Being attacked and bitten by a dog is one of the most terrifying experiences a person can endure. Dogs can inflict catastrophic injuries or even kill, especially if an elderly person or child is involved. Often, victims can’t work for weeks or months afterwards. This can be an incredibly stressful time for the dog bite victim and their family. That’s why it’s so important to contact a dog bite lawyer lawyer right away.
If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, call the lawyers at The Dominguez Firm for a FREE consultation at 800-818-1818. We’re here to help and can travel to your home or hospital at a moment’s notice.
Below you’ll find more information on dog bites and what to do if you’re attacked.
Types of Dog Bites
Dog bites are classified according to their levels of severity:
- Level 1: The dog attempted to bite a person but didn’t make any contact with the skin.
- Level 2: The dog made contact with the person’s skin but did not break it.
- Level 3: The dog bite broke the skin. There are one to four puncture wounds.
- Level 4: At least one of the puncture marks is deep.
- Level 5: The dog bit the victim multiple times and there is more than one deep puncture wound.
Can I Take Care of My Dog Bite at Home?
That depends. If the skin was broken or you’re not sure of the extent of the injury, quickly seek medical attention. You can wash the area with warm water and soap if the bite occurred in your or someone else’s home. If you can, try to take a picture of the bite before doing so. One important note: don’t delay treatment if you can’t take a picture of the dog bite right after it happens. If you need to get to the ER because of a serious bite, don’t worry about a photo either.
If the area shows absolutely no signs of puncture marks you can wash it with warm soap and water and monitor it for infection over a few days.
When to see a doctor:
- An unpleasant odor
- Any sort of discharge
All of these symptoms are signs of an infection. Don’t wait to see a doctor if you have even just one of these symptoms.
What Should I Do if a Dog Bites Me and Draws Blood?
Your health and safety should be your first priority. If possible, get away from the dog or make sure it’s restrained.
If the bite broke your skin, seek medical attention immediately, even if you think it was a harmless nip or know the dog. More serious dog bites will require a trip to the ER. Find out if the dog is current on its vaccinations. One of the biggest concerns with dog bites is contracting rabies. Another reason to visit the emergency room or your doctor is because of the risk of infection. You’ll be given antibiotics to avoid this.
Legally, What Steps Should Take if I Suffered a Dog Bite?
Your first step should be to call the dog bite lawyers at The Dominguez Firm. Waiting can hurt your case. If you wait days or even weeks to take legal action, defense attorneys may question the seriousness of your injury claim. It can also make you lose contact with any witnesses to the attack.
Then, make sure you take the following steps:
Take photos – Record your experience as best you can. Take photos of the dog bite area before it’s treated, the dog and the location where the bite occurred.
Get the owner’s information – If an unfamiliar dog bit you, you need to find the owner. Dog bites are considered personal injury cases. You’ll want the owner’s contact information just like you would in the case of a car accident.
Get witness contact information – If anyone saw the dog attack and bite you, make sure you get their contact information.
File a police report – Filing a police report strengthen your dog bite claim and alerts the proper authorities to a possible public safety issue. Your county’s Department of Public Health will conduct its own investigation into the attack. During this time, the dog’s owner must quarantine it for 10 days. This is done to make sure the dog doesn’t have rabies.
Can I Get Rabies from a Dog Bite?
Yes you can. Rabies is an infectious viral disease. Humans can get rabies if they’re bitten by a rabid animal, including a dog. Great advances in the treatment of rabies over the last few decades have reduced human deaths significantly in the U.S.
That’s welcome news. However, if it’s not caught in time rabies is fatal in humans. That’s why seeking immediate medical treatment after a dog bite can’t be stressed enough. Rabies is still a fast-acting disease that be deadly.
Should I Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer?
If you can identify the dog’s owner, yes you should. In most cases you can file a personal injury claim against the owner of the dog that bit you. If the victim is a child, their parent(s) or legal guardian can take legal action against the dog owner.
There are some exceptions:
- If the victim taunted or provoked the dog.
- If the victim is an animal trainer and veterinarian. Because of their professions, they are more likely to be bitten.
- If you were bitten by a police or military dog.
- If you trespassed on someone’s property, either with intent or inadvertently.
Most of these exceptions don’t apply if the victim was a child. Your best course of action is to call a dog bite lawyer to discuss your legal options. The personal injury attorneys at The Dominguez Firm offer free consultations at 800-818-1818.
The Dominguez Firm works on a contingency basis, meaning we receive a percentage of your final settlement or verdict as payment at the end of your case. You don’t have to pay us anything upfront. There are no hidden fees or upfront costs to worry about. And if we can’t obtain any compensation for you, which rarely happens, you owe us nothing. If there is no recovery, there is no fee! So call us today.