A dog bite is a scary and painful experience for anyone. Although a dog bite isn’t a reflection of how you interact with a dog or its behavior, it can pose serious risks. When a dog bites you or a loved one, it introduces bacteria. In worse cases, unvaccinated dogs can potentially transfer rabies to the victim.
Meanwhile, there are various reasons why dogs bite. Their bites can range from playful or accidental bites to ferocious attacks. In most cases, dogs bite when they feel their domain or territory is under threat. Also, a dog can bite if it’s startled, injured, unwell, or feels a strong urge to protect its puppies, food, or toys.
Canine assaults can occur at any time for any number of reasons. A dog bite in New York or anywhere else in the world requires medical attention. Consequently, victims of dog bites deal with disfigurement, pain, emotional stress, and sometimes fatal outcomes.
Significantly, knowing what to do if you suffer a dog bite can boost your chances of getting a fair settlement for injuries suffered. Here are seven things you should do after a dog bite:
Move To Safety
If a dog bites you, you first need to move to a safe place. Whether the bite is from a rogue pet that’s well known to you or an unknown dog, getting yourself or your loved one away from the dog’s presence is crucial for your safety.
However, if the dog remains aggressive, apply force while minding your safety to avoid getting bitten. Further, if the dog has a foaming mouth or acts erratically, it could have rabies. In such a case, you need to seek treatment right away.
The first thing you need to do after a dog bite is to get treatment as soon as possible. If the bite breaks your skin, you need to see a doctor immediately. However, if the injury isn’t severe, you can rest and see a doctor the following day. Nevertheless, waiting with wounds on the hands or face isn’t advisable because these parts can quickly lose functionality or scar.
If you suffer a deep wound or the affected area swells, turns red, bleeds severely, or has pus, you need to get to the emergency room right away. The doctor will assess your injury and determine if stitching is necessary. In addition, the doctor also cleans the wound and checks for signs of bone, muscle, tendon, or nerve damage.
Document Details Of The Attack
After a dog bite, ensure that you document the details of the attack immediately after it happens. You can do this by writing notes with details as you recall them. Essentially, your notes should capture information on what you were doing before the attack, how it happened, the duration of the attack, and describe the intensity of pain you experienced.
Further, get details of the individual who owns the dog that bit you. Information about the dog owner is essential immediately after an attack, including their name and address. If there are people who witnessed the attack, get their contacts as well. Your personal injury attorney will require these details to pursue a dog bite case.
Take Pictures Of Your Injuries
Another essential thing to do immediately after you suffer a dog bite is to take images of the physical injuries sustained, including your bloody or torn clothing. If you’re not in a position to take the pictures by yourself, ask someone else to do that for you. Taking these images provides the evidence you need to prove the attack and justify your compensation claim.
Get Proof Of Vaccination
After getting the dog owner’s contact information, ask for proof of vaccination and details of the veterinarian from the dog owner. You need to know whether the dog’s vaccinations are up to date.
Ideally, the dog owner should provide you with their dog’s rabies vaccination license number. The veterinarian can provide your healthcare team with crucial details since they know the dog’s history and vaccination records.
Report The Incident To Authorities
The other thing you should do after a dog bite is to file an incident report with the police. To guarantee that no one else gets bitten by the dog, it’s important to file a report with law enforcement. In some states, law enforcement must inform the state health department within 72 hours of treatment.
Get A Personal Injury Attorney
You need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney after suffering a dog bite, even if you have no plans of taking the case to court. A personal injury lawyer has a vast knowledge of laws relating to dog bites in your state and the settlement procedures.
On the other hand, talking to an attorney lets you know your rights as a victim and how to seek compensation for your suffering. However, before engaging a lawyer, ensure that you have details about the dog’s owner. It also helps to prepare the evidence to show that the incident has occurred.
Important information to provide your attorney includes the contacts of the witnesses and the dog owner. In addition, bring your record of what transpired during the attack to your lawyer. This could include photos of your injuries and damaged property.
Furthermore, an attorney will want to know whether you reported the incident to the authorities and get details of the date and time of the attack. Consequently, getting a personal injury attorney to handle your case increases your chances of getting fair compensation for injuries sustained.
Dogs are commonly referred to as man’s best friend and taken in by many as pets. However, these friendly animals can become aggressive and bite. While it’s possible to be compensated for the pain and damage resulting from a dog bite, this can only happen after you take the right actions immediately after the dog bite.
If you or your loved one gets bitten by a dog, the seven things listed above can ensure full recovery and fair compensation for injuries suffered.