Dog Bites: Should You Seek Medical Attention?

Dog Bites: Should You Seek Medical Attention?

Image by Alexa from Pixabay

Dogs are considered man’s best friend, but some circumstances lead to dog attacks. The reasons why the dog attacked a human and the seriousness of the victim’s injuries determine if a victim has a legal claim against a pet owner. Continue reading to find out when you should seek medical attention after a dog attack.  

How Severe Where Your Injuries? 

The severity of the victim’s injuries dictates whether emergency medical services are needed. A vicious attack causes serious injuries for a victim of a dog attack, and the person needs to go to the ER immediately. Any life-threatening injuries require fast action and immediate medical treatment to save the victim’s life. If the injuries aren’t life-threatening but are severe, the individual needs a medical assessment to rule out any permanent damage or loss of function. Talk to an attorney if you were bit by a small dog

Did the Dog Bite Break the Skin?

Some dogs bite a person if the dog feels threatened or territorial, and a small nip that doesn’t break the skin doesn’t pose a medical emergency or any major risks to the victim. In addition, the circumstances of the dog bite are just as important as the bite itself. If a victim provoked the dog bite, the pet owner is not liable for any injuries the victim sustained. Animal abuse or cruelty is illegal, and if the alleged victim harmed the dog prior to the dog attack, they are responsible and cannot obtain compensation for their injuries.  

Are There Signs of an Infection?

After a dog bite, the person needs first aid to reduce the risk of infection. They should clean the wound and apply an antibiotic ointment. If the victim develops an infection even after these first aid measures, they need to go to the doctor to get prescription antibiotics and a checkup. An infection that decreases the function of the limb or causes the loss of a limb will always be a reason to start a legal claim against the pet owner, but the victim must prove they played no role in causing the dog attack.  

Was the Dog Vaccinated for Rabies?

During a dog attack investigation, animal control officers inquire about the dog and contact the pet owner. If the dog wasn’t vaccinated for rabies, there is a risk to the victim, and the dog must be quarantined at a local veterinary office. The vet observes the dog’s behavior for any signs of the rabies virus and sends a report of their findings to the animal control officer. Pet owners must pay the fees for the quarantine, fines, and the cost of vaccinating their dog.  

Securing Evidence for Your Case

Getting medical treatment after a dog bite gives the victim credible evidence. The legal claim must offer evidence, including medical records, that show the victim was attacked by a dog, and a doctor can get a sample of the dog’s saliva from the wound. Dog saliva offers DNA evidence that links the dog to the attack if the defendant disputes the allegations. 

Dog attacks can lead to serious injuries for some victims, but not all victims suffer life-threatening wounds. Many dog attack victims don’t know if they should get medical attention if the injuries are minor. However, dog attack victims need medical records to take the pet owner to court. Talk to an attorney about your dog attack injuries and how to start a legal claim.