Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. Out of them, 800,000 will require medical attention.
For example, the wound can become infected with bacteria such as streptococcus and staphylococcus. Not only that but there’s a risk of nerve and muscle damage as well.
Did you recently sustain a dog bite? Looking for a guide on what to do next? If so, you’re on the right page. We’ll be going over everything that you need to know below.
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1. Treat Your Injuries
First things first, you want to stop the bleeding by pressing a clean cloth against the wound. Next, wash it with mild soap and water. Continue to rinse the area for 3-5 minutes.
Pat the wound dry with a paper towel and apply a thin layer of antibacterial ointment—that’ll help reduce the risk of infection. If necessary, you can cover it with a gauze or bandage.
Note: Depending on the severity of the wound, you may need stitches. You might also need a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one in the past five years.
2. Take Photos
Take close-up photos of all your injuries. Not just after the attack but during the healing process as well. You’ll need them if you plan on filing a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner. They’ll serve as evidence, which will help you build a stronger case.
Also, you want to take photos of the dog and the area where the attack occurred. For example, if the animal escaped through a broken fence, you’ll want to get a picture of it—it’ll help prove liability.
3. Get the Dog Owner’s Information
Try to get as much information as you can about the owner—it’ll help establish the at-fault party. For example, you’ll want to ask for their name, address, and contact information. You might also want to ask about the dog’s vaccination history.
And if there are witnesses, get their contact information as well. They may be able to provide a clearer picture of what happened and this can make a difference in terms of your lawsuit.
4. Contact an Attorney
An attorney will help you understand your legal rights; they’ll review your claim and go over all the possible options for pursuing compensation.
As far as pricing goes, most work on a contingency fee basis, including this dog bite attorney. In other words, there are no upfront fees; you only pay if they win the case. Not only that, but most lawyers offer free initial consultations.
Taking the Next Steps After a Dog Bite
And there you have it—a short guide on what to do if you’ve sustained a dog bite. As you can see, there are certain things that you have to do if you plan on filing a claim.
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