A lot of dogs are friendly and loving, but some can be dangerous. Even dogs that are not normally aggressive may attack out of protection or fear. According to recent data, approximately 4.7 million people in the U.S. sustain dog bites every year. If a dog bites you, you should know what steps to take for your physical well-being and legal rights.

You should seek prompt medical attention and legal action after a dog bite. Here is how the aftermath of a dog bite should play out.

  1. Gather relevant information

What you do at the scene of the dog attack is vital. Of course, if you need emergency medical help, call 911 and worry about everything else later. Otherwise, you should collect the following details:

  • The dog’s owner (name, phone number and address)
  • Contact information of any witnesses
  • Photographs of the scene (the injury, dog and location)
  • Contact information for the dog’s veterinarian

These pieces of evidence are necessary for building your legal case.

  1. Get medical care

Even if you do not have any emergency injuries, such as a broken bone or unstoppable bleeding, you should still seek medical attention. It is a good idea to go to an urgent care clinic. If possible, obtain information from the veterinarian regarding rabies vaccinations before your visit.

  1. Document the damages

Getting bitten by a dog can come with various physical, financial and emotional ramifications. As the weeks go by and you pursue your legal options, you should be heavily documenting all the losses you experience. This may include medical bills, emotional pain and suffering, missed work and property damage.

If you want to take legal action against the dog owner, the good news is that the law is on your side. According to Pennsylvania statutes and case law, dog owners are always legally responsible for any injuries caused by their dogs.