Dog Bite Victims

After a dog attack, dog bite victims should gather as much information as possible regarding the incident. When this is complete, dog bite victims should take immediate action to ensure proper care of the dog bite wound. Immediate treatment is necessary in order to help prevent dangerous dog bite complications, such as disease, infection, and scarring. After treatment is administered, the dog bite victims should take appropriate legal steps. Dog bite victims may file a bite report with the local Sheriff’s department , or county or city animal control. Legal action may also be taken against the owner of the dog, in the event that the owner’s negligence or malice played a role in the dog attack.

Gathering Information

Gathering information about the attacking dog and the circumstances surrounding the incident is important for medical and legal reasons. For medical reasons, dog bite victims may receive more appropriate care if specialists are provided with information such as vaccination history of the dog. For legal reasons, dog bite victims should know about the dog’s owner and the dog’s history.

At the scene of the attack, dog bite victims should obtain:

  • Names and addresses of any dog attack witnesses
  • Name and address of the dog owner(s) or the individual legally responsible for the attacking dog
  • Photographs of the dog bite injuries

Seeking Medical Attention

The most important step after a dog attack is to seek medical attention for dog bite wounds. Dog bite wounds may still lead to life-threatening complications despite the fact that the attacking dog is domesticated and vaccinated. A number of disease-causing bacteria may be present in the dog’s saliva. When the skin is broken during a dog bite, these infectious bacteria may enter the dog bite victim’s blood stream.

Dog Bite Management

Medical attention for dog bite victims varies on the severity and type of the bite, and may include:

  • Sterilizing the wound with antibiotic soaps or washes
  • Applying and replacing sterile bandages until the wound begins to heal
  • Stitches, which are used to close an open wound
  • Antibiotics to prevent or treat infection
  • Rabies vaccination injections in cases where rabies is present
  • Reconstructive surgery in cases where dog bite victims suffer disfigurement

Dog Bite Legal Action

In some cases, injured dog bite victims may be entitled to file a dog bite lawsuit against the owner of the dog. Dog bite victims should speak with an experienced dog bite attorney to discuss details of the incident and determine if the incident constituted a legitimate legal case. During the initial consultation, the dog bite attorney will ask for as many details as possible surrounding the incident, such as information about the owner, photographs of the injuries, and medical records of the dog bite victim.




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Ward, Mark A. “Bite Wound Infections.” Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine 14.2 (2013): 88. ProQuest. Web. 3 Jan. 2014.