Even the most well trained dog can be unpredictable at times. When you or your child have been involved in a dog bite incident, the injuries and emotional scarring can sometimes be devastating. It’s always a good rule to avoid dogs that you aren’t familiar with, but if you end up with a dog bite it’s vital that you know the right steps to take.
Protecting yourself, your children and your neighborhood is always a priority. Maintaining strict leashing laws is a start, but educating yourself about animal safety is always a good idea. Not all bites are a result of violent attacks but given by accident. Whether you have a minor injury or something more serious, you should always have a doctor check it out.
The risk of infection or rabies is a real threat and can be a complex treatment that requires immediate action. Knowing what action to take including contacting a Texas dog bite attorney can turn a traumatic situation in to one that is more easily handled.
A dog attack can be terrifying for anyone, and children especially can be emotionally traumatized by a biting incident. It is important to stay as calm as possible following the attack and concentrate on first aid application rather than trying to catch the offending dog. Let your neighbors or other witnesses worry about that. Your goal should be to calm yourself or your child enough to apply proper emergency first aid.
Wash out the wound as quickly as possible with an antibacterial soap and warm water. Allow the wound to bleed at first as it will help to clean out bacteria. Apply pressure directly to the wound and bandage securely. Get to an emergency room or doctor’s office as quickly as possible to have the bite wound examined. You may require stitches or shots, so do not delay.
File a Report
A report of the incident should be filed with your local Animal Control Department. Letting them know about the animal will put them on alert and help them take further action to protect the surrounding area.
If the dog owner is available, you should ask for a copy of the dog’s vaccination record. Take this with you when you go for medical treatment. Your doctor will be able to see if the dog has been properly treated for rabies. You can also ask the dog owner for their home insurance information as many policies include a liability clause for dog bites.
Contact a Lawyer
Dog bites can be a serious and complex injury. You may lose time at work and have unexpected medical bills to pay, to say nothing of the possibility of having to undergo painful rabies vaccine injections. A lawyer that specializes in dog bites and personal injury can help you stay informed about all of your legal rights. In many cases, a civil suit may be an option if you have lost wages or have been caused emotional distress because of the attack.