What to Do If You’re Bitten by a Dog: A Comprehensive Guide

Black and white beware of dog sign on chainlink fence with text overlay that reads "What to do if you're bitten by a dog: a comprehensive guide" July 13, 2023

Dogs are often considered our best friends, bringing joy and companionship to our lives. However, even the most friendly and well-trained dogs can bite under certain circumstances. Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. It is crucial to take immediate steps to ensure your safety, seek proper medical attention, and protect your legal rights. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to do if you find yourself in such a situation, including the importance of contacting a personal injury attorney.

1. Prioritize Your Safety:

The first and most important step after being bitten by a dog is to ensure your safety. If the dog is still aggressive or poses a threat, remove yourself from the immediate danger by moving to a safe location. If possible, try to separate yourself from the dog without making any sudden movements.

2. Assess Your Injuries:

After ensuring your safety, assess the severity of your injuries. If the wound is minor and you have access to first aid supplies, wash the area with mild soap and water, apply an antiseptic, and cover it with a sterile bandage. However, if the bite is deep, bleeding profusely, or there are signs of infection, seek immediate medical attention.

3. Identify the Dog and its Owner:

If you’re able to do so safely, try to identify the dog and its owner. This information will be valuable for reporting the incident, as well as for determining the dog’s vaccination history. Ask the owner for their contact information, including their name, address, and phone number. If the owner is not present or unwilling to provide their information, try to gather any relevant details such as the dog’s breed, color, or any distinctive markings.

4. Seek Medical Attention:

Regardless of the severity of the bite, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly. Dog bites can lead to various complications, including infections, nerve damage, and scarring. Visit a healthcare professional who can properly evaluate your injuries, clean the wound thoroughly, prescribe antibiotics if necessary, and administer tetanus shots.

5. Report the Incident:

Contact your local animal control or non-emergency police number to report the dog bite incident. Provide them with all the details, including the dog owner’s information, a description of the incident, and any supporting evidence such as photographs of your injuries. Reporting the incident ensures that proper actions are taken to prevent future attacks and helps establish a record of the event.

Fact: Lowe Scott Fisher has the highest reported dog bite settlement in Ohio at $1.5M!

6. Document Your Injuries:

To strengthen your case, it is crucial to document your injuries thoroughly. Take clear photographs of your wounds immediately after the incident and continue documenting the healing process over time. These visual records can serve as vital evidence when seeking compensation for medical expenses or emotional distress.

7. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney:

One of the most crucial steps after being bitten by a dog is to consult a personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite cases. An experienced attorney will guide you through the legal process, help protect your rights, and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. They will handle communication with insurance companies, gather evidence, assess liability, and negotiate on your behalf.

Being bitten by a dog can be a distressing experience, but taking prompt action is essential to ensure your safety, receive proper medical care, and protect your legal rights. By following the steps outlined in this guide, including seeking medical attention, reporting the incident, and contacting a personal injury attorney, you can navigate the aftermath of a dog bite more effectively. Remember, your well-being is paramount, and seeking professional guidance will help you receive the compensation you deserve while focusing on your recovery.

Be sure to check out our dog bite information page and this video featuring partner attorney Ryan Fisher to find out more. To receive a free legal consultation for your dog bite case or another personal injury matter, contact Lowe Scott Fisher today. We are available by phone at 216-781-2600 or online through our Contact Form.

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