Emergency rooms and doctors offices receive victims of dog bites every year. Any dog can bite, the stray on the street or even the beloved family pet. Most dogs only bite if provoked, but they will act out of aggression, their need to protect their families from perceived danger, and because of disease. The steps below will aid you in taking the proper course of action should you be bitten.
Treat the Wounds
If a dog bites you or someone you know, you should first treat the wound. Dog bites can range from superficial cuts to large, life threatening gashes. Access the situation and act accordingly.
First, stop the bleeding. Then if possible, photograph the bites before they are cleaned. Wash superficial and puncture wounds with mild soap and water. Treat with antibiotic cream and bandage them to prevent infection. If the dog inflicted more serious injuries, proceed to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
Depending on the place the bite occurs, different authorities may have jurisdiction. Contact animal control as soon as possible, especially if the dog is a stray or has no owners nearby. They can detain the animal and test for rabies. You should also contact the police to file a report. They will then ensure the owners take appropriate steps to prevent future attacks. By reporting, you create a record against the dog in case it happens again to you or someone else.
Retain an Attorney
As a dog bite victim, you may be able to recover the costs of medical treatments, and lost time. To ensure you receive full compensation, you should retain an attorney. The dog’s owner will most likely file a claim with their homeowners insurance, and you will be battling with experienced attorneys. Make sure you have someone on your side! Ask the law firm you choose if they have any attorneys dedicated to dog bite claims. Law offices such as The Pearce Law Firm, employ attorneys who specialize in these types of claims. Begin constructing you case at the scene. If possible, get the name and phone number of the dog’s owner, and proof of rabies vaccine. Also make sure to get the names and contact information of any and all witnesses. Your attorney can then ask them for a statement.
Dog bites can be traumatic, especially for children or victims with severely disfiguring bites. Take care of your family and others by ensuring the situation is handled properly.