Did your dog attack another person or dog sometime in the past? Or worse, you got attacked by your dog?
Dog bite happens. In fact, an estimated 4.5 million people in the U.S. have been bitten by another person’s dog.
Being bit by a dog — even the most gentle dog — can be scary and painful, and the consequences range from minor to severe. It’s up to you to decide whether to pursue legal action in such cases.
But you must start by getting medical attention and dealing with the owner before considering the courts. Here are some tips on what to do after a dog bite accident.
Immediately Seek Medical Attention
If a dog has bitten you or someone you know, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. Even if the wound does not appear serious, there is a risk of infection.
A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria that can cause an infection. Symptoms of an infection include redness, swelling, and pain at the bite site. If you develop a fever or the wound does not heal, you should see a doctor.
Elevate the Limb After a Dog Bite
It is essential to elevate the limb to prevent swelling. Swelling can lead to an increase in pain and can make the injury worse.
When elevating the limb, support the joint above and below the injury. Do not put ice on the wound, as this can further damage the tissue.
Keep the Wound Clean and Covered
Cleaning and covering the wound is essential as this will help prevent infection. Wash the wound with soap and water. This will help remove any bacteria that may be on the skin.
After cleaning the wound, apply a bandage to it. Be sure to change the dressing regularly and keep the wound clean and dry.
Gather Information About the Dog
Getting as much information about the dog as possible is vital if a dog has bitten you. This includes the dog’s name, address, and phone number.
You should also determine if the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. If the dog is not up to date on its rabies vaccination, you may need to get a rabies shot.
Seek Legal Advice
If a dog has bitten you, you may be wondering whether or not you should seek legal advice. The answer to this question depends on several factors. This includes the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of the attack.
If you have suffered severe injuries or the dog that attacked you was acting aggressively without provocation, you may want to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. Even if you have not been seriously injured, you may still be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced dog bite lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case and, if so, how to best pursue it.
Always Err on the Side of Caution
Even if the dog appears to be friendly, always err on the side of caution and avoid petting it. If you must approach a strange dog, always let the owner know first and ask if it’s okay to pet the dog.
If a dog has bitten you or someone you know, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. Wash the wound with soap and water and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Get the dog owner’s information and report the dog bite to your local animal control agency.
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