What To Do If A Dog Bites You

An unhappy dog barking and showing its teeth.

Every year, over 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, and over 800,000 individuals receive medical attention because of the dog bite. Certain individuals, including young children and the elderly, are especially vulnerable, and new reporting from the U.S. Postal Service shows that over 5,300 postal workers were bitten by a dog in 2022. 


While dog bites are still alarmingly high, they have been on the decline over the past couple of decades. Still, it’s important to know what to do after a dog bite, what actions to take, and whether you should seek the support of a Sacramento dog bite injury attorney.


 If you have been the victim of a dog bite, turn to the personal injuries as Settle Law. Give us a call today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn about your legal rights and options after a dog bite. 


What To Do If A Dog Bites You

As with any personal injury, it’s important to know what to do after a dog bites you or a loved one. Taking these actions ensures you get the medical care you need and that your rights are protected if you decide to pursue legal action.


Seek Medical Attention

Do not wait to seek medical detention after a dog bite; the loss of too much blood and possible infection can cause further complications that impact your healing. Depending on where the dog bit happened, your injury can bring other complications, too. Although rare, as with any animal bite, you’ll also want to be evaluated for certain diseases like rabies. 


Call The Police 

No matter the severity of the dog bite, you should call the police to arrive at the scene of the incident. Under California law, dog owners are strictly liable for a dog bite that happens on public property or if a victim was lawfully on private property. A police officer can help ensure that the dog is no longer a threat, that the tensions between the dog owner and the victim do not rise, and that the victim receives the medical care they need. Responding police officers can also help you collect critical information that will serve you if you decide to pursue legal action. 


Collect Import Information On The Dog And The Owner After A Dog Bite

As soon as you can, you must collect information on the dog and its owner. After a dog bite, victims should call local authorities to respond to the scene. The responding officer will document the incident via a police report that may include some of the following information: 

  • An account of how the dog bite happened
  • Whether the dog bite happened on public or private property
  • Specific details of the bite injury, including where on the body the dog bite happened
  • Whether the dog clamped down and shook his head or executed a quick bite
  • Indications of the dog owner’s negligence
  • The state of the dog and the dog owner before the attack. For example, was the dog on a leash, and was the owner executing reasonable care in handling their dog?
  • The name, contact information, and address of the dog owner
  • A description of the dog, including their vaccination status if it is available
  • Dog license information


Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be difficult for you to collect this information either because of uncooperative dog owners or an inability to contact the dog owners after the bite has occurred. This is where the assistance of a police officer can be helpful. A responding police officer can help ensure your right to certain information is protected. 


Report The Dog Bite

After a dog bite, you must report to the proper agencies as detailed in the California Code of Regulations section 2606. You can report a dog bite by contacting the Department of Animal Care or dialing 368-7387 (PETS). 


By law, Sacramento doctors are required to report all dog bite injuries they treat. By reporting a dog bite, you help establish a trail of a dog’s biting history, which can help protect other victims from similar injuries. 


Consult With A Sacramento Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

You should not have to pay for medical bills and other costs after a dog bite injury that resulted from the negligent actions of a dog owner. Consulting with a Sacramento dog bite injury attorney allows you to understand your legal rights and options to make the best decisions on your path to healing and recovery. 


A dog bite injury lawyer will evaluate the details of your incident to determine if you have a case. They will help by: 


  • Collecting evidence pertaining to a dog owner’s negligence
  • Determine if a dog owner can be held liable under the California dog bite law, Civil Code section 3342
  • Determine what damages you may be able to recover
  • Negotiate a comprehensive settlement
  • Represent you if your case goes to trial


If You Have Been Bitten By A Dog, Call Sette Law Office

A gavel in front of the scales of justice and a Lady Justice statue.

At Sette Law, our personal injury attorneys are committed to helping victims like you get the justice they deserve. Contact our law offices today to speak with someone about your case. 


If you have been bitten by a dog, give Sette Law a call today. We offer free consultation, and there is no fee unless we recover damages. 



California Code of Regulations § 2606.

Civil Code section § 3342

Dog Bite Prevention.  

U.S. Postal Service Releases Dog Bite National Rankings.

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