08 January 2008

9 Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

The best way to react when somebody gets bitten by a dog is never to panic and to do the right thing. After a dog bites you or a family member, you have to seek medical attention and initially treat the victim, make sure others are not in danger when the dog is still around, find out the dog’s identity, talk to a witness, ask for the insurance information of dog owner, consult a dog bite lawyer, take pictures of the dog bites, report the incident to related authorities, and obtain other necessary assistance for the victim.

You have sought medical help, now what should you do next? This is a very common question that bothers the family and victims of dog bites. Here are suggested steps that will guide you to know what to do after a dog bite incident.

Seek medical attention and initially treat the victim

Right after the dog bites someone, immediately seek medical attention. Wile waiting for help, you can initially treat the victim by washing the bite with soap and water to help avoid infection. If there is any bleeding, apply pressure on the wound using a towel or a clean cloth. When medical assistance arrives, carefully take note of instructions for treatment and other possible remedies. Always follow instructions to make healing faster.

Make sure others are not in danger when the dog is still around

If the dog is still in the area, make sure other people are kept safe. Never let anybody run or make a commotion that will frighten the dog and make him more aggressive. Ask everyone near the dog to remain still and calm until the dog is away.

Find out the dog’s identity

Right after the incident has taken place, you need to identify whether the dog that bit the victim was a stray dog or personally owned. You can ask somebody to inquire about the owner of the dog, and gather basic information such as his name, address and contact details. You will need this information right after medical attention has been sought.

Talk to a witness

Whether the victim is seriously wounded or not, it is advisable to talk to a witness about the incident. Ask for contact details just in case you need his assistance for possible investigations.

Ask for the insurance information of dog owner

When the victim has been given medical assistance, approach or contact the owner of the dog and ask for insurance information. Make sure not to accept any money right after the incident. Instead, offer your contact details for future negotiations as you will be expecting a call from their insurance company anytime soon.

Consult a dog bite lawyer

Do not hesitate to immediately consult a dog bite lawyer. Almost all dog bite lawyers and animal law firms in the US offer free services to legally assist you with dog bite incidents. An Orange County dog bite lawyer, for example, offers free consultation and case evaluation on dog bites to help you decide your next course of action. Relay everything about the dog bite incident as detailed as possible to help the lawyer determine how to exactly help you.

Take pictures of the dog bites

Your lawyer might advise you to take pictures of the victim’s dog bites. When taking photographs, make sure the dog bite is easily seen. Keep wounds and the victim clean. There must be no blood and stains on him. Let the victim appear as conservative as possible and without accessories on him.

Report the incident to related authorities

Report the dog bite incident to responsible authorities, such as the police, health department, and local animal services or control officers as soon as you speak with a lawyer. The lawyer can help you ask for important information from these people and answer their questions.

Obtain other necessary assistance for the victim

Especially when the victim is a child, the dog bite incident might be very traumatic. Observe the child’s behavior even when sleeping. Is he or she abnormally fearful when outside? Does the victim have nightmares and other signs of trauma? If yes, you need to consider trauma counseling or therapy for the victim or whatever is advised by your physician.

Always have presence of mind when a dog bite incident occurs to you or a family member. Never say too much before a lawyer. Always follow your lawyer’s advice since you are not the expert. Remember, you are the victim here and should be the one to regain losses.

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