Even though dogs have been known to be a man’s best friend, that hasn’t stopped them from biting their buddies. You’re playing with your dog one minute and the next it’s growling and getting ready to bite you. A dog bite can happen anytime and even from non-friendly animals.

Why is dog bites much of a concern? When a dog bites, its front teeth get hold of your tissue and compresses it; making it possible for your skin to be torn by their small teeth. If that happens, there’d be an open wound with the potential of being infected. Medical practitioners say it is a medical emergency. You might need to be hospitalized if it’s really serious.

Ensure that you see a doctor within hours of the bite, preferably within eight so as not to increase your chances of infection. 

Irrespective of how it went down, there are certain steps you should take immediately to take care of the wound and avoid infection before even seeking medical attention.

Remain Calm

After being bitten by a dog, it is important that you remain calm as much as possible. The situation is still volatile and getting scared or excited may cause the dog to perceive it as aggressive and continue to attack you. So if you’re still within its vicinity, stay calm. Try as much as possible to avoid making direct contact with the dog and turn away. Place something between you both; maybe a jacket, stool, or bag will do just fine. Then, wait patiently till the dog moves away.

Contact An Attorney

Not just any attorney but a personal injury lawyer to be more specific. The team at Earl & Earl, PLLC explained that they can help you with making a claim against the insurance company or a lawsuit if need be. There are also attorneys that offer free reviews, so you can know what you’re dealing with. Personal injury lawyers have years of experience handling such cases and know the amount of compensation that fits your case, what to expect, and how you can get it. The compensation is needed to cover medical expenses and other bills. 

Treat The Wounds

Once you are safe and the dog’s gone away, treat the injury or seek medical attention immediately. Press the injury gently to remove any bacteria. Wash the wound (soap and water) and apply an antibiotic cream if it’s a minor wound before wrapping it up with a clean, sterile bandage. Watch the wound closely for infections like swelling, heightened pain, or fever.

If you notice the injury is swelling or becoming sore; the dog acted strangely, or you’re becoming sick, reach out to a healthcare professional for assistance.

Apply pressure on bleeding wounds to stop the bleeding. Get help quickly if that doesn’t work. Injuries where the bone is open, or you are in severe pain should only be handled by a medical professional. 

Why is being treated by a doctor better than self-treating? You might not know whether the dog has gotten vaccinated for rabies, and you might not have a tetanus shot in a very long time which could cause more serious problems for you if not treated by a professional.

Do whatever your doctor asks you to do so you can have a quick recovery. Schedule frequent visits to them if any problem persists. 

Gather Information

Get as much data as you can gather about the biting incident. It’s very important to gather that information. If you are unable to do this, get someone to do it for you. 

Try and get the contact details of the dog owner such as their name, contact address, phone number and look around if there are any witnesses. They are key if you want an insurance claim or take legal action.

Request for a report from the eyewitnesses of what they saw within hours of the incident to ensure they don’t forget what they saw. If possible, get copies of their notes.

Report The Incident To The Authorities

A dog that could bite a person can also bite other people. You can help ensure it doesn’t happen again by reporting it to animal control. They can now begin an investigation into the matter. 

If an investigation is launched by the authorities, it would help you decide if there’s a need for you to make a personal injury claim. You might also want to file a report with the police. 

Find Out If It Has An Aggressive History

When building your case against the owner, it’s essential you can establish that the dog has got an aggressive history. Each region has its own unique law guiding dog bites/attacks. 

If you want to lay a claim, you’d be required to verify that the owner or guardian knows about the viciousness of the dog. 

Compile Documentary Evidence 

Create a compilation of all the information you have gathered; contact data, pictures, witness reports, and vaccination documentation. Document details of your medical treatment including costs and photographs of the injury. You need them for them to make an injury claim.

Now that you know what steps to take when bitten by a dog, you want to get on with your life. Focus on recovering and let your attorney handle other issues.