What To Do Immediately After A Dog Bite

Nothing can prepare you for being attacked by an aggressive dog. However, knowing what to do in the seconds, minutes, and hours after a dog bite can not only benefit your health, but can also help any legal case that might come from your attack. A dog attack can be very harmful to your health and to your finances; it is important to protect both in the wake of an animal mauling.

  • First, seek immediate medical attention if needed. If you are losing a lot of blood, call emergency workers and try to stop your bleeding. Don't be afraid to call for help in any form—your health is the most important consideration.
  • If possible, find out what animal—and whose animal—bit you. Rabies shots can be painful, so pinpointing your attack animal could save you from this process. Knowing the dog that bit you will also help determine who was at fault for the dog attack.
  • Go to the doctor or emergency room if necessary. Dog bite puncture wounds can be easily infected because of the bacteria in a dog's mouth. Other bite marks may need stitches to prevent scarring. You may also need cosmetic surgery, pain medication, or other medical attention for your dog bites. Upwards of 15 percent of dog bite wounds become infected.
  • Talk to any witnesses of your dog bite and get their contact information.
  • Collect insurance information and any other useful information from the owner of the dog. Get the claim number if there is one.
  • Follow the doctor's orders. Take the medication given to you as directed and adhere to any other medical advice or direction given to you. Go back to the doctor if you are suffering from an infection, nerve damage, or other problems related to your initial bites.
  • Do not discuss with the owner of the dog who was responsible for the dog bite. Also do not allow yourself to be interviewed or recorded by the insurance company of the dog's owner.
James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller