What to Do After a Dog Bite?
Did a dog bite you? If so, you may be wondering what to do next. Seeking medical attention is a must, but there are other steps you can take to ensure your safety and protect yourself from potential legal issues.
Dog bites can range in severity, from minor nuisance to life-threatening injuries. The legal ramifications of a dog bite can also vary when getting compensated for damages.
Typically, the dog owner might be strictly liable for damages caused by their dog attacking humans or other animals. It means that the victim does not need to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent to recover damages. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, a personal injury law firm, will help you determine if your state has a strict liability law.
For more information about what to do after a dog bite or to speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer, call (888) 424-5757. We are here to help.
Causes of a Dog Bite
There are many reasons why a puppy might bite someone. In some cases, the animal is simply acting out of fear or defending its territory. Other times, the dog may be ill or injured and may feel threatened by the presence of a human.
Some dogs are more prone to biting than others. Certain breeds, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, are more likely to attack than other dogs. However, any canine can bite, and no one is immune from an animal's teeth.
In the United States, animal control is a governmental organization responsible for animal regulation. It may include pet animal registration, impounding wild animals running at large or declared dangerous, and investigating animal cruelty complaints.
If a wild or stray animal bites you, your health and safety should be the foremost concern. Seek immediate medical attention, even if the animal does not appear to be sick or rabid.
Dog Bites Might Result in a Serious Injury
A wild or stray animal is a pet that isn't up-to-date on rabies shots and acting strangely. A dog attack can often lead to severe injuries. Some of the most common injuries caused by dog bites include:
Stray dog bite wounds can often become infected, particularly if the animal's teeth break the skin. A dog bite victim should always wash the wound with soap and water and see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure that no infection sets to your health.
Avoiding a Severe Infection
Tetanus is a severe infection that a dog’s mouth bite can cause. It is vital to ensure that you are up-to-date on your tetanus shots, as this will help to prevent the disease.
Any animals’ bite might induce pain, bleeding, numbness, and tingling. The bite might also cause skin tears or breaks, with or without bleeding, Bruising (discoloration of the skin),
Crushing injuries that can result in significant tissue damage and scarring, as can puncture wounds to tendon or joint damage causing restricted mobility.
In some cases, dog bites can cause permanent scarring or disfigurement in children. In severe cases, victims may require plastic cosmetic surgery to repair the damage caused by a dog bite.
How to Treat a Dog Bite
Treating a dog bite can be problematic, as you want to make sure the wound is clean and free of infection, but you also don't want to aggravate the animal. If a pet dog bites you, try to get the pet owner’s contact information to be notified about the incident. It affects those people more who have weakened immune systems.
Inquire About the Dog's Vaccination History
After a canine has bitten you, it is crucial to determine if the animal has been vaccinated against rabies. If the pet owner does not have the dog's vaccination records, they may provide the name and contact information for the animal's veterinarian.
The owner should also prove that the dog is currently up-to-date on its rabies vaccine. If the owner cannot provide this information, the animal may need to be quarantined to ensure it does not pose a risk to the public.
Administer First Aid
First aid for a dog bite should be administered as soon as possible after the incident occurs. If the wound is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding is severe, seek medical care immediately.
If the wound is not bleeding, gently wash it with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic ointment to the area to help reduce infection. Antibiotics may also be necessary to prevent a severe illness from developing.
Cover the wound with a sterile bandage or dressing and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Checking Symptoms of Rabies
If a dog bites you, it is essential to watch wounds for signs of rabies. Rabies is a severe and incurable disease that can be fatal. The early symptoms of rabies include fever, headache, and general feelings of malaise.
As the disease progresses, more severe symptoms develop, including confusion, agitation, and hallucinations. Children are also equally susceptible to rabies.
Go to the doctor or emergency room immediately after the attack.
Calling Animal Control
Calling local animal control after being bitten by a wild dog is essential, as they can help investigate the incident and ensure that the animal is adequately quarantined. It can also provide information about rabies vaccination and medical treatment.
Filing a Police Report
Filing a police report is crucial to document what happened. It can help track down the animal owner and provide financial compensation for your injuries.
Getting Legal Help
If you are bitten by a canine and suffer significant infections, you may want to speak with an attorney about your legal options. The victim of dog bite puncture wounds can often file a personal injury lawsuit against the animal keeper.
An attorney can help you assess your case and determine if you can receive compensation for your injuries.
The compensation you may be entitled to receive can help cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The other party may also be required to pay punitive damages in some cases.
Notify the Insurance Company
The insurance company has different policies concerning dog bites. You will need to notify your insurance company of the incident to tell you what coverage is available under your policy.
Some insurance companies may provide coverage for medical expenses and lost income. Others may not provide any coverage at all. For this reason, it is essential to know what your policy covers before you are involved in an incident.
How to Prevent Infection
A dogs' bite can often lead to serious infectious diseases. Reducing the risk of infection is essential for anyone who a canine has bitten.
- Clean the bite wound immediately with mild soap and a clean cloth
- Apply an antibacterial ointment to the wound
- Cover the wound with a sterile bandage or dressing
- See a doctor as soon as possible for further health treatment
- Intravenous antibiotics may be necessary for good health conditions
- Get a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the last five years.
After receiving medical care, monitor the wound for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus. If you develop a fever or other symptoms of infection, see a doctor immediately.
Documenting a Dog Bite
Documenting animal bites are vital for several reasons:
- It can help provide evidence if you decide to take legal action against the animal keeper.
- It can help to ensure that the animal is appropriately quarantined and vaccinated.
- It can help you keep track of your medical expenses and treatment.
Some things to document include:
- The date and time of the bite
- The location of the bite
- The kind of animal that bit your child
- The breed and description of the dog
- The name, contact information, and insurance information of the dog owner
- Your medical history, including any previous injuries from dog bites
- Photos or videos of the animal bites’ damage
- Receipts for medical health treatment and expenses
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Any other relevant documentation
Taking these steps after being bitten by a canine can help protect your health and legal rights.
How Helpful Is the Experienced Attorney
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a personal injury law firm representing bite victims nationwide. Our attorneys have experience handling personal injury cases, including dog bite incidents.
Our law firm’s experience can be beneficial in seeking the financial compensation that you may be entitled to after suffering injuries in a bite incident. The attorney working on your case can help assess your claim’s value.
The lawyer can also help negotiate with the other party's insurance company on your behalf. If a lawsuit is necessary, the attorney will represent you in court, help you file a police report, and contact animal control.
We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a canine bite can take on victims and their families. We work tirelessly to help our clients obtain the maximum compensation for their injuries and provide all the information regarding what to do after a dog bite.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to all potential clients. We do not charge any fees until we recover compensation from resolving the claim.