Most dogs are loving, loyal companions who never harm anyone. However, it’s a sad fact that some dogs do attack and bite victims, usually due to the negligent behavior of dog owners. This problem is especially pervasive in some areas of Oklahoma.
Getting bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog can be a very traumatic experience. If a dog attacks you or someone you love, you should report it to the proper authorities right away — both to make sure that no one else gets hurt and to support your legal case.
Steps to Take Before Filing a Dog Bite Report
The most important step to take after a dog bite is to seek immediate medical attention. Dog bites put victims in serious danger, even when the bite doesn’t appear severe at first. Infections, including tetanus and rabies, are a major concern.
Even if the dog is someone’s pet and not a stray animal, you don’t know the vaccination status of that dog, so it’s critical to get an examination from a doctor and receive the appropriate testing anytime a dog or other animal bites you, scratches you, or otherwise causes an injury.
For more information on treating injuries after a dog bite, please see our previous post on this topic.
How to File a Report After a Dog Bite
Once you’re in a safe location and you’ve received medical treatment, you should notify the proper authorities about the attack as soon as possible. If your city has an animal control office, that’s the first place you should call. If your city doesn’t have its own animal control office, then you should contact your local county health department instead. You can visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health website to enter your zip code and receive contact information for your local health department.
Once notified, the authorities will try to locate the dog and quarantine it for public safety. If the dog is a pet and its vaccinations are up-to-date, the owner may have the option to quarantine the dog in their home for up to 10 days. However, if the dog doesn’t have current vaccinations or is a stray, the authorities will quarantine it at a licensed vet clinic or animal control facility.
Why Do I Need to Report a Dog Bite?
If you know the dog that attacked you or its owners, you might feel conflicted about reporting the incident. However, it’s important to file a report after any animal attack for several reasons
First, reporting a dog bite provides important documentation which will help if you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. Filing a report can give you access to important records regarding the dog’s owner, history, and vaccination records. If you decide to work with an attorney and demand fair compensation for your medical bills and other costs related to the dog bite, this evidence will prove invaluable for your case.
In addition, filing a timely report helps authorities enforce state and local dog bite laws. When you report a dog bite, it will trigger an investigation of the incident and the dog. If authorities decide the dog is dangerous, the owner may be required to obtain special insurance or take extra precautions to ensure the dog poses no danger to the public.
Most importantly, filing a report can help keep other people from being attacked and injured by the same dog. Owners of aggressive dogs are more likely to take extra precautions if authorities have already investigated their dog for previous attacks. And in some extreme and unfortunate cases, authorities may determine that a dog needs to be put down in order to prevent further devastating attacks.
Contact Atkins & Markoff if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog in Oklahoma
If you’ve been seriously injured in a dog attack, you may be wondering where to turn for help. The experienced team of dog bite lawyers at Atkins & Markoff is ready to listen to your story with compassion and give you legal advice about your situation. If we’re able to take your case, we’ll fight to get you compensation for your injuries with an aggressive and efficient approach tailored to your unique needs.
To speak with one of our attorneys right away and get a free assessment of your case, call 405-607-8757 or fill out our quick and easy online contact form. We handle all personal injury cases on a “no recovery, no fee” basis, so there’s no risk to contacting us today.
Oklahoma State Department of Health. (n.d.). Animal bites. OK.gov. Retrieved from https://www.ok.gov/health/Protective_Health/Consumer_Health_Service/Animal_Bites.html
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.