A dog attack can be very frightening and overwhelming, and it can often be difficult to remember react quickly and correctly in the minutes, hours, and days after the incident takes place. However, taking the proper steps after a dog bite in New York is vital to staying safe, protecting your health, and taking proper legal action if necessary.
In this post, we will review the five most important steps to take after you or your loved one is bitten by a dog.
In the minutes after the dog bite…
Remember that the most important thing of all is your health. Immediately after the attack, make sure that you get the medical attention that you need. If the wounds are deep or extensive, go to the doctor immediately for professional care.
Understand that dogs’ mouths are filled with bacteria and that animal bites will likely become infected if not properly cleaned. Deep dog bites might necessitate antibiotics.
Also understand that dog bites that are not properly cleaned, dressed, and stitched are more likely to lead to scarring. A doctor can ensure that scarring is minimized.
Finally, make sure the dog or dogs are not still a danger to others. If you know the dog and/or its owner, lock the dog in a room or enclosure to keep it away from others. If the dog is a stray, immediately alert Animal Control and any neighbors about the threat of an aggressive dog.
In the hours after the dog bite…
After your medical needs are met and after you have secured the dog, be sure to collect evidence related to the incident.
First, take pictures of the scene, the dog, and your wound if possible.
Secondly, talk to anyone who witnessed the attack. Get their information and their side of the story. Also get information from anyone else present in the aftermath of the attack, such as the dog owners and the Animal Control officers.
Finally, write down your story. Even if you are sure you will remember every detail, you may be surprised at how quickly little details will leave your mind. Encourage others to write down their stories as well while it is fresh in their minds.
In the days after a dog attack…
First and foremost, follow all of the advice of your doctor and keep a close eye on your wounds. Watch for signs of infection such as redness, pain, heat, pus, or swelling. Report any new symptoms to a medical professional.
Secondly, be sure to file a dog bite report.
Next, do not apologize for the incident to the dog owner or anyone involved. It is a strange phenomenon that injury victims feel embarrassed or to blame after an animal attack – do not take responsibility or say you were at fault only to make the situation more comfortable.
Also do not talk to the insurance company about your attack and bite. They may ask you for a recorded statement, but do not agree. It’s best to think carefully and clearly about what happened and submit a statement with the help of a New York dog bite attorney.
DO talk to an attorney about your case. Even if you aren’t sure whether or not you have a case, a dog bite lawyer can look over the evidence that you have and let you know your best options for taking action.
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At Jones Hacker Murphy, we know how traumatic a dog attack and dog bite can be, both for you and your family. We are also intimately familiar with New York’s dog bite laws, and have helped other victims get what they need most after a dog bite incident: compensation for their injury-related costs, funds for future medical treatment, and damages for their pain and suffering.
We offer dog bite victims and their families free, confidential consultations. To request on today, please call us at (518) 274-5820 fill out our online contact form. Don’t keep wondering if you might need an attorney’s help with your case.