California has numerous dog owners, and that also means more dog bites in the state. As a fact of the matter, they are a real concern for residents in San Francisco. Incidents of dog attacks happen in the U.S. every day, and among these bites, 1,000 people needed emergency care as per Dogbites.org.
There are many important things that you should do when you are a victim of a dog bite or dog attack. Here, we will dive deep into the vital steps you need to take.
Treat the dog bite wound
If your injury from the dog bite was serious, you may need to undergo formal medical procedures including surgery.
If, on the other hand, your injury was relatively minor, you could have someone administer first-aid treatment.
Victims who sustained a minor injury are advised to thoroughly wash their wounds with soap and water after removing themselves from the threat. You can also apply antibiotic cream (Bacitracin) to the injury and wrap a clean bandage around it. If you have deep wounds, it is best to apply pressure using a clean and dry cloth. Do this until the bleeding stops, then place a bandage on the injury.
2. Seek medical help ASAP if the injury is serious
Suppose your wounds are severe, causing damage to tissues, muscle, torn skin, and severed nerves. In that case, you seek medical attention as soon as possible. The following are the criteria you should consider when seeing a doctor:
- Whether the wound is caused by a dog with unknown rabies vaccine history;
- When it is caused by a dog acting erratically or is/appears to be sick;
- When bleeding doesn’t stop;
- When you’re experiencing intense pain;
- When you suffer a loss of a body function due to the injury;
- When your wound looks red, swollen, or inflamed; and,
- When your wound leaks fluid.
3. Gather and record information for the report
Pay attention because this step is one of the most critical steps. Gathering pieces of evidence is crucial because it will be the basis for compensation.
First, you have to identify the dog’s owner’s name and ask for their contact information. This information is vital because dog owners are generally held liable for the damages whether or not they acted in negligence as per State law.
Next, gather the dog’s information. Include its size, breed, color, and the name of the dog. Also, ask the owner for his dog’s medical records, especially regarding anti-rabies vaccination. Take a photo of the dog for identification.
Record the scene. Make sure to write the details of the attack and continue recording your thoughts weeks after the attack. Take pictures of your injuries and also any torn and bloody clothing.
Talk to witnesses, may it be just a passerby or your neighbor. Get their phone numbers and record their statements as proof.
4. File a report to your local animal control
There are times dog bite victims don’t file a report because of their fear or relationship with the dog’s owner. However, local authorities emphasize requiring victims to report the incident to the local animal control agency for the following reasons:
- For legal documentation needed to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the owner;
- To guide local authorities in enforcing state and local dog bite laws; and,
- To help others in protecting themselves from being attacked by the same animal.
Do your research on your local animal control agency for guidelines in filing a dog bite report in your community. Also, take note if the forms can be filled out online or submitted via fax. Lastly, cooperate with the agency’s investigation of the incident and participate in hearings as well.
Tip: Don’t give extensive details until you have consulted your attorney.
5. Call 911
You or someone should call 911 if you have been seriously bitten by the dog. Do this, especially if bleeding continues or if you feel weak.
7. Contact your trusted dog bite injury attorney today
Legal claims involving dog bite injuries can be complicated. That is where your lawyer comes in. Your injury lawyer, especially the ones who specialize in handling dog bites or attacks, will be vital in getting the best compensation you need. The Cartwright Law Firm Inc. advocates in getting the justice you deserve.
Get a free case evaluation and consult with a personal injury lawyer today by calling us at (415) 433-0444 or filling up our online form.