A dog bite can be a traumatizing, painful experience. And the situation can make victims and owners alike panic and act without thinking clearly, which could create more complications.
That said, there are certain things that must happen after a dog bites someone. If you are a dog bite victim or family member, or if you own a dog that bites someone, then you must take care to ensure the following actions occur.
Victim should see the doctor
All types of dog bites have the potential to cause serious injury or illness. As such, seeing a doctor right away is crucial. Doing so can prevent a bite from becoming infected and lead to a timely assessment of a victim's condition. Even seemingly minor bites can lead to infections, nerve and tissue damage as well as emotional distress, so medical attention is critical.
A party must report the bite
In accordance with Illinois statutes, people with knowledge that a dog has bitten someone must report the incident to the state health administrator within 24 hours of the bite. If parties do not do this, then the animal cannot be properly observed and quarantined. And it could make it more likely for the animal to bite someone else.
The owner must present the dog for examination
After the state health administrator receives notice of a bite, the owner must comply with orders to either confine the dog or present the dog for observation. Owners who do not comply with these orders can face penalties, as can owners who euthanize, give away, sell or conceal a dog after it bites someone and before the administrator has had the opportunity to properly observe the animal.
Other steps to take after a dog bite
Dog bite victims should also stay informed about a veterinarian's examination of the dog. This includes determining whether the dog's vaccinations are up-to-date and what will happen to the animal at the conclusion of the observation and quarantine periods.
It can also be wise to consult an attorney to determine if there may be grounds to file a legal claim seeking damages. Money from these claims allow victims to get the financial support they need to recover from these incidents.