Jun 8, 2020

The Eight Important Steps to Take After a Dog Bite


I am Los Angeles dog bite attorney Michael Ehline. As an expert on all sorts of legal topics, I am taking some time here to render eight crucial tips for victims of recent dog bite attacks. Before I do, I wanted to take some time to explain my experience in these cases.

First, as a victim of a dog attack myself, I can attest firsthand as to the deep emotional and physical scarring a person can suffer after a dog attacks. And I also remember the uncertainties I had about how I would pay bills, or even keep my job after being injured in an accident.

Because of my experiences as a bodily injury victim, I chose the personal injury law field. So now I help people win their injury cases when they are unsure of what to do, or facing obstacles they don't understand. I am a bonafide expert at getting injured clients money in all types of dog bite attacks.

In case you or a loved one was attacked by a dog, there are several steps you should take listed below.

  1. Get to the emergency room or local hospital. In all cases, seek medical attention. And this is not just for the punctures and scratches after a vicious attack. Some dogs, especially feral ones, run the risk of carrying rabies. If the dog is particularly aggressive or shows increased salivation, this is possible. So never assume the dog is disease-free, and never assume your wound won't become infected.
  2. Wash and stabilize the bite locations immediately. (If possible and if safe, render basic first aid).
  3. Exchange info with the dog's master if there is one. Keep this contact info in case of needed medical care or legal action.
  4. Request a full doctor's examination. You can't be too careful. You may have a severe bacterial infection, or a punctured artery or vein bleeding out internally.
  5. Take pictures of the bite marks and affected area of your body. Create a record to prove the injury and its worsening or improving condition.
  6. Call Animal Control. An improperly restrained dog could be a danger to others. And this is doubly the case for children. The owner may have violated local laws or statutes. So a dog's owner or master must take care. And if they fail, they are liable.
  7. Document the changes at the bodily injury site. Keep a diary in case later; you can't communicate due to lockjaw, or some other medical condition like a coma. Also, this helps show a day in the life of the personal injury victim.
  8. Seek legal help right away. Always, in case of severe injury or death, seek legal advice. Sometimes you may need medical experts and specialized hospital care. Often, your insurance won't cover this extra care. Lucky for you, a good injury lawyer can often help arrange case loan funding and medical treatments, such and sutures, stitches and removal by doctors willing to work on an attorney's promise to make sure they get paid when the case wins. So yes, legal help can be crucial in your quest for proper medicine.

Risks of Infections - Promptly Seeking Medical Attention After a Dog Bite.

As you can see above, medical care is the main thing you need right now. Stabilize your bites, scratches, and wounds immediately after being knocked to the ground, for example. Afterward, rule out disease! Dog bites are serious business! Even the smallest bite or scratch can fester and become severely infected.

  • Nasty Paws Scratches and Disease.

Yes, dogs prance through urine and other bacteria when they are allowed to go for walks, or range freely in their yards. Each wound from a dog is unique and could cause serious medical attention. For example, dogs tend to leap and try and knock you over when they attack. That is why elders suffer tragic head injuries after being violently flung to the ground by a dog. Seniors don't have great reaction times to brace themselves, which means they can suffer a wide range of issues stemming from the dog's assault.

But being attacked by a dog carries with it the potential to receive a nasty scratch, or gash by the dog's dirty, filthy paws and claws. A scratch from a dirty claw is an ugly situation. So no matter the case, if you are not sure about your medical condition, seek out a doctor.

After all, it is much better to be safe than sorry. While not all dogs are violent, one out of every five dog attacks requires serious medical attention. Also, the type of dog bite affects the chance of infection or serious injury. Below we discuss several common diseases transmitted after a dog attack.

An Everyday Occurrence.

To organize this data, we cite statistics from the Centers for Disease Control site. Each infection type should be handled differently. If you are not sure about the effects of a bite, contact a doctor as soon as possible. CDC researchers found that 18% of dog bites become infected. Furthermore, the CDC found up to 60 different types of bacteria in dog saliva.

Each Dog Bite Is A Unique Issue?

  • Rabies is the most severe potential pathogen. Fortunately, it is not very common. However, rabies, if left untreated, is a death sentence. Once symptoms such as fearfulness of water, severe fever, or irrational behavior manifest, the patient is almost certainly going to die. There are several ways to prevent the spread of rabies. And the first step is for responsible owners to vaccinate their dogs, as required by law. Sometimes you won't be sure whether a dog is a carrier, such as with a feral or unowned dog. So you must assume you are at a more significant risk of rabies transmission in stray dog attack cases. TIP: When bitten, seeking an immediate rabies vaccine can stop the disease as long as the symptoms are not showing.
  • Capnocytophaga bacteria, which does not make the dog itself sick. However, it can spread to people through bites or scratches. This disease can cause severe issues such as blisters, redness, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, or muscle or joint pain. These symptoms tend to manifest within 3 to 5 days-- or up to 14 days after the fact (Learn More).
  • Pasteurella is present in over half of infected dog bites. This type of infection happens quickly-- usually within a day of the bite. This can cause severe issues such as joint and bone pain. In other cases, this disease can cause upper respiratory tract infections and, in some cases, even appendicitis, abscesses, or even meningitis. On rare occasions, it can cause pink eye, septic shock, or even lung abscesses, among other symptoms.
  • MRSA. This dangerous disease can quickly become debilitating or even fatal. Usually found in hospitals, MRSA is drug-resistant and can overpower a person's immune system.
  • Tetanus. This disease, when left untreated, can cause death due to severe muscle strain and lockjaw.

For more info, contact the attorneys at the Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC as soon, as possible. Our lawyers have years of experience handling dog bite cases. Furthermore, you can never be too careful after a dog attack. Protecting your rights to money and medicine remains a vital mission of our masterful lawyers and staff to the end.

Our many years of legal and medical experience have proven critical to the victims of all manner of fierce dog attacks. So put our experience to work for you and let us know how we can help you and your family by calling (213) 596-9642.

Need to schedule an appointment for legal advice in a city near you? Reach out to a Los Angeles, California personal injury lawyer specialist near you or another location or practice area as follows:

Torrance wrongful death lawyer, Torrance car accident lawyer, Torrance motorcycle accident lawyer.