Bitten by Someone’s Dog? Here’s What to Do Next?
There’s nothing better than a dog playfully running around you and wagging its tail. Dogs are adorable – they spend time with us when we’re sad and make us laugh with their silly moments. But dogs have canine teeth, and while your dog may be friendly, other people’s dogs can be unpredictable. Sometimes, you may end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you may be attacked by someone else’s dog.
What should you do if another person’s dog bites you? Here are the steps you should go through immediately.
Find the Owner of the Dog
Attacks can happen everywhere, whether you’re passing by someone’s house, or you go to a park, where lots of people take their dogs, sometimes letting them run free without a leash. Even having dog treats on you may not help in some cases.
The first thing you should do if the bite is not too severe is to find the dog’s owner or the person who had custody of it during the attack. You should do your best to get the name and address of the individual. Moreover, ask for evidence of rabies vaccination.
Without obtaining this information, you would have to take rabies shots.
Obtain Contact Information from Witnesses
Depending on where you were at the time of the attack, there may be witnesses. If that’s the case, take their names and contact information.
Sometimes, dog owners will have a different version of the story in an attempt to avoid giving compensation. They might even claim that their dog is not aggressive. This can lead to disagreements and, if you cannot prove the dog owner’s liability, you may be unable to get compensation.
Having witnesses means there will be someone who can back up your story. Also, it can be useful in case you do not know who owns the dog.
Get Medical Attention and Take Care of the Wound
Dog bites are not always severe, but that doesn’t mean they should be left untreated. The risk of infection is great, and you don’t want to deal with even more trouble.
If the wound is severe, seek medical care urgently. Call 9-1-1 to get immediate medical care. You can also have another person take you to emergency care by car. Ideally, you should get the wound checked by a professional even if it’s not severe.
Until medical help arrives, you can try to prevent it from getting worse. You should wash it with mild soap, then keep it under warm tap water for around 5-10 minutes. Then, use a clean cloth to slow the bleeding and use some antibiotic cream if you have any. You can also use a sterile bandage to wrap the wound.
The bandage should stay on the wound, and you should go see your doctor. After the examination, you can change the bandage a few times daily.
Take Some Pictures
The more evidence you have, the higher your chances to get compensation from the dog’s owner become. Get a picture of your injury as soon as possible, before you even attempt to wash it and bandage it. Also, if you can, take a picture of the dog and of anything else that can support your story.
Report the Dog Bite Incident
Next, it is time to file a complaint to the authorities. This should be done even if the injury was not severe.
The dog bite report should be filed with the right city or county authorities. Not only will this kickstart the process of getting compensation for your suffering, but it can also help document the case if someone else becomes a victim of the same dog.
You can also report the incident to the animal control authorities, particularly if the dog in question had no dog tag and you do not know the owner. The dog will have to be picked up and quarantined, then checked for rabies.
Moreover, you should hire an attorney to help you with the case if you want to be successful in claiming compensation.
For instance, in New Jersey, under the dog bite statute, any dog owner is responsible for the actions of his or her dog. So, individuals can file a lawsuit if they were bitten by a dog they didn’t provoke or without entering any private property. To increase the chances of success, they can hire a New Jersey dog bite attorney.
Dogs might be cute, but their bites can be dangerous. So, you must know what to do if you’re bitten by a dog. Follow these steps to be able to claim compensation.