Summer has arrived. We have been outdoors enjoying the sun, exercising and then the worst occurs, you get bitten by a dog. What do you do? Dog bites can cause severe injuries and according to the CDC, there are more than 4.7 million dog bites a year.
So what should you do if you have been injured by a dog attack? Follow these steps to ensure your health and safety as well as the health and safety of your community.
- Seek medical attention immediately. If the injury is severe, call 911 or head to your nearest emergency room. Otherwise, clean your wounds with soap and water and apply topical antibiotics. Because you never know what kind of condition someone’s dog may be in, be sure to clean your wound thoroughly.
- Immediately call the police and report the attack. It’s important to make sure the incident is recorded. The warden may issue a citation, so be sure to give as many details about the dog attack as possible. Make sure to describe the circumstances surrounding the incident, the dog and its handler in as much detail as possible. The dog warden will be able to do an investigation and decide if the dog has any diseases that you as a victim should be aware of and you will at that point be able to make decisions on what to do next.
- Keep good notes. You want to make sure to keep a record of your injuries, treatment and expenses. A picture goes a long way, so make sure during the healing process you are documenting the wound and what it looks like every step of the way. Make sure to document any scaring. Also, any doctors appointments or expenses need to be kept and tracked. This will allow your legal team to better assess your damages that will be owed in your case.
- If there are any witnesses, make sure to get their contact information. If you can, get the dog owner’s contact information as well, but if not, at the very least get an address of where you were bit at if bit on a property. You will need this for the police or for any legal action you may take down the road.
The sooner you speak to a personal injury attorney regarding your dog bite the better. Dog owners are responsible for any injury or damage done by the dog. The passage of time could weaken your claim. There is also a statute of limitations to think about. So be sure to contact an attorney who can help you, or someone you love, through this traumatic experience.