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What to do if you or someone you love is bitten by a dog

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2023 | Personal Injury

You have heard that dogs are man’s best friend. Unfortunately, not all dogs have kind demeanors, and this loving image encourages people to approach dogs they should avoid.

It may surprise you to learn that nearly 800,000 people ended up in medical offices due to a dog bite, and nearly 30,000 required reconstructions. Therefore, this is what you should do if you or someone you love receives a dog bite.

Get medical treatment

Due to the danger of infection, you should always seek medical attention if a dog bites you. You may initially stop the bleeding and clean your wound, but you should have it checked out. Look for signs of infection, and keep the wound clean until it heals completely.

Gather information

You need the dog owner’s contact information as well as information about the dog, including vaccination documents. You should also gather the owner’s renters’ or homeowners’ insurance policy information. Photograph your injury and the scene. Get contact information and statements from any witnesses on the scene.

Report the bite

New Jersey has strict animal control laws, and when you get bitten, you need to report the bite to animal control. Include the pertinent information, including the date, location and time you received the bite. Include information about what caused the incident if you know it. File the report no later than 24 hours after the bit occurred. Depending on your community, you may also need to contact the local health commissioner.

The city or county will open an investigation that includes testing the dog for diseases. You may or may not receive updates, but you can follow up with animal control or the health commissioner’s office. You should also follow up with your doctor.