In the US alone, 4.5 million people suffer dog bites every year, and half of the victims are children. Even when a child is engaging with a familiar dog, they are vulnerable to attacks and more likely than adults to suffer serious injuries. 1 in 5 dog bite victims are left with injuries that require medical attention.
Dog bites or attacks can be physically and emotionally traumatizing, especially when the animal is not your own. While the aftermath of an animal attack can be overwhelming, taking a few simple steps can not only prevent infection but also preserve your legal right to seek compensation.
Pay Attention to Details
After a dog attack, the first thing to do is move away from the threat to ensure your safety. Being bitten by a dog can be a scary and overwhelming situation, but focusing on certain details could be the deciding factor in your case. Once you are safe, take note of whether or not the dog was on a leash, if the owner attempted to prevent the incident from occurring, and where the attack happened. If you can, speak to the owner and gather the following information:
- Owner’s name and phone number
- Dog’s vet
- Street or home address
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Evaluate the Injury
Injuries that can happen in dog attacks range from punctures and lacerations to infections and disfigurement. Be sure to assess your or your loved one’s injuries and take immediate precautions. When treating a dog bite, press on the wound gently to naturally flush out bacteria with the bleeding. Clean the wound, use a clean cloth to stop the bleeding and wrap the wound until you can see a doctor. Take photos of your injuries as further evidence.
Call Animal Control or the Authorities
Contacting animal control or the authorities can help get a handle on the situation and make sure everyone is safe. When calling the authorities, make sure that all parties involved remain at the scene of the attack so a proper report can be filed. Be sure to get the incident report number from the police so you have it for your records.
Seek Medical Attention
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 18% of dog bites become infected. Due to the high risk of infection from bacteria, it is imperative that you immediately seek medical attention so that a doctor can assess your wounds. Dog bites can expose someone to rabies, MRSA, tetanus, and various other harmful bacteria. Seeing a doctor is one of the best things you can do to make sure these infections don’t lead to serious complications.
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Contact an Experienced Louisiana Dog Bite Attorney for Legal Advice
If you or your loved one was bitten by a dog, be sure to call an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon possible. If the owner acted negligently, you may be entitled to compensation under Louisiana law.
The compassionate attorneys at Laborde Earles Law Firm understand how devastating dog bites can be, and they could work tirelessly to protect your interests in the aftermath of an attack. Call today to schedule a consultation and see if you have a case.