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While the world is filled with friendly dogs, there are some that can turn in an instant, resulting in serious injury.

First and foremost, seek medical care if you have been seriously injured by a dog. Puncture wounds can be breeding grounds for bacteria and infection.

If it’s just a superficial scrape or gash, clean with running water followed by hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol. To promote healing and avoid infection, apply a topical antibiotic and cover the wound with a bandage.

If your injury is more serious follow these simple steps

  • Gently press around the wound to encourage bleeding and help flush out as much bacteria as possible.
  • Wash the wound with mild soap and water.
  • Slow the bleeding with a clean cloth.
  • Apply topical antibiotic.
  • Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage. Keep the wound bandaged and see your doctor.
  • Watch for signs of infection, including redness, swelling, increased pain and fever.

If the animal that bit you seems to be partially paralyzed, acts aggressively, or behaves in a strange way, then it may be rabid.

Need to Know

As with any accident it’s important to exchange information. Get contact information for the dog’s owner or caretaker in order to easily contact them after the incident to verify vaccination records and other information about the animal. It’s also important to get the contact information of any witnesses. If you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit, an eyewitness account can paint a clearer picture.  Remember, contact information should include their first and last name, phone number and address.

Document, Document, Document

If at all possible, take pictures of your wounds in order to properly document the injury.  Along with any pictures you take of your injuries it may also be helpful to take note of how you are feeling. Take note of any pain, decreased mobility, or inability to perform certain functions. These notes can be personally taken or copies given by your doctor.

When it comes to filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, there’s no such thing as too much documentation. Document any correspondence you have with witnesses, doctors, the dog owner, and the insurance company. You will also need to keep a running log of any expenses incurred from the injury, including medical bills, lost wages, and travel costs.

Getting Help

The legal process of filing a lawsuit can be complicated and intimidating but an experienced personal injury attorney can help you. Our attorneys at McCoy, Hiestand & Smith are well versed in dealing with insurance companies, calculating compensation and negotiation. Even if you’re not sure you have a case, consultations are always free and our attorneys only take strong cases.