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What to Do If You See Someone Get Bitten by a Dog

It wasn’t your dog. You were outside taking care of your lawn, playing with your kids, or just getting out of your car when you heard a scream and noticed one of your neighbor’s dogs attacking one of your other neighbors. You know and like all of the parties involved, and the last thing that you want to do is to pick which neighbor to support in a legal battle.

You Don’t Have to Pick, But You May Need to Take Action

Nobody is asking you to choose whether you like the dog owner or the dog bite victim better, and it isn’t up to you to decide whether the dog bite victim deserves financial compensation for what happened. Yet you do have some responsibilities when you witness a dog bite or attack. Specifically, it is important for you to:

  • Call 911 or make sure the person who was bit is offered medical attention. You don’t want the dog bite victim’s injuries to get any worse and you don’t want your neighbor to suffer any unnecessary pain.
  • Tell the truth about what you saw. If a neighbor, police officer, animal control official, insurance adjuster, or lawyer asks what you saw, then simply tell the truth. Do not speculate about anything that you didn’t see or change any of the facts.
  • Avoid being manipulated or otherwise influenced by either neighbor. Your job is simply to tell the truth about what you saw.

You have an important role to play, but you can only make a difference if you tell the truth.

Is the Person Who Suffered the Dog Bite Asking for Help?

If you are friendly with the person who was hurt by the dog then that person may be asking you questions that are you are not qualified to answer. For example, the dog bite victim might want to know if he has any legal rights and whether he can make a financial recovery. Do not attempt to give legal advice. Instead, encourage your friend to download our free dog bite brochure and to contact us directly for an initial consultation.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham