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Over 86 million families in the United States own pets, and the majority (58%) of homeowners own a dog. These numbers mean there’s a good chance one of your neighbors has a dog. Though many pets are friendly, some can attack unexpectedly. Do you know what to do if your neighbor’s dog bites you?

What To Do If Your Neighbor’s Dog Bites You: Protecting Yourself

It’s unfortunate, but dog bites are common in Mesa, Tempe, and Chandler. How can you protect yourself?

1. Speak With the Person in Charge of the Dog

If the dog’s owner is home, speak with them immediately about the incident. You need to get relevant information from them, including:

  • Name and address
  • Proof of the dog’s rabies vaccination
  • The person’s homeowners’ insurance company

Stay calm when speaking with your neighbor. Don’t apologize or discuss fault to protect your rights legally in Arizona.

2. Get the Medical Care You Need

Don’t underestimate the seriousness of a dog bite. Depending on the breed, you may have significant injuries under the surface, such as damage to your tendons, nerves or muscles. Some bites may require cosmetic surgery to limit scarring.

What if it doesn’t seem like the bite was deep? You should still seek medical care for at least three reasons:

  • Infections: A dog’s mouth contains countless bacteria that can cause harmful infections.
  • Hidden injuries: Even if the bite didn’t break your skin, there may be damage or bleeding in places you can’t see.
  • Rabies: Don’t assume that modern dogs don’t have rabies — hundreds of cases still appear.

Learning what to do after a neighbor’s dog bites you is important in Maricopa County. In only four years, over 34,000 people had to go to the emergency room in Arizona because of a dog bite, and almost 2,500 needed to be hospitalized.

3. Take Photos of Your Injuries

Pictures or videos of the bite are another vital type of evidence to support your testimony. You need proof of your injuries to file a claim with the appropriate authorities or to take the dog’s owner to court.

4. Contact the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Agency

Next, contact the MCACC in Maricopa County to report the animal attack. You can call the agency at (602) 506-7387. You will need to fill out a Bite or Attack on a Person Form. If you’re feeling overwhelmed because of the attack, our experienced attorneys can fill out the necessary paperwork for you.

What To Do If Your Neighbor’s Dog Bites You: Learning About Your Legal Options

Don’t listen to people who tell you that proving a dog bite claim is impossible. Arizona has laws designed to protect the victim of dog bites, so you don’t need to show a history of biting. Speaking with a lawyer is one of the best things you can do after this type of injury.

You deserve to get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Our specialized team can help you navigate the complex process of negotiating with insurers or filing a lawsuit in civil court. Contact us for more information on what to do if your neighbor’s dog bites you.