Understanding how to properly treat a dog bite after an attack is essential, not only to protect your health but also to strengthen any potential legal proceedings related to the incident.
In the high-stress moments following a dog bite, taking prompt and effective action is key to protecting the injuries from infections. But also, to secure possibilities to get compensation to recover from all the injuries caused by the animal.
Immediate Steps After a Dog Bite
The safety of the bite victim comes first; hence, the initial step should be to create a safe distance from the dog to prevent further aggression. Once the immediate danger has passed, you must undertake a thorough evaluation of the wound to determine its severity and administer initial treatment.
1. Cleanse the Wound
Rinse the bite wound meticulously with warm water and a mild antiseptic solution, such as hydrogen peroxide.
This helps wash away any potential contaminants lodged in the wound, mitigating the risk of an ensuing infection. Be sure to clean the surrounding skin area as well to prevent the spread of bacteria.
2. Stem the Bleeding
Apply a clean cloth or bandage to the wound and maintain firm pressure if it’s bleeding. This action aims to stem the blood flow, which can prevent further blood loss and reduce the likelihood of the wound becoming more severe.
3. Seek Professional Medical Help
Regardless of the perceived severity of the dog bite, it is crucial to seek professional medical assistance promptly.
Dog bites, even those appearing minor, can result in complex complications, including severe infections and potential nerve damage, which necessitates immediate medical intervention.
Medical Evaluation and Continual Follow-Up
Dog bites may appear innocuous initially but can lead to serious infections or complications like tetanus or rabies if not treated promptly and appropriately.
Upon visiting a healthcare provider, they will thoroughly assess the dog bite wound, initiate necessary treatments, and might prescribe antibiotics to curtail infection risk. Based on your medical history and the severity of the wound, a tetanus booster or rabies vaccination might be deemed necessary.
In more severe cases, where a dog bite results in catastrophic injuries, such as profound lacerations, bone fractures, or in extreme instances, amputations, urgent emergency care becomes essential. Following immediate intervention and stabilization, the road to recovery might necessitate rehabilitation and a series of follow-up medical visits.
Reporting the Incident
Under Indiana law, healthcare providers are required to report dog bites to local health departments. However, you should also personally report the incident to local animal control or law enforcement agencies.
This ensures a comprehensive record of the event and might prevent future attacks from the same animal.
Legal Implications and Seeking Compensation
After ensuring your physical health, it’s essential to consider the legal implications of a dog bite. Indiana operates under a strict liability rule, outlined in Indiana Code § 15-20-1-3, meaning that the dog’s owner may be liable for your injuries, even if they were unaware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite incident, consulting with a dog bite lawyer can be beneficial. They can guide you through the process of filing a claim, gather necessary evidence, and represent your interests in seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long-term effects of the injury.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
The severity of a dog bite injury may not be immediately apparent, and this can directly impact your life and cost you a lot of money in medical bills. From possible infections to the risk of traumatic brain injury due to a fall during the attack, a multitude of medical issues can arise, but you can claim the compensation you deserve to cover your economic damages.
A dog bite can be a traumatic event, but with appropriate medical treatment and legal support, you can recover and hold the responsible party accountable. At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, we’re committed to guiding you through this process. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team for a free consultation to hear your rights and learn how to file a dog bite injury claim.