Wound CareYou will need to know how to care for your wound, as it will take time to heal. You will need to wash the wound using soap and water for five to 10 minutes. Next, apply antibiotic cream and wrap the wound with a bandage. You will need to check your injury every few days to look for an infection. You will also need to change the bandaging a couple of times a day. These are the basics of wound care. These steps will not apply to your injury if it is more catastrophic, and this advice does not replace doctors’ orders. Always meet with your doctor and proceed with their instructions. Your doctor will determine the best medical care for your specific injury during a medical examination.
Seek Medical AttentionWhen you see a doctor, they will want some background information on how the injury occurred. The doctor will ask about the dog and what led to the injury. Next, they will clean the wound even if you have already cleaned it. The doctor will then conduct a thorough examination of the damage to determine the extent of the injury. Your doctor will need to know when you last had a tetanus shot. You may need a booster shot if it was over ten years ago or you cannot remember. This information is vital as dogs carry various diseases that humans cannot fight off. Depending on the severity of your wound, your doctor will give you stitches. In most cases, the doctor will leave the wound open to heal. There are other procedures for wounds on the face, which can lead to permanent disfigurement. If the dog bite was especially horrific, surgery is crucial. Injury victims may need to meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss treatment for possible scars. The goal of your doctors will be to avoid infection and scarring. There are times when this is not possible due to how bad the injury was. While medical attention is essential, you will also need to take pictures of the wound for legal purposes before it heals-the sooner, the better.
Injuries From a Dog AttackA dog bite can lead to a series of injuries aside from abrasions. Even a minor injury can cause lifelong scars. Some dog bite injuries you can suffer include:
- Lacerations: Deep cuts and tears are common from dog bites. They go past the epidermis and can reach muscles, bones, and even blood vessels in severe cases.
- Infection: Bacteria from the dog’s mouth can quickly course through your system. This bacteria will lead to disease and can even cause other health concerns.
- Punctures: Dogs have sharp teeth, which can puncture your skin. They can be surface-level or deep cuts.
- Rabies: A type of infection often seen from dog bites is rabies. Dog owners are required to get rabies shots for their dogs. Sadly, many dog owners do not stay updated on these regulations leaving others in danger.
- Avulsion: A dog can rip off your skin and tissue. These are very extreme injuries and always lead to reconstructive surgery. There is also a range of lifelong side effects victims will suffer.
- Scarring: Any dog bite injury can cause you to have a permanent scar. This injury also results in social humiliation and psychological trauma. You may need to undergo skin grafts or laser therapy to reduce scarring.
- Crushing injuries: If the dog was a larger breed, it might cause crushing injuries. Their jaws are also powerful, which results in the ability to break bones and damage your muscles. Children are the most susceptible to dog crushing injuries.
- Nerve damage: In severe cases, the dog can damage the nerves. Severe cases result in permanent paralysis. You can have a temporary loss of function in the area of the body where the dog bit you.
- Death: The worst outcome is death. This outcome is not uncommon, and children are the most at risk of death by dogs.
Documenting Your InjuryA dog bite injury case is very complex, and you will need as much evidence as possible for a successful claim. Injury victims will need to document the injury and aftermath as this provides critical evidence to the dog bite injury attorney handling your case. Documentation comes in various forms. Medical records are one form of documentation, and it is often unbiased. Doctors are highly respected, and they do gain anything by picking sides. Another way to document your injuries is by taking pictures. We mentioned you need to take pictures before your wound heals. Take pictures while at the hospital and every month as a rule of thumb. You must prove that the injury has left a long-lasting or permanent scar. Physical injuries are not the only ones that dog bite victims suffer. There are also psychological concerns. You will need to begin to write in a journal. As soon as you can after the accident, start detailing the incident, such as where you were, what you were doing, what time and day it was, and anything else you can remember from the accident. This first account of your injury is entry number one in your journal. Continue to add journal entries detailing how restrictive your life has been, your pain levels, and the emotional repercussions. Filing a dog bite injury claim means there will be a lot of communication between you and others. The insurance company will send you several different documents. You should create a file where you store any documents related to your case. Dog bite injury victims should also keep receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred. Your file should even include the receipt for a bottle of aspirin. A dog bite injury attorney will compile an accurate expense report with these documents. To be reimbursed fully, you need every single receipt.
Calculating CompensationThe file you compile will determine the total cost of your expenses. However, several other factors go into calculating compensation for a dog bite injury. The severity of your injuries is critical. If the dog attack is likely to cause disfigurement, you are entitled to substantial compensation. Even if cosmetic options are available, these procedures and surgeries are incredibly costly. Health insurance does not cover cosmetic treatments. You will either have to pay out of pocket or have the dog owner pay for your treatment. Medical expenses are another major factor in compensation. Your initial costs will be calculated, including:
- Ambulance transport
- First aid
- Hospital expenses
- Plastic surgery
- Scar revision procedures
- Future medications
- Plastic surgery
Legal Assistance After a Dog Bite
Many dog bite victims are unaware of their rights after a dog attack. While injury victims may focus on whether the attack happened in private or public, the real focus should be on who the dog owner is. Determining who the dog owner is will lead you to the insurance company you need to file a claim against. You will also need to find out if the dog owner is insured. If they are uninsured, you must prepare for a lengthy battle. Even if the owner is not at the scene, you can hold a responsible party entrusted with caring for the animal liable. The location of the dog bite can affect your claim, but liability is the primary element to consider. A local dog bite attorney will uncover who acted negligently and which insurance company to pursue compensation from. There are many ways pet owners can secure their dogs and keep them from harming others. Fences used to be the go-to method for keeping dogs on a property. There are now pet containment systems which are electric fences. They keep the dog within a predetermined area. One downside is if a child runs onto the property and is injured, the dog owner will still be held liable.