What To Do If You’ve Been Bitten By a Dog

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    May 22 2019

    If you or someone that you love has been bitten by a dog, what should you do?  First and foremost, you should seek immediate medical attention for the dog bite victim.  Once the injuries have been tended to, what should you do next? Do you need an attorney? Should you get the police or animal control involved?  Here are some things that you should do.

    What to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog.

    Medical Treatment

    Dog bite injuries can vary greatly in severity.  A dog bite could be minor or severe or result in a serious infection that can be life-threatening.  Dog bites may lead to lacerations, abrasions, broken bones, sprains, strains, rabies, and scars.

    Some dog bites can initially be treated through basic first aid at home.  If the injury is minor, you should: press on the wound gently to cause some bleeding to flush out as much of the bacteria as you can, wash the wound with mild soap and water, and stop the bleeding with a clean cloth.  Once the bleeding has stopped, you should apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream and cover the wound with a sterile bandage.

    No matter what, you should seek medical attention the same day.  If the bite becomes infected, the wound may cause the need for hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.  If you wait too long to see a doctor, you increase your risk of infection.

    According to the Cleveland Clinic, roughly 50 percent of dog bite cases involve bacteria including staphylococcus, streptococcus, pasteurella, and capnocytophaga.  Dogs that are unvaccinated and feral could also potentially cause rabies.

    When you see a doctor, he or she will likely clean your wound again, apply an antibiotic ointment, and prescribe any necessary antibiotics.  The doctor may also give you a booster shot if you haven’t had a tetanus shot recently.

    If the wound is severe, the doctor may also give you stitches.  Depending on the severity of the injury, you may also require additional treatments such as physical therapy or cosmetic surgery for scarring.

    Alert the Appropriate Parties

    If the dog’s owner doesn’t already know, tell him or her exactly what happened and how.  Exchange contact information and request the dog’s information from a veterinarian to be sure the dog is up-to-date on its vaccines.  If you can’t find the dog owner or the dog is a stray, alert an animal control officer.

    You should also file a report with the police or animal control.  This record will help if you eventually have to file a lawsuit to recoup damages.  Check to see if this is the first time that the dog has attacked a human being.

    Dealing With Medical Bills

    Once you’ve dealt with all of the medical necessities, you may have a lot of medical bills that need to be paid.  You may also have lost wages for time that you spent away from work.

    As soon as possible, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you have a dog bite claim.  Nevada laws do not contain specific dog bite laws. This makes it a “One Bite” or “One Free Bite” state. In a one bite state, the owner’s liability depends on whether the owner had a reason to believe that the dog would bite.  The One Bite rule comes from the fact that a dog gets one free bite before the owner of the dog would have a reason to believe it would bite.

    Las Vegas Dog Bite Attorneys

    At Anthem Injury Lawyers, we have experienced Dog Bite Lawyers who will be able to help guide you through this process.  If you’d like to speak to one of our experienced attorneys today, contact us at (702) 987-0202 to set up a Free Consultation.  Our office is in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Clark County including in Boulder City, Summerlin, North Las Vegas, and the City of Las Vegas.

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