What to Do Following a Dog Bite
Each year, dogs end up biting 4.5 million people. These are serious injuries, and we encourage everyone to treat them seriously. Some dog bites lead to infections, some of which are deadly.
Obtaining compensation is critical after a dog bite. In addition to medical care, many people have to take time off from work to recover. The physical and emotional pain is also deserving of compensation. To help your case, remember to take the following steps and reach out to a premises liability attorney in Coral Gables for assistance.
Document the Attack
You should get the following information after the attack:
- The address where the attack took place
- The time and date of the attack
- A description of the dog
- The owner’s name, if known
- The owner’s home insurance information, if applicable
- Names of any witnesses to the attack
If an attack occurred on private property, don’t assume the dog’s owner lives there. Instead, the dog could have been wandering the neighborhood before it attacked you. For this reason, getting a description of the dog is critical. Be very careful before approaching the dog to check its collar for the name of the owner or a telephone number.
Of course, if you are badly injured, you will need to take other steps first, such as stopping bleeding. In that situation, ask a friend to obtain the above information, which will prove vital for your case.
Call the Animal Services Department
Animal Services needs to know that a dangerous dog has bitten or attacked a person. They will need to pick up the dog and watch it to see if it develops rabies. If it does, then you will need a vaccine and the dog will probably be put down.
Stop the Bleeding & Clean Your Wound
Even superficial cuts need to be cleaned, because a dog’s mouth has hundreds of germs in the saliva that can cause an infection. If bleeding is heavy, use a clean towel to apply pressure.
Once bleeding has stopped, you can clean your wound with soap and warm water. If there is debris, like dirt, try to remove that as well, before applying a sterile bandage over the wound.
Go to the Hospital, if Necessary
A dog’s teeth can tear at muscle and veins. If you cannot get the bleeding to stop, then go to the hospital. You will also probably need stitches for deeper wounds. It is also a good idea to have a doctor check a wound even if you think it is only superficial. You might need a tetanus booster and/or a rabies vaccine, just to be on the safe side.
Watch for Signs of Infection
A wound will be red and painful even if not infected. However, infection can cause the skin around the wound to become red and sensitive to the touch. There might also be yellow or white discharge coming from the wound, and you could experience fever.
If you suspect an infection, get to the hospital. A doctor can prescribe antibiotics or other treatment. Follow your doctor’s directions.
Speak with a Dog Bite Attorney
A lawyer is an excellent resource for making a claim for compensation. Many dog bite cases are not as straightforward as you might think and require investigation into the identity of the dog’s owner. Let us help.
The Florida dog bite attorneys at Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A., have over 60 years of combined experience and an unparalleled level of success. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.