What to Do When You Get Bitten by a Dog

Having a dog sink its teeth into your arm or leg is a terrifying experience. Even small dogs have sharp incisors, which can tear skin and soft tissue. At Groth & Associates, we represent dog bite victims as they seek compensation for their injuries. There are certain steps you should take to protect your health and your legal rights. After completing the following steps, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

Treat Your Wounds

If the wound is shallow, you can wash it with soap and warm water, then cover it with a sterile bandage. If you are bleeding profusely, then apply direct pressure using a clean towel or piece of clothing until the bleeding stops.

Get a Picture of the Dog

You want to document the attack as best as you can. One key piece of evidence is the dog’s identity. If you want to sue the owner, then you need to know who the dog belongs to. You can take a picture of the dog and follow it home if you were bitten by an animal roaming in public.

Of course, if you are badly hurt, it’s better to get medical treatment than follow an animal that attacked you. Ask a friend or bystander to document the attack.

Go to the Hospital

You should probably have a doctor look at your bite injury. A doctor can clean the wound and close it with stitches, if necessary. You also want to be careful about infections. A doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics and give you a tetanus shot and rabies vaccine. These shots will prevent possibly fatal complications.

Talk to the Owner

The owner might have been with the dog during the attack. However, if the dog was roaming free or visiting your property, you should inform the owner of the attack. You can obtain important information, such as the name of their homeowner’s insurance company, which will help with making a claim.

Report the Attack to Animal Control

Call either the police or animal control to let them know about the attack. They can take the dog into custody and watch it for signs of rabies. Calling the authorities also gets dangerous dogs off the streets, which protects public safety.

Watch Your Wounds in the Following Days

Infections might take a while to settle in. Pay close attention to any changes, such as:

  • Increasing redness
  • Pus
  • Red streaks radiating out from the wound
  • Fever
  • Increasing pain or heat

You might need a full round of antibiotics to fight off common infections.

Hang Onto Medical Bills & Receipts

As part of a dog bite claim, you can request compensation for medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering. You will want to document your losses, so preserve all medical bills and receipts. Keep paystubs as well.

Call Groth & Associates

This is maybe the most important step. Our dog bite lawyers can step in and help build your claim, which is critical if you were badly hurt. Please call us today to schedule a time to meet.