If your dog bites a person, it is important that you know which steps to take immediately afterwards. 

You will also need to know what the law saws about this. It is a very serious situation that you need to handle properly.

Reasons for a Dog Biting Someone

There are numerous reasons that a dog might bite a person that you should be aware of. This information will allow you to understand the situation a lot better.

1. Protecting Their Young

Someone a dog will lash out and bite a person if they feel like they are a threat to their young. This is actually more common than you might think with mothers who are watching over their newborns. It is why you should give new mothers plenty of space in the days after their pups are born.

2. They Have an Illness or Injury

If a dog isn’t feeling very good, it might bite someone who tries to pet it. There are more serious conditions like rabies, which causes a dog to act extremely aggressively. A dog that is sick or injured tends to have far less patience with being touched and handled.

crazy agressive attack of a dog

3. They Are Afraid

A dog might also bite a person because it fears for its own safety. This is not uncommon, especially with dogs that have a history of abuse. If you are getting a dog from a shelter, this is something to keep in mind. The more you learn about the dog’s background, the better you can care for it.

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4. You Startled Them

Certain dogs tend to be more anxious than others, and they can even bite their owners if startled. If you pet an anxious dog while it is sleeping or has its backed turned to you, it might end up biting out of instinct. This is the “fight” part of the fight or flight defense mechanism that dogs share with humans.

5. They Were Playing

A bite from a dog can also be indicative of play behavior. Sometimes dogs can get carried away when they are playing with others, which can lead to injuries. This is why it is so important that you train your dog properly. They need to know the limitations of play so this sort of thing does not happen with you or anyone else.

labrador bites his owner

What the Law Says

It is important that you learn about your state’s laws when it comes to a dog biting someone. There are some parts of the country that are stricter than others when it comes to this sort of thing.

You will likely have to provide the state or county with proof that your dog received its rabies vaccination. Your pet might be quarantined for a certain amount of time, especially if you cannot provide a rabies vaccination certificate.

Some states in the U.S. will consider the history of the dog before deeming is dangerous to the public. If your dog has a history of violence towards people, you may be required to turn it over to be euthanized.

Steps to Take After Your Dog Bites Someone

1. Don’t Panic

The last thing you want to do is panic right after your dog bites someone. This might lead to a second attack, which will only make things worse all around. Your dog takes its cues from you, so you need to stay completely calm.

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2. Get Control of Your Dog

Make sure that you get control of your dog right away by grabbing them by the collar so they don’t continue biting the person. It is possible that your dog will lash out at you as well if it is really worked up. Do whatever you can to keep your dog away from the person they bit.

angry dog white background e1582980231906

3. Hire an Attorney

If you have even the slightest inkling that the person your dog bit might sue, it is important to hire a lawyer right away. You may be required to pay for the victim’s medical expenses, though this is not always the case.

You should make a point of offering to pay for the person’s medical expenses right away. This could encourage them not to sue. 

The fact is that it can be challenging to prove in court that your dog was justified in biting the person. This will require you to submit proof that the person was in the process of breaking the law in some way. If this is indeed the case, you should look for witnesses who can back up your story. It is better if the witnesses are not related to you at all.

4. Get in Touch with Your Insurance Provider

You might also want to contact your insurance provider to see if you are covered in this situation. Some liability insurance policies will cover dog bites, but you’ll need to call to find out. While filing a claim is going to raise your premium, it could save you a lot of money at the moment. You shouldn’t rely on your insurance to absolve you of financial responsibility though, as there’s no telling what will happen.

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Conclusion

  • There are many different reasons a dog might bite someone, including fear, illness, injury, or protecting their young.
  • Some dogs will bite a person when they are playing and get a little bit too worked up.
  • It is important that you know the laws in your area regarding what happens with a dog that bites a person.
  • The most important thing you can do when your dog bites someone is to stay calm. This will reduce the chances of a second attack.
  • Get control of your dog immediately so that it doesn’t bite the person again.
  • Make sure that you immediately contact a lawyer just in case the person who gets bitten wants to sue you.
  • Offer to pay the victim’s medical expenses right away, as this might encourage them not to pursue legal action.
  • Get in touch with your insurance provider to see if you are covered for this type of situation.
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