How do I report a dog bite?
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If you ever get bit by a dog in Missouri, regardless of whether you have dog bite injuries it is crucial that you report that you have been bit. Not only do local authorities need to contact the dog's owner, the threat of a wild dog on the loose is both a public safety and a public health concern that is taken very seriously.
The Missouri Injury Law Firm is here to help you if you get bit by a dog and wish to file a lawsuit against its owner. Contact us for a free, no-questions-asked consultation about your dog bite in Missouri.
WHAT TO DO RIGHT AFTER YOU'VE BEEN BIT
To put it in layman's terms, think of being bit by a dog as if you've been in a car accident. Both are traumatic experiences, and you should react to both in the same way: by taking out your phone or camera and snapping pictures.
Important pictures you should take after you've been bit by a dog include:
- The dog itself: if you can, get shots of the dog that bit you. Even if poor quality, animal control authorities can use them to identify the size, color, notable markings or details, or potentially even the breed of dog that bit you and use it to warn others in the area.
- The dog's owner: ideally he or she should be with the dog, but in some cases they may make a run for it or have let their dog run off their leash. If they were there, you should get info about the dog (including pictures of the dog's tag) as well, plus the owner's personal information, insurance details, and the name and number of the dog's veterinarian.
- The area where you were bit: get pictures of nearby buildings, street signs and numbers, and even cars around you. Not only will this help animal control locate the dog if it ran off, but it can also help find witnesses who saw you being bit.
WHO SHOULD I CALL AFTER I WAS BIT?
There's a few important phone numbers you should call after you've been bit by a dog, including the following:
- Animal Control in your area: each county or city in Missouri has their own department of animal control. This is important because they keep records of dog bites and track whether the dog that bit you has a history of being aggressive.
- 911: If you have been severly injured, you may require an ambulance. You should also file a police report, not only for a record of your case but also because if the dog has bit other people before its owner can be held criminally liable under Missouri law.
- Your doctor or medical provider: dog bite injuries should be treated as soon as possible because of the threat of infection as well as rabies. Small, surface-level injuries can wait for treatment, but we recommend going to an urgent care center or emergency room without delay.
- Your insurance company: Depending on your policy, your homeowners' or renter's insurance can help you with bills after being bit by a dog. You should also get the dog owner's insurance information to file a claim with them as well.
GETTING A GOOD DOG BITE LAWYER IN ST. LOUIS
If you or someone you know has been bit by a dog, you may be able to sue its owner or your insurance company for compensation. However, you'll need a top St. Louis dog bite attorney to help you navigate the process, gather evidence, and be on your side throughout the legal process.