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3 questions about how to handle a dog bite

Dogs can be a bit unpredictable at times and hard to read. If they could speak to us like Doug in the Pixar movie Up, things would be a lot easier.

A dog you may expect to be friendly could end up turning aggressive without warning, leading to a bite injury. If you are bitten by a dog, there are likely a few questions you may have about the situation. Here are some answers.

What do I do after a dog bite?

If you find yourself bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Medical professionals are required to report any dog bites to the Department of Animal Care. Sacramento County asks that you call 916-368-PETS (7387) to report the bite, even if no medical attention is required, as all animal bites must be investigated by law. A dog will not be immediately impounded if you call - they just want to verify the dog's vaccinations and licenses.

Why did the dog bite me?

There are many reasons dogs bite people. Typically a bite is a reaction to something, like a stressful situation or out of perceived fear. This includes protecting something such as their puppies, their food, a toy or a human loved one they feel is in danger. Sometimes a dog bites because they are sick and want to be left alone. And other times, the dog misinterprets play and nips a little too hard.

Who is responsible?

Regardless of the reason the dog bites, the owner of the dog is responsible for damages. The only exception is if you were trespassing or provoking the dog in some way (such as teasing it to bite you).

If you are bitten by a dog, a personal injury attorney experienced in animal-related injuries can conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the bite and help you receive deserved compensation. This professional can also determine who is liable for damages if you are bitten by a stray. 

Most dogs you will encounter are likely gentle, sweet, affectionate animals who want nothing more than a few belly rubs and scratches behind the ear when you greet them. However, if you do find yourself the victim of a dog bite, be sure to take immediate action to receive care and compensation for your injury.

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Andrew E. Bakos & Associates, PC
1420 River Park Drive
STE 110
Sacramento, California 95815

Phone: 916-426-9601
Fax: 916-649-0941
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