A dog bite needs to be addressed quickly. From an Arizona dog bite lawyer’s perspective, you need more than just dog bite first aid when a dog bites you. Here are some useful tips and other important things to remember after getting bitten:
Document the Bite
As strange as it may sound, you need to document the dog bite if the animal is not your pet. At this point, you may be in a state of pain and confusion – but your phone might just be near you. Have someone to help you if you are not able to do this on your own.
Take photos of the bite right after the incident. Those first few shots will show just how severe the wound is. It will serve as important evidence by the time you file a claim for personal injury. With the photos and even videos of your bite, you can hold the owner responsible for your treatments.
Apply Dog Bite First Aid
Serious injuries are a major concern. Go to the emergency room if:
- The puncture is too deep and if you are bleeding heavily.
- There are obvious signs of crushed or broken bones.
- Scars, lacerations, or abrasions that are large or too many.
- You have been sprained or experiencing muscle strains.
- Bites are found in the head and neck areas.
Wounds from vicious attacks need to be treated with more than just dog bite first aid. Use a clean towel to cover the torn skin and to control the bleeding while on your way to the hospital.
Minor injuries are still a cause for concern. Punctures and scratches, no matter how small, can still serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. To prevent infection, do these right away when a dog bites you:
- Place the affected area under running water, preferably warm.
- Allow the skin to bleed naturally until it stops. Do not try to squeeze more blood out of the wound. Doing this will spread the germs deeper into the bloodstream.
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with antibacterial soap to remove traces of dirt and dog saliva.
- Apply a thin layer of topical antibiotic cream to the wound.
- Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or povidone iodine. Avoid these traditional chemical solutions for dog bite first aid treatment. Even if these things fight bacteria, they tend to damage the surrounding tissues. Hence, using these will slow down the wound healing process.
- Use a sterile bandage to wrap the wound. Keep it dry and free from moisture.
- See a doctor within 8 days after the dog bite for wound examination.
- Report any signs of infection such as swelling, pain, presence of pus, changes in skin color, and if you suddenly have a fever.
Find the Dog Owner
Unless you were unfortunately bitten by a stray, you must find the owner of the dog who bit you. After the biting incident, you need to know the person’s contact information. You should be able to talk to them to verify if the dog is recently vaccinated.
You must ensure that the dog who bit you is free from rabies. A record of up-to-date pet immunizations will lessen your risk of contracting dangerous infections. Ideally, the owner must be able to show you this record, instead of just saying it verbally. Although rabies is no longer common in the United States, it still exists in wildlife and spreads easily. A mere lick of saliva from a rabid animal is enough to infect a dog who is usually outdoors. You must ensure that the dog that bit you is not at risk from rabies exposure.
Ask the Witnesses
If you were bitten outdoors, other people may have seen the dog bite incident. Request their contact information so you can get their statements, once you file a lawsuit or claim in the future.
Call Animal Control
Report the dog bite incident to your local Animal Control center. Having a record of recent dog attacks will help them keep track of the presence of vicious dogs in your area.
The data collected will enable future pet owners to be more careful in selecting the type of breed. There are dog breeds that tend to bite more than others. Here are the dog breeds with the most bites reported in Arizona in recent years:
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- German Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- Australian Shepherd
- Belgian Malinois
- Unknown/mixed breeds
See a Doctor
Even after you have applied dog bite first aid treatments, you will still need to see a doctor. The doctor will evaluate the extent of your injury. You will also need medications and injections like anti-tetanus shots and antibiotics for post-bite care.
When your medical treatments are properly documented, it will be easier to validate your claim. Whether you are going to file a dog bite lawsuit or an insurance claim, these records will justify the amount of compensation that you truly deserve.
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer
Having an Arizona Dog Bite Lawyer can help you get compensated for the damages caused by the dog bite. If you have missed work due to your injury, you should include it in your claims.
Medical treatments for dog bites are also costly nowadays. Did you know that in Arizona, the dog owner is fully liable if his/her pet bites someone?
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes, “The owner of a dog which bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of its viciousness.”
Therefore, if you have been bitten by a dog in Arizona, you have the right to ask for financial help from its owner. With a reliable dog bite attorney by your side, you will be able to assess and justify your claim.