Within a split of a second, one moment you could be out enjoying your day and the next you find a dog has bitten you. Depending on the area you were bitten, you may have puncture marks, bleeding and swelling, or damage bones and muscles. As a personal injury lawyer victims rely on at Dave Albo explains, how you respond in the moments after a dog bite can make the difference in your recovery and ability to obtain compensation for your losses.
Take photographs of a dog bite wound, and the dog if you can. It will be very useful to have pictures of your injuries and what the dog looks like, in addition to the area you were located and the exact spot where the incident occurred. For example, an owner may have dropped the leash of their dog which had caused the animal to run off and then bite you. Take a picture of the dropped leash on the ground or trailing behind the dog, and any other visual evidence that contributed to what happened. Pictures can express more than what words alone can summarize.
One of the main concerns about a dog bite wound is the risk of infection. There is bacteria in a dog’s mouth that can get spread to humans through bites. Even a small wound or scrape that went through the skin can transmit harmful properties into that person’s system. This harmful bacteria found in dogs’ saliva include eikenella, streptococcus, and staphylococcus. Dog bite wounds must be treated by a medical doctor to reduce the chances of a severe infection developing. If you were bitten by a dog and have these symptoms of infection, then you should get yourself care immediately:
- Tenderness near the bite wound
- Fluid or pus oozing from wound
- Loss of sensation near bite
- Red streaks around the bite
- Fever or child
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Night sweats
- Breathing difficulties
- Muscle tremors or weakness
You must gather information about the owner, so that you can contact them later to pay for your medical expenses if needed. A dog owner is bound by law to protect the public from injury if their animal is aggressive. A dog owner that failed to do that because they were being negligent or reckless may then become liable for how the victim was affected. If you do not have the dog owner’s name and a form of contact, then it’s going to be harder to pursue compensation. There is a chance the dog was alone and there’s no owner around when it bit you. What you can do in that kind of situation is contact the animal control office for your area and file a report. The officers may be able to find the owner and the dog, and proceed with handling the matter from there.