of this rule, there is no finite law for dog bites that is upheld across the state; rather, each area has its own laws. The Clark County Law Library provides the rules for dog ownership by each municipality of the county.

Gather evidence

Just as with a car accident, it is important to try to collect as much evidence as possible. This includes the following:

  • Name and contact information of the owner and any witnesses
  • Photos of the dog, the wound and the attack scene
  • Copies of the police and animal control reports 
  • Your medical records

By following these steps, you can make sure that you actually have a case and have the necessary evidence to build credit and possibly win. Having a knowledgeable attorney to present the case may also be beneficial in the process. 

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