If you get bitten by someone's dog, your instinct might be to let it go without calling the authorities or making a big deal about it. If you weren't seriously injured, you might not want the owner of the dog to get in trouble, and you might be worried that the dog will be put down. Although it is certainly understandable to have these feelings after being bitten by a dog, it really is important to report the problem. These are some of the reasons why.
1. The Dog Might Have Rabies
After being bitten by a dog, it is important to make sure that the dog has had its rabies shot. If you report the situation, the local animal control enforcement agency can check the dog's veterinary records to ensure that it has been vaccinated. If it has not been vaccinated, then the dog will probably need to be put under quarantine until it is determined that it is not infected. This is not just for your safety—you will need to have a series of rabies shots yourself if the dog has not been vaccinated—but it's also for the safety of the other people and animals in your community.
2. It's Important to Prevent Others from Being Bitten
In some cases, dog owners don't take the right steps to contain their dogs and prevent them from biting other people. If you don't report the incident, then the dog's owners might not do anything about it, and someone else could get bitten. In the next case, it could be a child who gets bitten, or it could be that an adult who is bitten is more seriously injured than you were. If the local authorities get involved, however, the dog's owner will be forced to do something about the situation, such as ensuring that the dog is kept in a secure fence. This can help protect others in the future.
3. You May Need to File a Personal Injury Claim
Even if you might not think that you need treatment now, you might find that you are still suffering from wound-related issues later. You might need help paying your medical bills, or you could find that you are having trouble making ends meet if you are unable to work. It will be easier for you to file a personal injury claim if you have proper documentation, such as a report of the dog bite as soon after it happened as possible.
Even though you might not want to make a big deal out of a minor dog bite, it's still important to contact the local authorities to let them know what happened. These are just some of the reasons why. Speak with a personal injury attorney, like one from the Boucher Law Firm, for more advice.