What do I do if I was bit by a dog?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Dog Bites

If you are an animal lover, or even if you are not, the day you are bit can make you wonder a million different things, starting with what to do first. In this blog post, we will discuss a few common questions about dog bites.

What should I do first after a dog bite?

First, you should tend to your wound and provide care to the wound site. You can also seek medical care, if the bite breaks the skin as doctors may use information you give about what animal bit you and look at the wound to decide if additional treatment is needed.

For example, you may need the rabies vaccine or other vaccines as a result of the bite.

Can I seek monetary damages from someone if their dog bit me?

Some states have strict liability for dog bites. This means that if you can show Person A’s dog bit Person B, person B can ask Person A to pay for their damages. However, North Dakota is not one of those states.

North Dakota follows common law liability for dog bites. This means that you have to prove the dog’s owner failed in their duty to keep their dog from hurting someone, acted with negligence and that negligence caused the bite and injury to you, along with damages.

If this all seems complicated, that is because common law liability is complicated. You can always discuss your case specifics with an attorney familiar with North Dakota liability laws.

For example, here in Fargo, we have leash laws that require a dog be leashed if not on the owner’s property. An unleashed dog could contribute to an owners negligence in Fargo.

Will a dog be put down if I report a bite?

North Dakota does not have any laws regarding a single dog bite and euthanasia. Though, cities may handle cases differently. North Dakota does have laws about dogs being a public nuisance, and a judge can determine if a dog needs to be put down. That is a judge’s decision.

Other factors, like rabies, may also involve health departments or other agencies.