What to Do After a Dog Bite
Approximately 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, and more than half of those victims are children between the ages of 5 and 9. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five dog bite wounds require medical attention. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, follow these essential steps to avoid infection and to get you on the road to compensation.
Treating Your Dog Bite
After you remove yourself from the threat, thoroughly wash your wound with soap and water. For small wounds, apply an antibiotic cream such as Neosporin or Bacitracin to the injury and wrap it in a clean bandage. For deep wounds, apply pressure using a clean, dry cloth until the bleeding stops and then bandage the injury.
You should call 911 or your local emergency medical services immediately if the bleeding persists or if you feel weak.
Whether your wound is minor or deep, pay attention to its healing process. If the wound becomes red, warm, or swollen, or if you develop a fever, see a doctor right away. You should also seek medical attention if you are unsure if the dog had been vaccinated against rabies or if you have not had a tetanus shot in over 5 years.
Gathering the following information helps to ensure that your experience is recorded in case you seek medical compensation for your injury later.
- Identify the Dog and Its Owner — Learn the dog-owner’s name and address. Also, request proof of the dog’s rabies vaccinations. Without this information, you may be forced to undergo a series of rabies shots that can cost as much as 3,000 dollars.
- Note the Location — If you need to, write down the name of the location where the bite took place. Also record why you were there, the state of the animal, and any other important details.
- Obtain Dog License Information — Ask for a copy of the dog license information and any records of the dog’s previous attacks or dangerous behavior.
- Photograph Your Injuries — Photographs help to prove the extent of your injury.
- File a Dog Bite Report — Even for minor injuries, file a dog bite report with your city or country authorities. This report legally enforces your case and helps the next victim who may be bitten by the same dog.
Contacting an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney
Dogs may be “man’s best friend,” but they can be unpredictable at times. When dog owners fail to properly watch and restrain their animals, they risk injuring others. If you or your child has been the victim of a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical, emotional, and mental pain. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are available 24/7 to listen and respond to your case. If you were injured by a dog attack, contact Thomas J. Henry for a free case review.