What to do if You’ve Suffered a Dog Bite

There are nearly 5 million animal attacks that occur each year in the United States. These attacks can range from minor scratches all the way to fatalaties. Dog bites are the most common of these occurences.  If you find yourself the victim of a dog bite or attack, there are several things you must do.

You should take down the contact information of the dog’s owner and of any witnesses to the dog bite. If the dog has a license, record that information as well as the owner’s insurance information if they have it. Ask for records of the dog’s vaccinations and the phone number of the veterinarian who administered them.

Take photos of any bruises, wounds, or bloody clothing that points to the incident. If the owner  or handler of the dog attempts to make a deal with you, decline immediately. Do not discuss money, sign any documents, or talk about where the responsibility for the incident lies. Try to discuss the bite as little as possible, only saying what you must to obtain the necessary information.

Immediately clean the wound with warm water and antibacterial soap. If the wound is not too serious, consult your general physician for an assessment of the wound and for the possibility of antibiotics to stave of  any infection . Otherwise, go directly to the emergency room for care. When in doubt about the severity of the wound, head to the ER.

Once your wound has been tended to, animal control should be notified of the bite or attack so that they may ensure that the dog owner takes the necessary steps to prevent another incident in the future.

It may be in your best interest to hire a personal injury attorney if you have sustained any injuries that have resulted in medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. An attorney will be knowledgeable in state and local dog bite laws. They will be able to argue your case on your behalf, in order to recover the maximum amount of damages you are entitled to under your state’s law

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