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  • Mike Dible

What to do legally if you've been bitten by a dog

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

1. Seek Medical Attention. If your injuries are severe, call 911 or have a friend drive you to the emergency room. We often see dog bites cause severe lacterations, tremendous pain, and nerve damage. However, even for minor bites, you should always see a doctor. A major concern with all dog bites, even minor ones, is the risk of infection, including staph infections, as the dog bites often introduce bacteria into the wounds of the dog bite victims. If you are diabetic or immunocompromised in any way, your infection risk is even greater.

Signs of infection include, but are not limited to:

  • Fever

  • Redness and/or swelling at wound site

  • Wound feels warm to the touch

  • Pain does not subside or even increases

  • Fluid drainage from wound (often yellow, green, or foul smelling)

  • Aches & pains

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Tiredness or lack of energy

Additionally, dog bites can, in rare instances, cause potentially fatal conditions such as tetanus and possibly rabies if the dog was not vaccinated.

In addition to the medical reasons for seeking treatment right away, this also provides legal documentation of your initial injuries caused from the dog attack.

2. Obtain contact information. If you're able, obtain names, phone numbers and addresses of witnesses, the dog's owner, or the persons who had the dog in their custody at the time of the dog attack. Also note the address where the attack occurred.

3. Take photos. Take photos of your wounds as soon as possible (including any torn or bloodied clothing), of the dog that attacked you if possible, and of the area in which the attack happened. Take photos of any "Beware of Dog" signs or lack of signs.

4. Gather specific information from the dog owner. Ask the dog owner to give you copies of his dog's rabies vaccination records and the name of his homeowners insurance or renters insurance. These policies often provide coverage in dog attack cases.

5. Document everything you remember about the incident. The more detail that you remember, the better. You should also speak to any witnesses and document their account of events as these can be very important to a case.

6. Contact your local animal control agency or the police to report the incident. This is especially important if you don't know if the dog has been vaccinated against rabies or if the dog is acting strange or sick. Please feel free to call the Dible Law Firm if you have any questions about how to report the attack 720-638-9777.

7. Obtain qualified legal advice as soon as possible. It's very important to protect the legal aspect of your case as early on as possible. Please also make sure that you contact a firm which is specifically experienced in handling dog attack cases, as Colorado dog bite law is complex.

The Dible Law Firm is one of Colorado's best dog bite law firms and has been handling claims for injured people for over 15 years. We've recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients. We offer free consultations and no upfront fees. Call today 720-638-9777.

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