Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys, Services and Consultations

Dog Bite Lawyers

Dogs are a man’s best friend but unfortunately some dogs are ferocious and can bite when provoked or even when they are not provoked.

If you or somebody that you are with is bitten by a dog it is extremely important that you take the appropriate actions immediately. If not, your dog bite wound could turn into an infection and if you don’t exchange information with the dog’s owner, you could be left with unpaid medical bills.

That’s why it’s important to seek medical attention after being bitten by a dog and then get in touch with a lawyer who can guide you through the long legal process. Dogs can carry and spread infections from the bacteria in their mouth from rabies to tetanus and everything in between, this is why proper medical care is necessary after a dog bite happens.

Seek the appropriate medical care, make sure the bite is not infected and then you can worry about the legal ramifications of the dog bite and what legal action, if any, you are going to choose to pursue.

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Are you a victim of a Dog bite?

We love dogs. After all a dog is a man’s best friend, they are loyal companions and are always there when we need comforting.

Unfortunately there are some dogs out there who may have mean demeanors or who may bite as a form of defense or when they are startled or scared.

In the U.S., there are about 4.5 million dog bites every year. In fact, dog bites account for up to 90% of all animal bites.

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What to do after a Dog Bite

  • Remain calm but act fast. Don’t blame the victim but also don’t admit fault.
  • Confine the dog to an isolated area like a crate or separate room
  • Wash the wound with soap and water
  • Contact the local authorities and comply.
  • Contact a medical professional for the bite victim. Depending on the severity of the bite, an ambulance may be needed. No matter how minor the bite is, the victim should seek medical attention. Dog bites that look mild on the surface can get serious very fast.
  • Exchange personal information with the person or parents of the child who was bit. Exchange insurance information.
  • If there were witnesses, obtain their information as well.

If you are the one on the receiving end of the dog bite, the same protocol we mentioned above should be followed. What you should do as far as medical care depends on the severity of the dog bite.

Superficial Wounds

If your bite is a superficial scrape or gash, clean the wound with running water, and then hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol. Apply a topical antibiotic and cover with a bandage.

Puncture Wounds

If you were bitten by a dog and it results in a puncture wound, don’t be afraid to let the wound bleed. Unless you’ve lost a lot of blood or it is gushing out forcefully, or the wound is in your head or neck, (in which case call 911 immediately), wait five minutes. The flow of blood out of the wound will help to cleanse it. After five minutes, see if you can stop the bleeding through direct pressure. Again, if it doesn’t stop, call for emergency help. If it does stop, cleanse the wound by rinsing under running water with mild soap for five minutes. Do not use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or Mercurochrome for puncture wounds. These can slow healing. Puncture wounds do not normally need to be bandaged, but if you choose to, be sure to clean the wound thoroughly first. Luckily, dog bites do not normally leave debris or other objects in the wound which would need to be removed.

Disease and Rabies

If you are bitten by an unknown dog or a stray dog, don’t try to hold it, stop it or catch it. Contact Animal Control as soon as possible so they can try and capture the dog. Also, call 911 so you can begin rabies vaccinations immediately. Tetanus is a bacterial disease. It’s uncommon in the United States where vaccines are routinely provided to children. If you can’t remember when your last tetanus shot was, seek medical attention. Monitor the bite for signs of infection. Those include a bite becoming red, swollen, warm and/or tender to the touch.

Preventing infection

Dog bites can introduce dangerous bacteria into the body and lead to infectious diseases. This can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections to occur when left untreated. Infections can spread quickly throughout the body. If you notice signs of infection, see your doctor right away. You may need oral or intravenous antibiotics to prevent any risks of infection. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics for you, you’ll probably take them for 1 to 2 weeks. Do not stop taking your medication even if the infection appears to go away completely.

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Dog Bites and the law

Dog bite laws vary from state to state. Many consequences may stem from a dog bite case. The following conditions typically apply to dog owners and dog bite cases:

  • You will need to show proof of your dog’s latest rabies vaccine history .
  • A quarantine period may be required. The period will likely be longer if the rabies vaccination is not current.
  • Depending on the situation and your dog’s history, it is possible for your dog to be designated a “dangerous dog.” You may have to comply with specific laws regarding the handling of your dog.
  • Laws may require that your dog is euthanized if your dog is considered “dangerous,” if the injury was very serious, or if a fatality occurred.
  • You could be held legally responsible and face criminal charges.

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Preventing Dog Bites

As a dog owner, it’s important that you understand why dogs bite. You are your dog’s owner and you are the first line of defense to prevent dog bites. Here are some things you can do to prevent your dog from biting.

Socialize your dog

Allow your pup to meet and interact with all kinds of different people under calm and positive circumstances, including kids, people with disabilities and elderly people. Expose your dog to many different things like loud noises, other animals and anything else that may cause fear. Start this at the youngest age possible.

Positive Reinforcement

Never discipline your dog with physical, violent or aggressive punishments. Opt instead for positive reinforcement.

Learn your dog

Learn your dog’s body language and any signs that he is about to bite. When you’re around people, especially rambunctious kids, pay attention to Fido and know when aggression is building up. Stop or remove your dog from the situation before it escalates.

Warn Others

If you notice that your dog has fearful or aggressive tendencies, always warn others. Don’t let your dog approach people or animals if they are aggressive unless the situation is highly controlled.

Personal Injury Accident Attorneys, Services and Consultations for victims of Dog Bites

If your injury was serious enough to require plastic surgery or other lengthy medical procedures, you may be left with a stack of unpaid medical bills. In these cases you may want to seek legal action for damages against the dog’s owner. You will need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney that can guide you through the legal process and help you get the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. On the other hand, if your dog is the dog that bit, you may need to seek counsel in order to protect yourself from any lawsuits.

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