Personal injuries cause harm to hundreds of people every day. Dog bites fall into a special category as they result in unique injuries and require a tailored response.
They also raise the question of liability issues in many circumstances.
Best medical practices for dealing with a dog bite
The Cleveland Clinic stresses that the risk of infection remains high after a dog bites a person. In many cases, the victim will need medical attention within eight hours of the bite. A dog bite often produces a jagged wound which can result in a severe infection. The victim can help the situation by taking these actions:
- Wash the wound
- Stop the bleeding
- Apply OTC antibiotic cream
- Put on a sterile dressing
- See a medical professional
The doctor could recommend a tetanus shot, particularly if the wound appears dirty or comes from a wild dog. For those with diabetes or other conditions, the risk of infection becomes greater.
Additional measures for handling dog bites
After medical attention, the victim of a dog bite can take other appropriate actions. One valuable step is to obtain the dog’s vaccination history, if possible, to determine the date of a rabies vaccination. If the dog could carry rabies, the victim might need to receive a rabies vaccine.
Finally, victims of dog bites should report the incident to the authorities. This can alert animal control officials to the presence of a dangerous animal. A report on file could also support a personal injury case. In New Jersey, the dog’s owner bears responsibility for the animal’s actions. This is true in most cases, though some exceptions exist.