What to Do If A Dog Bites You
The first thing you need to do after a dog bites you is tend to the wound. If the injury is not severe where you are bleeding profusely or require immediate medical attention, then you need to do the following:
1. Try to identify the dog, and its owner – You would first look to see who had custody of the dog at the time it attacked you. If the owner was present at the time of the attack, he/she should have the license information that you will need for proof of rabies vaccination on the dog. Take a photo of the dog with your cell phone if it is readily available. Make sure you get the owners name, address, and phone number. Get the name of the dog and the license number as well.
2. Seek Medical Care – Immediately call 911 if the bite is severe, or you can drive yourself or have someone drive you to the nearest hospital for medical treatment. You do not want to wait to seek medical attention due to the risk of infection. Always seek professional medical treatment regardless of the severity.
3. File a Report – Contact the police or proper authorities to file a dog bite report as soon as possible. Doing so will provide documentation of the incident.
4. More Information About The Dog – Once you identified the owner of the dog, and obtained the dog’s license information, you can get more information on the dog from town authorities. This information will be useful for you to see if this dog has ever bitten or attacked anyone else.
5. Take Photos of Your Injuries – Make sure that you photograph all injuries as soon as possible before they wrap your wounds in gauze. Take before and after photos as well as photos during the healing process. Do not forget to photograph any injuries sustained from the attack, such as bruises or scrapes that may have occurred. Go back and take photos of the location of the attack as well.
6. Contact A Dog Bite Attorney – You should immediately contact an experienced dog bite attorney right away. Dog bites can become complex legal issues, and you need to have someone represent you who understands every aspect of the law. Your personal injury or dog bite lawyer will have your best interest in hand and make sure that you have the best representation.
7. Keep A Journal – Anytime you are seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a dog bite attack, it is helpful to start a journal as soon as possible. Record all your thoughts and visits to doctors and your attorney.
What if the Dog Bite Is Severe?
Dog bite treatment for a severe wound or more than one wound requires immediate medical attention. Doctors will know how to treat your dog bite to minimize infections or other complications. If you were the victim of a severe dog attack, your priority is to get emergency help immediately. After you have been treated at the hospital and released, you can follow the (7) steps above.
Severe Dog Bite Treatment
When you arrive at the hospital, the doctor will want to know about the attack. He or she will need as much information that you can provide about the attack, and the dog itself. The doctor will ask about any health conditions you have that will make a recovery from a dog bite more difficult. People who have immune disorders, cancer, diabetes or liver disease may take a longer time to heal. The doctor will look to assess your injuries and determine the best way to treat them. If the dog bite damaged muscles, nerves, or bones, you may need to have future rehabilitation for your injuries to heal properly. The physician will have to clean the wound(s) to make sure there is no dirt or bacteria and determine if sutures are required. Some puncture wounds caused by dogs teeth are not always sutured so that they can heal from the inside out.
There is always a chance of an infection from a dog bite due to the bacteria in their saliva. However, your doctor will want to use minimally invasive procedures as needed to limit or prevent scarring. If there is severe damage and scarring is inevitable, you will need plastic surgery to hide the scars.
If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you need an attorney. An attorney will make sure the owner pays for the damages caused by the dog. Contact Edward C. Lutz, Esq., personal injury attorney. His office is in Parsippany, N.J., in Morris County.