How to Report a Dog Bite in California

According to state statistics, more than 38,000 people visited an emergency room in California in 2015. If you have been bitten by a dog, you might be entitled to compensation, but you should also report a dog bite to animal control, who can investigate whether the dog is dangerous.

Collect Necessary Information to Report a Dog Bite

After the attack, seek immediate medical treatment. However, also jot down (or tell someone else to write down) important information about the attack, such as:

● The location
● The name of the dog owner (if known)
● The address where the dog lives (if known)
● What the dog looked like (size, color, breed, etc.)

You will need this information when contacting the authorities. It should help them locate the dog and/or the owner.

Avoid Delay

It is critical that you notify the authorities as soon as possible so that the dog does not bite someone else. Even good dogs can sometimes bite people, but other dogs are truly dangerous and could maul someone.

Authorities will also want to gather information about the dog’s vaccination history to see if it has rabies or another disease that could be passed on to humans. The authorities might also need to isolate the dog for 10 days to see if any rabies symptoms manifest. This information is critical for allowing you to get the treatment you need, so contact the authorities without delay.

Identify Who to Call

Each city and county has different agencies that will respond to a dog attack. In San Jose, for example, you can report a dog bite to Animal Care & Services. In Los Angeles, you can report a dangerous animal to your nearest animal shelter.

If you are unsure of who to call, pick up the phone and call 9-1-1 or the police. They can forward your information to the necessary authorities.

Following Up

The authorities should be in contact with you. For example, they should share with you whether the dog has shown symptoms of rabies, which is information your doctor will need. The authorities might also have questions about the attack. Remember to answer all questions honestly, which should help the authorities do their job.

Consider Legal Action

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the attack, you might have a legal claim for compensation. Meet with an experienced Orange County dog bite lawyer to analyze your situation, such as:

● Where the dog bite took place. Were you bitten on public property? Private property? If on private property, did you regularly visit the dog owner?
● Whether you had a right to be in the location where you were attacked. If not, you might be a trespasser.
● Whether you received prompt medical attention or delayed receiving treatment.
● The extent of your financial losses. How much have you spent on medical care? Were you required to miss work?
● The intensity of your emotional distress, including nightmares, anxiety, fear of dogs, anger, and depression. You might also receive compensation for this distress.

At RMD Law, our Orange County dog bite attorney holds owners responsible when their dogs bite our clients. We are anxious to hear from you, so please call (949) 326-5000.

Aria Miran
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