How to File a Dog Bite Report in Nebraska

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November 21, 2023 Knowles Law Firm

If you get bitten by a dog, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to recover from the attack. One of the most important steps to take is to report the incident. Filing a dog bite report keeps your county informed about potentially dangerous dogs and may lead to the pet owner having to take steps to prevent future attacks. Reporting a dog bite incident is also an important step toward recovering financial compensation from a pet owner in Nebraska.

How to File a Dog Bite Report in Nebraska

Seek Medical Attention

The first step to take after an animal attack is to seek medical treatment for your dog bite injuries. Your health and safety should be your number one priority. Professional medical care is important after any dog bite that breaks the skin (even a bite that appears minor), as you could be at risk of infection due to bacteria present in the dog’s mouth and saliva. Wound cleaning and antibiotics may be necessary. Major dog bite injuries require more extensive medical care, such as sutures and surgery.

Obtaining prompt medical care is critical to help ensure your physical safety, health and well-being. It is also an important step to take for the dog bite injury claims process. An insurance company will check to see if you sought medical attention and followed your doctor’s treatment plan as part of the investigative process. Failing to see a doctor for your injuries could hurt your eligibility for financial compensation.

Notify the Police

Many dog attacks are emergency situations. If you or someone else appears seriously injured or the situation is urgent, call 911 to notify local law enforcement authorities immediately. Provide details of the dog bite incident, including your location and the date and time. If the vicious dog is still at large and poses an immediate threat, inform authorities of this. They can send animal control authorities to your location to capture the dog.

Gather Information

If possible, collect information and evidence while you are still at the scene of the dog bite incident. Collecting evidence can help you build an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for your injuries. Obtain the contact information of the pet owner and any witnesses, as well as photographs of the scene, the dog and your injuries. If there are any security cameras nearby, try to obtain copies of the footage. 

Write down a description of the event while the details are still fresh in your mind. You should also create an injury journal where you document your daily recovery and how you feel. If law enforcement is notified of the attack, they can also investigate and collect information about the incident on your behalf. An officer can question the dog owner about the attack and create a police incident report.

Report the Dog Bite to Animal Control

Every dog bite incident that occurs in Nebraska should be reported to local animal control authorities. You can find this authority by conducting a search online for your local animal control office. In the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, for example, individuals can file a complaint by calling (402) 441-7900. Citizens can also fill out a complaint form and send it to the animal control office by mail.

Why You Should Report Your Dog Bite Injury

Reporting a dog attack to animal control can help authorities in your county enforce dog bite laws and identify potentially dangerous dogs that should be monitored. Under Nebraska Revised Statute (NRS) Section 54-617(3)(a), a dog that has inflicted an injury on a human being that requires medical treatment will receive the designation of “dangerous dog.” 

Under NRS 54-618, any dog declared as dangerous must be spayed or neutered and implanted with a microchip to monitor the animal, both at the cost of the owner. The owner may not permit the dog to leave the property unless it is securely restrained. The owner is not allowed to transport the dog out of the county or city unless he or she is making a permanent relocation. 

Reporting a dog bite injury to the animal control office is also important for insurance purposes. An insurance company will request a copy of the incident report and can use information obtained through an animal control officer’s investigation to process your claim. The sooner you report a dog bite injury, the better – before important information and evidence get lost.

What Will an Animal Control Officer Do?

When an animal control center in Nebraska is notified about a dog attack that involves bite injuries to one or more victims, it will dispatch an officer to investigate the complaint. The officer will determine if the owner of the animal was in compliance with all applicable state and county ordinances at the time of the incident. 

If the officer sees evidence of a violation, he or she may take action, such as issuing a citation and following up with the owner to ensure that the violation has been corrected. Information about the incident will then be passed to the City Attorney, who will determine if criminal charges should be issued against the owner based on the violation.

The animal will be placed into a mandatory quarantine to check for diseases such as rabies. This quarantine can take place at the pet owner’s residence or the nearest animal control center. If the dog attack involved severe injuries, a death or a child, the animal control officer may confiscate the dog and place it in an animal shelter until the claim has been resolved.

File a Dog Bite Injury Claim in Nebraska

Once you have properly reported the dog bite injury, consider taking legal action with assistance from a dog bite lawyer in Omaha. Under Nebraska’s dog bite law, a dog owner can be held strictly liable for any damage that results from a dog attack, regardless of the question of negligence. Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the pet owner could result in financial compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional trauma, property damage, and more.

An attorney can help you fill out and submit the paperwork required to initiate a dog bite injury claim in Nebraska. Your lawyer can build your claim by obtaining copies of important records and documents, such as reports filed by an animal control officer or the police, as well as medical documentation of your injuries. Then, your lawyer can pursue maximum financial compensation for your damages on your behalf while you focus on healing. Call Knowles Law Firm at (402) 999-4839 to learn more about a potential dog bite injury claim during a free consultation.