Dogs are known to be a man’s best friend. However, this isn’t always the case. Under unfortunate circumstances, dogs can turn on their owner or others around them. In the best case, you leave with nothing more than a scare. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll be left to deal with a dangerous wound from a dog bite.
If a dog attacks you, it’s vital that you know how to handle the situation. In this blog, we will share all our expert knowledge regarding what to do if you are bitten by a dog. Keep reading to find out.
Although it may sound counterintuitive, it’s essential that you aim to remain as calm as possible. Entering a state of panic will only further agitate the dog and possibly create an even bigger problem.
Instead, try to remain calm and focused. Move out of their space as slowly and cautiously as possible. Try to avoid eye contact. If possible, place an item, such as a wheelie bin, between you and the dog.
Assess the Damage
Once you have removed the dog from the area and de-escalated the situation, it’s time to assess the damage. What is the severity of your physical injury? Do you need to call an ambulance?
Make sure to call for help as soon as possible if you deem it necessary. Make sure others in your vicinity are not injured either. It could be helpful to take some pictures of your injury in case you decide to file a claim.
Take Care of Wounds
Under these circumstances, your physical health is the top priority so it’s important to look after your wounds. Follow your doctor’s instructions to a T in order to make a speedy recovery.
Bite wounds can be prone to infections, therefore, it’s crucial that you clean your wounds everyday. Simply use warm water and soap to clean the affected area. Next, pat the area dry and apply an antibiotic ointment before covering the wound with your clean dressing.
Gather Witness Evidence
It’s always a good idea to gather evidence and statements from potential witnesses as there are always two sides to a story. If you hope to take this claim to a court of law, it’s important that you gather some impartial accounts of what transpired. For example, If the dog attack occurred in a park, speak to people nearby and ask if they would be willing to give a statement.
It’s also a wise idea to call the authorities as they can come and record an official statement. They will also be able to advise you with the next steps you should take. Don’t forget to exchange contact information with the dog owner as you may need to get in touch to sort out some information related to the insurance and paperwork.
Speak to a Lawyer
Depending on the circumstances of the dog attack, you may be entitled to some compensation. This can be very useful in terms of covering your financial expenses. Therefore, we recommend you reach out to a group of specialized lawyers such as the Lamber Goodnow Injury Team.
People that suffer from dog attacks are left with countless medical bills and some may even be forced to take time off work. If somebody’s dog has caused you physical injury, it’s important to follow legal procedures and avoid the incident from occurring again in the future.
Contact a Therapist
Not only can a dog attack be physically and financially taxing, but it can harm your mental health as well. People that suffer from dog attacks are prone to developing psychological trauma so focusing on your mental health is imperative.
Common mental health issues that arise after an incident such as a dog attack include depression, nightmares, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Plus, it can also ruin your future experiences and interactions with dogs. Therefore, it’s important that you put in the work to tackle the root of the issue. Contact a specialized therapist with experience in this field.
In an ideal world, you should do everything in your power to prevent the attack from occurring in the first place. Dogs typically bite when they feel threatened. If you are in the vicinity of an aggressive dog, we recommend that you keep out of their territory. Don’t startle the animal or run away from it, as this could entice them to attack. Similarly, you should never attempt to move or touch an injured dog.