Whether you are walking through your neighborhood, spending some time at the park or visiting a business, you rely on dog owners to keep their pets under control. Some pet owners, though, do not take proper steps to keep their dog, you and your loved ones safe. When this results in a dog bite, the next steps you take can be crucial to your recovery.

Can you hold dog owners responsible?

Unfortunately for many bite victims, New York law requires that a dog have known “vicious propensities” in order to for owners to be held accountable. This means that your case relies on previous victims coming forward or witnesses who can report that the dog was behaving aggressively.

What should you do after a dog bites you?

After a dog bites you or your loved one, it is important to report the bite and make sure that witnesses are interviewed. Witness statements are especially important because they prevent the issue from being your word against the word of the dog owners.

Nearly 20 percent of people require medical care after being bitten by a dog, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and getting medical care after a dog bite can be very important. Not only does this provide a record of the bite and the injuries you received, it can ensure that your wound is properly cared for.

After a bite, you may also want to contact an attorney to discuss your case and the options available to you. Your lawyer can help you hold pet owners responsible and ensure that you have the funds necessary to care for your injuries after a bite.