German Shepard Dog showing his teeth

Hurt by Someone’s Dog

From 2011 to 2015 in America, dogs have killed 360 people.

DogsBite.org reports that the highest number were from pit bulls (232), rottweilers (41) and German Shepherds (13). But to be fair, any living being with teeth physically can bite, and there are a number of other factors that can lead to this situation.  If a crime has occurred, and an individual is arrested, they will want the name of a good bail bondsman.

Here’s what to do in the case of being bitten by an owner’s dog. (Stray dogs should be reported to a local animal control agency or 911. Generally it’s a bad idea to try to capture a stray animal because the dog may lash out thinking it’s in even more danger, or will become more threatening. Animal control has the equipment to properly capture the dog and read the tags to see if the stray dog belongs to someone or if the dog is indeed a stray.)

Get the dog owner’s contact information.

Treat a dog bite situation the same as a car accident situation. Check to see if there are immediate damages first. If nothing is immediately visible, politely ask for the dog owner’s contact information in the case of prolonging health issues (ex. swollen arm/ankle).

Get any witness(es)’ contact information.

Generally dog owners will of course want to look out for the well-being of their dogs, especially if there is any room to debate what lead to this dog attacking. (For example, if the victim of the dog bite entered a gate without knowing a dog was there, the dog may see that as invading its property.) If there is a witness who can give an unbiased opinion about how the incident unfolded, get that witness’s information. It may be necessary if a lawsuit is needed.

Get medical treatment.
In a car accident, people will often get medical treatment if there seems to be clear physical damage. In the case of a dog bite, there actually is damage from the moment that the teeth break skin. Soap, water, a sterile bandage and antibiotic ointment are a quick fix. But unless the owner and the person who was bitten by the dog both know that this dog has had his/her proper shots, see a doctor immediately.

Getting the dog owner’s contact information will be yet another reason that the victim will need to stay in communication: The owner should be able to provide print documentation about whether the dog has gotten all necessary vaccinations, including rabies. Diabetics, people with liver disease, and anyone else with a lower immune system may be more susceptible to infections. A doctor will be able to identify and remove dead tissues, in addition to looking for damaged bones, muscles, nerves or tendons. If the victim has not already gotten a tetanus shot, this is as good of a time as any to mention this.

If this medical visit will be relevant to a lawsuit, make sure that the medical professional also takes notes about this dog bite. Without disclosing and documenting this incident to the insurance company, it may be more difficult to prove that the medical exam is directly related to that dog bite.

State-by-state quarantine laws may vary.
The number of days may vary for how long the dog could be removed for examination. For example, in Illinois, a dog showing signs of rabies or who has bit someone could be confined for no less than 10 days. However, an Administrator (veterinarian) or a Deputy Administrator can influence decreasing that time span. The dog owner should be able to obtain paperwork to prove that the dog is legally OK to return back to its home afterward before doing so. In some states though, if it can be proven that the dog has all of its necessary vaccinations, there may be no legal requirement to confine the dog.

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