Dog bites affect about 4.5 million people in the USA every year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Of these bites, around 800,000 require hospital treatment. If one of these bites happens to you or a member of your family, you need to seek immediate medical attention. If the dog that bit you had rabies or another disease, there is a serious risk of infection.
To dismiss any worries you may have about dealing with dog bites, Lamber Goodnow, Dog Bite Lawyers in Tucson offer support to those who seek compensation after their injury. As such, they give good advice on how to handle a dog bite, post-incident.
The 5 Steps to Dealing With Dog Bites
So how do you deal with dog bites? Here are 5 steps to taking care of the problem.
1. Get to a Safe Location
Before you do anything else, make sure that you get to a safe location. Put distance between you and the animal. Dog attacks can be highly traumatic, and it can take time to get away. Equally, a dog bite could be a one-off attack because you got too close to the food bowl. Either way, retreat to a safe distance before you do anything else.
2. Call for Help
As soon as you can, call 911 and ask for help. You will need the police and potentially an ambulance. If you are well enough to get to hospital yourself, make sure you exchange details with the person who owns the dog. It is important that you both speak to the police and get a medical record of the accident for the sake of leaving a legal paper trail. Remember, dog bites can spread diseases, so even if you feel fine, get to the hospital.
3. Call Your Lawyer
If you call a specialist dog bite lawyer in your area, they are best equipped to guide you from this point forward. If you are safe and have medical attention, then the next step is to consult a lawyer. It may well be that you are too traumatized to proceed any farther than this point. A lawyer acts as your legal representative, helping prove your case, speaking to witnesses, and negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.
4. Gathering Evidence
If you can, try to record either the dog or the owner, but preferably both. Revisit the scene and take pictures of where you were attacked. See if you can track down any witnesses that may have seen what happened. By scouring the area, you might even find a nearby shop has a camera, or that there is dashcam footage. If you live in an area with a one-bite rule, you are required to prove that the owner knew the dog was dangerous before you can claim. You can read more about the one-bite rule via Cornell.
5. Claim Compensation
While you get on with your recovery, your dog bite lawyer will work hard on your behalf to bring the offender to justice. Claim compensation for your medical bills for the cost of your pain and suffering, and any loss of earnings.
Remember to Seek Help
Aside from medical help, seeking legal assistance is the morally responsible thing to do. If you can claim compensation, you are preventing this person from allowing this situation to repeat itself. A dangerous dog is a dangerous dog. It will not be less so if you choose to forget the whole thing.