What to Do in Case of a Dog Bite

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Immediately take the following actions after a dog bite

In case of a dog bite you should immediately take the following actions to preserve any and all evidence that could be needed in order to maximize damage recovery:

  1. Get medical attention.

  2. Notify police and the local animal control office about the attack. The reports they create can be very useful when later pursuing legal claims for damages. If possible, and you are not putting yourself in danger, confine the animal before calling.

  3. Take color photos and video of all bruises and wounds before and after medical treatment. It’s also helpful to take photos of clothing destroyed during the attack.

  4. If you are able to gain access, take color photos and video of the attack scene and the dog. Make sure to include a written note that the dog in the picture(s) is the dog that attacked. If you did not personally witness the attack, ask all witnesses to state (in writing) that the pictured dog is the dog that attacked the victim.

Identify the dog

  1. Describe features of the dog, including information on its breed, color, size and any distinctive markings.

  2. Create a written diary recounting the attack from beginning to end. Include a history of events related to the attack such as the dates of medical treatments, the names of the treating personnel, procedures performed and medications taken, and all communications with the dog owner and/or responsible person(s).

  3. If able to, examine the license tag of the dog and make a written record or picture of the information. Arizona law requires licenses for all dogs at least four months old that are kept in Arizona at least thirty consecutive days during a calendar year.

  4. Record the dog’s owner and any responsible person(s) as well as his or her home address and telephone number. Ask to see a driver’s license to confirm their name and address information.

  5. Ask the owner and any responsible person(s) if they have homeowner’s, rental insurance or any type of insurance that might cover the attack. If they have insurance, ask for the name of the insurer(s).

  6. Obtain name(s), addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses even if you have to knock on doors to determine if any neighbors saw or heard the attack. Over the next few days question all passersby to determine if perhaps they saw or heard the accident. Ask to see a driver’s license to confirm their name and address information.

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