If you were visiting friends or family over the holidays and were bitten by a dog, you may feel like you should seek medical treatment but handle the payments and debt on your own. You may want to save the relationships you have and avoid stressing out the owner of a pet because you care about them.

Putting the event behind you and ignoring what happened without pursuing a dog bite claim isn’t always the right choice, though. The medical expenses related to a dog bite can be significant. On top of that, a dog that has bitten in the past may bite again, so not having that aggression addressed could lead to others getting hurt in the future.

What should I do if I’m bitten by a dog during a holiday event?

If you’re bitten by a dog during a holiday event, consider taking the following steps:

  • Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
  • Identify the dog’s owner or responsible party and gather their contact information.
  • Document the incident by taking photos of your injuries and the location where the bite occurred.
  • Report the incident to local animal control or the appropriate authorities.
  • Consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in dog bite cases to understand your legal rights and options.

What compensation can I seek for a dog bite?

The compensation you can seek for a holiday dog bite may include:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages if you were unable to work due to the injury.
  • Pain and suffering, including physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma.
  • Scarring or disfigurement resulting from the dog bite.
  • Property damage, if applicable (e.g., damaged clothing or personal belongings).

Dogs bite for many reasons

Dogs bite because of stress, fear and overexcitement. They may also bite because they’re guarding a resource or because they were startled. Some, when living with injuries, will react out of pain or fear of further injury.

It’s important that the owner knows if their dog is a liability to others and takes steps to keep them separated. If this is not the first time that the dog has bitten someone, then they may need to go through an assessment to see if putting the dog down or rehoming it would be the right solution.

Though you may not want to cause problems for the owner of the pet, your injuries are serious and should be treated that way. You deserve to know that you won’t be at risk in the future and that the cost of your medical care and other losses will be covered. It may be wise to explore your legal options.