Any dog can bite; thus, it is important to learn how to enjoy dogs without getting injured. There are many reasons why a dog may become aggressive, but the most common reasons for dog attacks are if the dog is provoked, feels threatened, or is poorly trained. In Missouri, owners and possessors of animals have a legal duty to control their pets.

Dog Attacks in the U.S.

Dogs provide companionship and protection, but, unfortunately, sometimes a dog can rage out of control and cause extensive physical and psychological damage to its victim. According to the CDC, approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year, and 800,000 of those dog bites result in medical care. Dog bites can cause pain and injury, but they can also spread germs that lead to infections.

What To Do If You’re Attacked By A Dog

1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately

Dog bite wounds can be very serious. But even seemingly small wounds can result in serious infections and/or permanent scarring.  Big or small, you should seek medical care from a trained professional to ensure that the wound is properly cleaned and, if necessary, sewn up. Be sure to tell the doctor about your attack so he can treat it properly.

2. Listen to Your Doctors.

Because infections are common with dog bite wounds, you should be very careful to regularly change the bandaging around the wound and to perform proper wound care regularly.  Furthermore, you need to take the antibiotics as prescribed to prevent infection. 

3. Report the Incident to Your Local Animal Control.

Many cities require that any person having knowledge of a dog attack must report it to the authorities. In most cases, the local city or county animal control is the department to report the incident. Animal control will conduct an investigation to be sure the animal is up to date on its rabies vaccinations, properly secured, and identified. They will create a report which identifies the proper owner of the dog. This report will ultimately help you identify the proper responsible party as well as document the dog attack. 

4. Document Witnesses.

If there were any eyewitnesses (other than the dog owner), write down their names, addresses, and phone numbers and put this somewhere safe. If anyone tells you this dog has bitten before, those people are extremely important witnesses.

5. Document the Bite Wound.

Nothing helps prove the extent of what you endured like photographs documenting the injuries from the beginning through the entire healing process.

6.  Speak To a Personal Injury Attorney

The law can be difficult as your dog attack attorney must determine exactly what dog bite laws apply.  Before you speak to the dog owner or their insurance representatives, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.

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