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What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury

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Posted on May 21, 2024

Dogs are cherished members of many Utah families, but when these animals attack, the consequences can be severe. Dog bites can cause physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial hardship, affecting victims’ lives for years to come. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it’s crucial to know what steps to take to protect your health and talk to a dog bite lawyer in St. George.

side profile of dog

Get to a Safe Place Away from the Animal

Your safety is the top priority. Immediately after a dog bite, distance yourself from the animal to prevent further attacks. If possible, find a secure location, such as a nearby building or vehicle, where the dog cannot reach you. Once you are out of harm’s way, you can better assess your injuries and take the necessary actions without the risk of additional harm.

Perform First Aid on the Wound, If Possible

If the wound is shallow and you have access to first aid supplies, wash the affected area with warm water and gentle soap. Put pressure on the wound using a clean cloth to help stop the bleeding. Apply an antibiotic ointment and dress the wound in clean bandages.

If the bleeding is severe or you cannot control it, do not attempt to perform first aid and seek medical attention right away. In case of a deep wound, avoid applying any ointments or creams, as these may increase the risk of infection.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

Regardless of the severity of the dog bite, it’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor bites can lead to serious infections that could lead to life-threatening complications. A healthcare professional will clean the wound, assess the extent of the injury, and provide the necessary treatment, which may include stitches or antibiotics. They will also document the injury, which can be valuable evidence if you decide to pursue legal action.

Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Attack

If you are able, collect evidence at the scene of the dog bite. Take photos of your injuries, the dog, and the surrounding area. If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information; they may be able to provide valuable testimony to support your case. Write down the owner’s name, address, and phone number, as well as any details about the dog, such as its breed, a short description, and its behavior before the attack.

Report the Incident to Animal Control Authorities

Contact your local animal control agency to report the dog bite incident. Provide them with the details of the attack, including the location, date, and time, as well as any information you have about the dog and its owner. Animal control officers will investigate the incident and take appropriate action, such as quarantining the dog or issuing citations to the owner. 

Contact a Dog Bite Attorney to Discuss Your Options

Dog bite injuries can result in significant medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In Utah, victims of these incidents have the right to file a lawsuit against the animal’s owner and recover compensation to help pay for these losses. To ensure that your rights are protected, consult with a dog bite attorney.

A St. George personal injury lawyer can advise you on the strength of your case, gather evidence, and help you navigate the legal process. To learn more about your options, schedule a legal consultation as soon as possible and plan your next steps.