What To Do After A Dog Bite
What to do after a dog bite:
Get medical attention. After you have been bitten by a dog, the most important thing to do is to get medical attention. If you need immediate help call 911 and have an ambulance come to the scene. If you do not feel like you need an ambulance you should still go to the emergency room as soon as possible after the bite occurs. Many times dog bites are more serious than they appear.
Check for rabies. Whenever any dog or animal attack occurs you want to always make sure the animal is checked for rabies. If you or law enforcement cannot check the animal for rabies you want to ensure that your doctor gives you injections to protect you in case the dog was infected.
Avoid infection. Be sure to ask the doctor about the possibility of infection. Dog’s mouths have thousands of germs and many times the infection from the dog bite can be more serious than the dog bite itself. Infections that are left untreated can lead to surgery, amputation or even death.
Get the dog owner’s name, address and homeowner’s insurance policy. You will want to be sure to get the important information of the dog’s owner. In case the injuries turn out to be serious you will want to be able to locate the owner, their dog and potential homeowner’s insurance policy.
Report it to animal control or law enforcement. It’s important that you report any dog bite or attack to law enforcement. First, you want to make sure that animal control ensures that the dog was taken in to be quarantined. Next, you will want to make sure that animal control or law enforcement take appropriate actions to protect you and the public from any this happening again. If the dog bite goes unreported, there is a strong chance that the dog’s owner will not take any actions to protect the public.
Find out if the dog has bitten or attacked before. Be sure to ask animal control, law enforcement or your neighbors if the dog has bitten or attacked anyone before. Unfortunately, many times this will not be the first time.
Ensure that the dog was quarantined. Even if the bite or scratch is minor you will want to make sure that the animal is checked for rabies. Typically, this includes the animal being quarantined by animal control or a veterinarian.
Take pictures of your injury. It is important that you document how serious your injury was, both to show animal control and for any future claims you may have against the person’s homeowner’s insurance.
Do not give a recorded statement. You may be asked to give a recorded statement by the homeowner’s insurance company for the dog’s owner. It is important that you decline this offer. The insurance company will use this statement against you later in any negotiations or litigation.
If your injuries were serious speak to a dog bite attorney. You may be entitled to have your medical bills, lost wages and other damages reimbursed to you for the dog bite. Many times this area of the law can be difficult and very hard to understand. At a minimum, get a consultation by an experienced attorney that handles dog bite cases. You may not need to hire an dog bite attorney but it is always better to be safe than sorry.