What To Do After Being Bitten By A Dog

What To Do After Being Bitten By A Dog

The Wellington injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg, injury law firm, receive many phone calls from people who were injured by a dog. According to CNN, 4.5 million dog bites occur a year in the United States alone. One out of every five bites will become infected. Therefore, in the interest of public safety, our personal injury attorneys have compiled a step by step guide identifying what to do if YOU are bitten by a dog.

Bitten By a Dog? Document the Incident

It is helpful to document the incident as soon as possible after the dog bite. Off-course, you should first get to a safe location. Next, assess whether your injuries require immediate medical attention. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have a large puncture wound with damage to muscle, tendons, ligaments or bone. Otherwise, below are some items you should try to obtain.

  • Photos of the dog
  • Photos of the scene where the incident occurred
  • Photos of your injuries (throughout the entire healing process)
  • Name & contact information of witnesses
  • Name, contact information and homeowner’s insurance information of the dog owner along with documentation concerning the dog’s vaccinations
  • Identify whether any video surveillance may have captured the incident

Medical Treatment Following a Dog Bite:

You may seek medical care from your primary care doctor, urgent care clinic or local emergency room after being bitten by a dog. Prior to seeing the doctor, you may wash out the wound with soap and water (don’t use hydrogen peroxide), apply pressure, and wrap the wounded area with a clean towel to stop any bleeding. Once you visit the doctor, he/she will most likely re-clean the wound, and give you a booster shot if your tetanus shot is out of date. It is unlikely the doctor will attempt to close the wound with stitches. Stitching a dog bite wound increases the chances of infection. However, if the doctor is concerned about nasty scaring (especially on the face), they may give you the option of stitching the wound. Upon discharge, you will likely receive a prescription for antibiotics to help fight infection. You should follow-up with the doctor if your wound begins to swell, become red, puss or fail to heal over the next several days. Depending on the severity of the bite, you may wish to consult a plastic surgeon.

Reporting Process

After getting the necessary medical treatment, it is important to report the incident to the proper authorities. These authorities include your homeowner’s association, the police and animal control. If you live in Palm Beach County, animal control can be dialed at 561-266-9191, and emailed at pbcacc@pbcgov.org. For those who live in Delray or Boca Raton, the number for animal control is 561-266-9191. Animal control will conduct an investigation and determine whether there is cause to quarantine the dog or label it is a dangerous dog. For more information on animal control, visit their website at http://discover.pbcgov.org/publicsafety/animalcare/Pages/default.aspx.

How Much is My Dog Bite Case Worth?

No two victims are the same, and thus no two cases are the same. The exact amount your dog bite case is worth is therefore calculated on a case by case basis by our experienced injury attorneys here at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg. Your individual case will be valued on the following factors:

  • Amount of past medical bills
  • Amount of future medical bills
  • Permanent Injuries i.e. bone, joint, muscle, etc.
  • Severity of Bite
  • Severity & Location of Scaring
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Wages

On average, if there is a valid homeowner’s insurance policy covering the incident, a dog bite claim will settle at around $30,000 (http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/05/15/368180.htm).

If you have any questions about dog bite law or what to do after being bitten by a dog, please call the Wellington & Delray Beach Personal Injury Attorneys at Aronberg & Aronberg, Injury Law Firm for a free consultation at 561-266-9191.