3 steps to follow after being bitten by a dog in California
Dog bites are common phenomena; it is natural that a dog sometimes feels surprised in the presence of other people and acts instinctively. However, the fact that they are common occurrences does not mean that they are harmless and American attorneys, especially those in California, are aware of this.
A large number of dog bite cases result in doctor visits and treatments. At best, the bite causes a slight and small wound. In more severe cases, the bite can cause disfigurement. In the most extreme cases, canine attacks have resulted in the death of victims.
Such data helps to explain why a dog bite can have legal consequences. To be more specific, the owner of a dog that has put its teeth into someone else’s skin can go to a court.
Steps to follow after being bitten by a dog
The steps to be taken after you have been bitten by a dog will vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury. If the wound is moderately serious, it is essential to receive medical treatment to prevent the wound from getting worse. Health comes first. It would also be a good idea to take pictures of your wound, as this will be helpful in determining the amount of compensation.
Another step you should take after a dog’s bite is noting the appearance of the animal: its size, color, if it was wearing a collar, among others. These characteristics will be fundamental to maximize efficiency in the search for the animal. That is why you should also concentrate your efforts on specifying a relatively accurate description of the animal.
1) Treat the wound
In the case where the wound is causing massive and unstoppable blood loss, it is imperative for you to call 911 so they can immediately come to the site and provide proper wound care. While awaiting their arrival, you can try to stop or minimize bleeding by squeezing a towel. It is also useful to raise the injured area to restrict blood flow.
A bite from a canine can result in a quite deep wound. If this is the case, it will require the attention of a specialist, as these types of wounds affect the tissues to such an extent that they can damage the organs and bone structure.
However, the severity of a dog bite injury can be much less serious and still require treatment by a medical professional. In other words, even if there is no blood loss, it is advisable to go to the nearest medical center. Some of these injuries may require stitches. Additionally, infection can occur if the wound is not treated promptly.
Naturally, you’re wondering how to determine if a dog bite wound is serious or not. Medically speaking, there are several indicators: heavy bleeding, presence of pain, swelling, among others. However, the absence of these indicators does not necessarily mean that the wound is mild. When a dog sticks its teeth in an area of your skin, a chance exists that it may have caused damage to a blood vessel, muscle, bone, tendon and even nerve. It is strongly recommended that you see a doctor regardless of the situation.
However, before going to a doctor, you can also take other measures at home: for example, you can wash the wound with soap and water; it is also advisable to spread some antibiotic cream. The aim of these measures is only to minimize the possibility of infection.
2) Collect information
Witnesses are an essential piece of evidence in any case. The second step you should take after you have been bitten by a dog in California is to collect statements and personal information from anyone who witnessed the incident. These witnesses can be the basis of your defense.
It’s also important that you gather information about the dog that came at you. If you don’t have any information on the dog itself, concentrate efforts on its location. If you know the specific dog, focus on their medical records and the immunizations it has. domesticated dogs that do not have the required vaccinations (especially rabies vaccine) can get diseases from bats, raccoons and foxes. These diseases can then be transmitted to humans through bites.
You should also find out if the dog’s owner is insured and, if so, find out if the dog bite is included in his insurance coverage. I f the dog’s owner has insurance, it’s a good idea to get information about the dog’s health and safety.
It is also a good idea to get information about the insurer’s name and contact details.
The case can become complicated if the dog owner is not insured or if his insurance simply does not cover dog bite incidents. Only an attorney experienced in these cases can provide you with the help you need to get good compensation, as it requires advanced knowledge of California law.
Finally, you should contact your local health department and send them a case report. If the animal’s identity is not yet clarified, you should also contact your local animal control office and the police. It is important to locate the animal in order to prevent other people from being bitten and possibly contracting diseases from the animal’s bite.
3) Get advice from a specialist lawyer
There is no doubt that dog bites can be cause for fear, worry and despair. When they occur, the injured person sometimes does not know exactly how to react or what to do, especially when the dog that has committed such an act is the pet of a family member, friend or close acquaintance.
But you should avoid panic if you have unfortunately been the victim of a dog’s teeth. In addition to taking the steps described above, it is vital that you contact an attorney who has extensive experience in this type of case. Any of our professionals perfectly meets this requirement, so they can help you, by clearing your doubts and doing everything possible to ensure that you are fairly compensated.
In fact, as time goes on, injuries caused by dog bites can not only become fatal (if untreated, of course), but also become more expensive, which negatively affects compensation amounts. There is even the possibility that you may immediately need large amounts of money for medical care, which is why the sooner you get advice from one of our lawyers, the better.
Notes on rabies
We have said that there is a chance of getting rabies from a dog bite. It is a common belief that saying this is alarmist, because rabies is a disease that has been practically eradicated.
However, some data from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention give us the reason: up to 3 rabies cases are reported annually in the United States. Some of them contracted it abroad, but others acquired it precisely by dog bites. Although it is statistically insignificant and irrelevant, it is not a bad idea to be cautious: if the dog that attacked you is not identified, it is advisable to get a series of vaccinations, including rabies shots.
Not only do the statistics support our assertion, but California’s own regulation does the same: it stipulates that, if a dog has bitten a person for the first time, the animal must be quarantined for ten days. The aim of this measure is to verify that the dog does not have rabies.
California’s laws for these cases are complete, which is precisely why they are also somewhat complex: one of the thorniest scenarios is that in which the owner of the dog was not the one who was walking it at the time, but was someone else. Under California law, the same person is responsible.
Again, we recommend that you contact one of our attorneys so that they can handle your case in an efficient and supportive manner.