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What to do After a Dog Bite

What you do in the moments, hours, and days after a dog bite can have a significant impact on your recovery. If you choose to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your damages related to the bite, your actions can also have an impact on your claim’s progress and likelihood of success.

If you are bitten by a dog, take the steps outlined below to give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding infection and making a full recovery while keeping it possible for you to successfully complete a personal injury claim.

Stop the Bleeding

After ending the interaction with the dog, stop the bleeding by covering the injury with a towel. Once it is covered, apply direct pressure to the wound through the towel.

Clean and Cover the Wound

With a dog bite, one of your main concerns should be preventing an infection. Bacteria transferred from a dog’s mouth to a human victim can transmit infections that put the victim at risk of developing conditions like sepsis.

After a bite, keep the wound elevated and cover it with a clean towel. Wash it out thoroughly with soap and water, then cover it with a sterile bandage. In the time between the bite and receiving medical attention, apply antibiotic ointment to the wound when changing the bandage.

Get All Relevant Information from the Dog’s Owner

Without becoming confrontational, ask the dog’s owner about the dog’s vaccination record. Whether the dog was up to date on its rabies vaccine when the bite occurred is important to know; if the dog was not vaccinated against rabies, it will need to be evaluated for a potential infection and you could need a rabies shot.

Whether the dog’s owner is liable for your damages related to the bite depends on a few different factors, including whether dog owners have strict liability for their pets’ bites in your state. Other factors that can impact the owner’s liability are where the bite occurred, whether the dog had a history of biting or aggression, and whether you provoked the dog into attacking.

Seek Medical Attention for the Injury

The dressing you applied to the wound the day of the bite is not a substitute for professional medical care. Head to the doctor to have the bite examined and any resulting injuries diagnosed. If you suffered bone, soft tissue, or nerve damage from the bite, you could require additional medical treatment. Your doctor might also prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection.

Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

After a dog bite, it is imperative that you receive appropriate medical attention for the bite as soon as possible. After receiving that care, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and determine the next steps for you to take toward seeking monetary compensation for your damages. Contact our team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today to set up your initial consultation in our office.

Published January 22, 2018
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