Who should I call to report an animal attack?

After an animal attack, there may be several important calls to make to report the animal attack, such as to 911, police animal control, the owner of the animal, and a lawyer. Of course, this depends on the circumstances and uniqueness of the situation.

Calls You May Need to Make When Injured in an Animal Attack

Obviously, call 911 after an animal attack for help if you have injuries that are life-threatening. Animal attacks can cause severe internal damage and excessive bleeding. But there's also the risk of infection and other complications, so always seek medical assistance even if you don't need emergency care.

If you don’t call for an ambulance you will probably want to jump straight to this step, contacting the police. An example is when you're dealing with an uncooperative or belligerent animal owner.

You should also call animal control to report the animal attack. It's important you document what happened so there is a paper trail. In Clarksburg, call the Harrison County Animal Control office at 304-592-1876.

If you know the animal's owner, contact him/her. Explain that you will be filing a report and seeking medical attention. This isn't the time to engage in an argument about liability for a dog bite or other animal attack or to discuss a possible monetary settlement.

Finally, you may need to call an attorney. When the injuries are serious or fatal, it's important to have someone representing your best interests. Your attorney may help you with filing a claim against the animal's owner to recover compensation for your damages.

Other Steps to Take When Injured in an Animal Attack

Gather as much information as you can about the animal and its owner. Write down a description of the animal and any relevant details. Get the name and address of the owner. If you can, find out if there's a record of previous attacks.

Take pictures of all injuries, whether its:

  • bruises;
  • open wounds; or
  • puncture marks.

Also, photograph any torn or bloodied clothing. Keep track of all medical bills and other expenses. Collect your medical records to help show the extent and severity of the injuries. If there were any witnesses to the attack, make sure you get their contact information.

Contact the Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg for more information about filing a claim and the evidence you'll need. Call us at (304) 931-4088.

Tim Miley
Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group