Unfortunately, dog bites can cause serious injury and can even be fatal. In 2016 alone, there were 31 dog-bite fatalities. While most dog bites do not result in the loss of life, they can lead to long-term physical and psychological harm.
If you or your child get bitten by a dog, do you know what to do? There are a few steps you should take to ensure that you get the proper medical treatment and pursue legal recourse when necessary.
1. Get to safety
First, you should get yourself or your child to safety immediately. That means leaving the area where the dog attack occurred. Some dogs will continue to be aggressive even after biting you, so it is essential to get away to avoid further harm.
2. Seek medical attention
Once safe, seek medical attention for the bite. Dog bites can become infected, so it is imperative that you have the wound cleaned thoroughly. A good rule of thumb is that if the bite results in broken skin, you must have a doctor treat it.
3. File reports with local authorities
If the dog is unfamiliar to you, report the bite to the following authorities:
- Police department
- Health department
- Animal control
Each of these officials needs to know that the dog attack occurred so that they can take legal action against the owner or at least be aware to protect the public in the future. Plus, having these reports on file can help should you decide to pursue legal action.
A dog bite can be extremely serious, so it is important to follow the proper steps to ensure that you or your child are safe and to avoid further issues.