Even the cutest and friendliest dogs have the potential to attack. If a dog bites you, it’s imperative to keep calm and immediately assess your injuries.
Taking the following steps will help stabilize your injury and improve the chance of making a full recovery without complications:
- Press on the wound: Gentle pressure will flush out some (hopefully all) of the bacteria, while also allowing you to stop the bleeding.
- Wash the area: All you need is warm water and a mild soap to do this.
- Apply an antibiotic cream: If readily available, apply this to the wound after it stops bleeding and it has been thoroughly cleaned.
- Wrap the wound: With the help of a sterile bandage or piece of clothing, you can wrap the wound until you’re able to seek medical assistance.
- Visit your doctor or a local hospital: Don’t assume you can treat the wound at home, as you never really know what’s going on until you see a doctor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry with a dog bite.
What will your doctor do?
This depends largely on the extent of your injury. For example, if you have several puncture wounds, your doctor will examine the area and ask questions about the dog that bit you.
From there, they may do some or all of the following:
- Clean the wound again
- Prescribe an antibiotic
- Give you a tetanus booster
- Give you a rabies shot
- Talk to you about stitches
In the event of a more serious attack, such as one in which you suffered multiple injuries, your medical team may want to keep you in the hospital for treatment and observation.
Even if you do everything possible to avoid a dog attack, these animals can become aggressive at times.
Once you receive treatment and understand your prognosis, collect all the pertinent details associated with the incident. This can include but is not limited to the location, date, time, owner contact information and insurance company information.
You have the legal right to take action against the owner of the dog. With the right approach, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries, medical bills and other losses.
Visit our website for more information on protecting your legal rights in New Jersey if a dog attacks you.