How Long Do You Have to Report a Dog Bite?


Dog bites can be extremely traumatic. They can leave scars, cause paralysis, and leave emotional traumas that don’t easily go away. Sometimes, getting the care you need in order to move past the injuries – physical and emotional – costs a lot of money that you may not have. In such cases, you may want to think about filing a lawsuit against the dog owner. But time has passed and you may not know if you can do it now. So, how long do you have to report a dog bite? Well, it varies.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Dog Bite?

Every state has a statute of limitations on filing a dog bite lawsuit. A statute of limitations sets the time you have to report what happened. These can range from one to six years, however, most states have a statute of limitations of two to three years. In rare circumstances, the limitation period may pause. For instance, if the dog owner leaves the state, the statute of limitations may pause until he or she returns. The statute of limitations in Arizona is 2 years from the date of the incident.

Every Dog Bite Should Be Reported

The best thing to do is to call the police right after a dog bites you. It doesn’t matter if you plan on pursuing a case or not. It allows you to get the medical care you need at first and then you will be complying with protocols in the county you’re in. Dog bites must be reported to the authorities.

Receive Medical Treatment If You’ve Been Bit

If you’ve lost a lot of blood, had a body part severed, or lost the feeling in any body part, you need medical attention right away. If you don’t know the dog’s rabies vaccine history, you need to get medical attention and a rabies vaccine. And if the dog is still acting aggressively, you need to have someone come get it.

The medical attention you can get en route to the hospital can make a big difference in how your dog bite treatment goes. Also, you will get a medical record statement of what the dog bite was like, what it looked like, how serious it was, etc. You will need this if you do intend to pursue a case eventually.

Infections and Rabies

Dog bites commonly get infected because of the bacteria in a dog’s mouth. Besides rabies, tetanus is another worry, as are other diseases. There are certain signs to watch out for after you get bitten. If you have pain, tenderness, numbness, fever, bleeding that won’t stop, a rash, swelling, pus or yellow discharge, redness or warmth, then get medical attention right away. These are all signs that you have an infection or have a serious injury.

Receiving Treatment

Getting treatment for a dog bite is imperative. You’ll likely get antibiotics at the hospital as well as a tetanus shot. The provider will clean out your wound. You will also get stitches if needed. All of this is necessary to prevent infection and the spread of disease.

Understanding the Importance of Reporting Dog Bites

Documenting your dog bite is also important. You need more than your account of what happened and the medical report will do just that – show an account of what happened. You can then take this report to the court with you if you decide to file a suit. Reporting a dog bite is a public safety concern.

Dogs that may be infected with rabies or other diseases must be quarantined and receive proper treatment. If the dog is a danger to people, the municipal court may take further steps to ensure that it does not attack anyone else again. Even though you technically may have years to report a dog bite, you should report it right away to your local authorities so as to ensure that you get the proper treatment.

How JacksonWhite Can Help

At JacksonWhite we assist in every aspect of the law; to file a dog bite lawsuit the victim would want to seek out the help of a personal injury attorney. More specifically, you will want to work with a personable attorney that specializes in assisting dog bite victims, such as Jared E. Everton. Jared has helped dozens of Arizona dog bite victims over the past decade gaining a vast amount of experience and a proven record of success in the process. At JacksonWhite we offer a free case evaluation and if we represent you we guarantee that we will win your case or you won’t pay!

Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.

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