Dogs are man’s best friends. But, they can sometimes turn on people, even their owners. Unsuspecting joggers, runners, mail carriers, and cyclists have encountered angry dogs that eventually bit them. No matter how a dog is taken care of, a dog bite is painful and costs money for treatment.
To be able to keep a dog also means that there are laws to adhere to. Dog owners should know what they need to do as they’re also responsible for their pets, household members, and members of society. If you’re a dog owner, your dog has bitten anyone, or if you’re the victim, navigate to this site to find out more. The following are steps to take when you suddenly find yourself bitten:
- Don’t Panic
It may seem difficult to feel anything other than being scared at the moment that an animal is attacking you. But, there’s a saying that animals can sense fear, and they’ll be more inclined to keep attacking you if you’re trying to wiggle away or fending them off forcefully. Stop moving, avoid eye contact, slowly place yourself to the side of the dog and turn your hands in a fist to protect your fingers.
Don’t try thrashing or kicking. Make the dog feel that you’re not a threat. Try to assess the situation because an attack can turn into a mauling. If the dog keeps coming back or if it won’t let you go, scream for help.
- Ask For The Dog’s Vaccination History
Make sure that the owner approaches to seize the dog away from you. Remain calm and inquire if the dog’s rabies shot and vaccines are updated. Then get the owner’s name, contact number, and veterinarian’s phone number. A responsible dog owner should know what proper vaccinations their dogs had.
Try also to get the owner’s identification and ask for an ID if possible. If the owner is nowhere, ask people nearby if they’re familiar with the dog and who the owner is. Do your best to get more information about the dog, such as licensure number.
- Seek Medical Help
Administering first aid should be next on your mind. If the skin isn’t broken, wash the area with warm water and soap. Apply an antibacterial cream or spray.
The best time to call for a doctor would be when you see these signs:
- If your skin keeps bleeding after applying pressure for 15 minutes
- If you have a weak immune system
- When the bite is from a stray or a feral dog, and you could not get hold of medical records
- The wound starts swelling, going red, there’s tenderness to the touch
- If the skin is broken and possibly with multiple wounds
If you have any of the signs above, call for an ambulance immediately. Never delay treatment to avoid the spread of a possible bacterial infection. The dog bite could be red, swollen, warm, and tender – these are signs that a doctor should be treating your wound.
- Look For Witnesses
If there are people nearby who saw the attack, get their names, addresses, and contact numbers if you can, especially if the owner isn’t anywhere to be found. If you can’t, you can try asking the neighbors of the dog owner. It would help if you had more people who can second your account of events to strengthen your case against the dog owner. If the dog is also out of control, animal control professionals will be able to catch it. They may also likely have reported about the dog if it has a history of violence.
- Document The Incident
If you have your phone, you can immediately take photos of your injuries. Also, photograph the exact location of where the incident happened. Make sure that the photos are clear. Create your report of the incident and look for additional sources such as a CCTV recording if there is any where you were bitten. You can use it along with a copy of medical records. You’ll need the information later on when you report what happened to the proper authorities. Ensure to get the police case number.
- Seek Legal Assistance
Seek a dog bite attorney to get legal advice on your case. It should be a professional who has experience in handling dog bite cases as it can be complex. Attorneys who are experts in such events can help you identify if you have a claim to pursue in the first place. They’ll tell you if it’s worth your time and money.
Injuries cost money to treat, so you should exercise your rights to get compensation when you’re not at fault. Be sure to document the incident properly, and don’t skimp on treatment, as medical reports can offer another line of defense. It’ll help your attorney to begin a case on your behalf.