It is easy to forget that dogs are animals with their own free will, especially in this era of funny puppy videos and wacky dog memes. Responsible owners drastically lower the chance of a dog biting, but we cannot read an animal’s mind– creatures have even been recorded attacking humans, only to be seen acting regretfully afterward. Follow these six steps from Martin G Schulz & Associates to keep a level head if you have been bitten by a dog.
1. Stay Calm
First things first, you will not accurately remember the event if you do not stay calm and most importantly: breathe! Any animal attack has the potential to be traumatic, no matter the severity. Always keep your temper and do not agree to anything on the spot.
2. Collect Information
First, take a mental picture of the dog– size, color, defining marks, potential breed. If the dog runs away, it may be a stray and any notes could be helpful in finding it and preventing other incidents. You will also want to identify any witnesses and prioritize the dog’s owner if they are present. A phone number is good, but detailed contact information is better.
3. Seek Medical Attention
Dog bites can range from playful nips to aggressive attacks meant to harm, but anything more than a scratch should be treated by a medical professional. Even minor injuries can lead to serious complications, especially if the dog has not received up to date shots from a certified veterinarian. Bites are not the only injuries a domestic animal can cause: their claws can bruise and break the skin or they could even knock you over, risking a concussion or worse.
4. Report to the Authorities
Whether from a stray or not, your dog bite should be reported to local animal control authorities. Detailed records are usually kept, as an aggressive dog could be a serious danger– causing injury or even death. Reporting this bite is for the good of the dog, any owner it may have and the public at large.
5. Document Your Injury
Take well-lit, clearly focused pictures of your injury just in case you are required to provide proof of the severity. If you were treated by a medical professional, they can provide a signed note to state their opinion. Document the injury throughout your recovery and make note of any lost productivity or work-hours.
6. Consider Legal Action
Whether or not the bite was severe enough to involve the police, you may be eligible to pursue legal action against any party deemed responsible for the dog bite. While you may be reluctant for the welfare of the dog, allowing it to bite again is actually a much more cruel outcome for all involved. If you think you may have such a case, contact or visit Martin G Schulz & Associates today! Our legal professionals are standing by to help you through this difficult time.