Every year, 4.7 million people in the United States suffer dog bites.
Dogs might be our best friends, but the reality is that they’ve got some sharp teeth. If you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could fall victim to their pearly whites.
If you suffer a dog puncture wound or a full-on bite, it is important to know what to do in the aftermath.
Keep reading to find out the five most important things to do after a dog bite when it comes to your health and legal action you may need to take.
Document the Wound
If you or someone around you can, take pictures of the wound before tending to it. Having evidence of the dog puncture wound or dog bite in its original state will be helpful if legal action is taken later on. It will provide photo evidence of the severity of the injury.
Call for Help
Place a clean towel or cloth over the wound, and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. If the injury is serious and requires professional care, call emergency services. While you are waiting for them to arrive, you can begin to collect information from the dog’s owner and anyone in the area who witnessed the event.
Make sure to exchange contact information with the dog’s owner. You will need these details in case legal or insurance-related action is taken and because you will want to be able to obtain information on the dog’s medical history. Be sure to get their name, address, phone number, and any other relevant contact information.
It will be important to find out whether the dog was vaccinated for certain diseases such as rabies because, after a dog bite, you are at risk of infection from any bacteria or illness the dog might have had and will require treatment accordingly.
Get Contact Information of Witnesses
If there were witnesses at the scene of the crime, make sure to get their information. In the case of a lawsuit or insurance claim, witness accounts of the incident will likely help your case. They will be able to corroborate and provide a more accurate idea of the events that took place.
If you decide legal action is the appropriate route, you will need to present all of the information obtained at the crime scene to a dog bite lawyer. The lawyer will use the information provided to build a case.
Seek Medical Help
After an aggressive encounter with a dog, you should seek help from a medical professional who knows how to treat a dog bite. A doctor will be able to determine whether you need stitches, clean the wound thoroughly, and advise you on how to prevent the wound from getting infected.
If you do notice signs of infection, such as redness, pus, increased pain, or fever, it is important to go back to the doctor for further treatment.
Taking Care of a Dog Puncture Wound or Bite
If you have suffered from a dog puncture wound or a dog bite, it is important to follow all of these steps. They will help you stay healthy by minimizing the risk of infection, and they will allow you to qualify for the best legal help possible. The more information you are able to obtain about the dog and its owner, the better.