Most of the time, dogs are well-socialized and loyal animals who wouldn’t dream of hurting a human. But as animals, any dog can become aggressive if they feel afraid or cornered by a perceived threat. Dogs will rarely bite without reason, but that doesn’t mean the physical and emotional damage they cause can’t be serious. If you or a loved one are the victims of a dog attack, here are a few vital steps to take following the incident:

Seek medical attention

According to Cleveland Clinic, infection poses the most significant risk after a dog bite, so victims should be sure to seek medical attention within 8 hours of a dog bite. Of course, if you have deep puncture wounds or your injuries are more severe, you should go to the hospital immediately. If possible, take pictures of your injuries before treatment to accurately document the damage.

Trade information with the owner

If the dog’s owner is nearby or known, you should be sure to get their name, contact information, and dog’s veterinary information. Ask them whether their dog is up to date on their vaccination history. If there are any witnesses, be sure to take down their names and contact information as well.

Report the incident 

After a dog bite, you can file a report with animal control to prevent someone else from potential harm -especially if the dog appears to be a stray. Their investigation may also aid you if you need to file a personal injury claim.

If you are the victim of a dog bite, you may seek compensation for your injuries. By following these steps, you can ensure you get some financial and emotional relief following a dog attack.