5 Steps to Take If Someone Else’s Dog Bites You
We’ve all had a nagging suspicion that an oncoming dog might be aggressive. Thankfully, our suspicions are wrong in most cases and the dog passes by with its owner. Dogs bite sometimes, though, and it’s important to know how to handle those situations when they arise. We’re going to explore what to do when you get bitten by a dog, giving simple steps to take in the aftermath.
Hopefully, the ideas below will give you some confidence in your ability to handle dog bites and move forward in the wisest way.
1. Find Safety
The first thing to do is to get away from the animal as soon as you can. Regardless of whether the owner is present, your job is to separate yourself from the animal.
It’s often the case that a dog who charges, even an aggressive one, does not intend to bite you. If a bite does occur and the attack is ongoing, try to place an object between you and the animal. A bag or purse gives the animal something to bite down on, allowing you to create space.
It’s also best to stand still if the bite has yet to occur. Running or attacking back could trigger a more aggressive response in the animal. When those methods don’t work, you need to do whatever you can to create space.
Here are some tips for handling an active attack
- Back away gradually and don’t turn away
- If you’re knocked over, curl up and cover your neck
- Don’t look at the dog in the eyes
- Avoid the urge to pull away from a bite
- Remain calm and use a soft voice
The methods above should work to subdue the animal and create an opportunity for you to find safety. Note that dog attacks are stressful and intense situations. You won’t have time to think through the options above.
It’s best to internalize these ideas so your fight or flight response can incorporate them when situations like this occur. The more you memorize strategies for defense, the better your odds are of using them.
2. Assess Your Injuries
The next thing you have to do is find some first aid care. Small scratches or cuts need to get cleaned as soon as possible. Infections, even from domesticated dogs, can be serious.
If the wound is deep and causing blood to leave the body, apply pressure and attempt to stop blood flow before seeking professional care. Take a look at recommended first aid tactics on how to address deep wounds.
Once the situation is handled, start to document the incident however you can. Take pictures of your wounds. Take a couple of photos with different angles to ensure that you have good documentation.
You might also take photos of the place where the attack took place. If relevant, this is a time to take photos as evidence that the other party and their dog were at the scene as well.
3. Exchange Information
If the dog that bit you has an owner, it’s time to exchange information with that person. They could be responsible for the costs and damages that you’ve experienced as a result of this incident.
Note that bites don’t always require the animal to get put down. If you’re worried that the dog will be punished as a result of what happens, note that this isn’t always the case.
A big part of why authorities need to know about bites is to curb the spread of diseases. Even domestic animals hold common diseases and they’re spread through attacks. Their goal isn’t to punish dangerous animals.
It’s only if the event was severe that there would be action taken. It’s always important to contact animal control and notify them of the events that took place.
4. Contact A Dog Bite Attorney
Your next step is to contact a lawyer. Lawyers help you get compensation for the cost of medical treatment as well as the suffering from the medical treatment warranted by the attack.
Even if the bite happened at a friend’s house, it’s wise to get an attorney. Issues don’t typically come from the owner of the dog. Instead, insurance companies might not be willing to pay out for the damages.
Public instances might be more complex. Say, for example, that you were jogging through the park and someone’s leashed dog leaped out at you and bit you. Let’s also say that the dog’s owner attempted to downplay your wounds and proceeds to lie about the situation to protect their dog.
Situations like these require that you have a lawyer on your side. You’re owed compensation. In any case, it’s good to have a professional on your side so that you can get whatever you’re owed as a result of the dog bite.
5. Assess Emotional Trauma from Dog Bites
A dog bite is nothing short of a traumatic event. An animal that attacks you puts you in a serious situation. You’re worried about your physical health and even scared for your life at the moment that the attack happens.
You’re also faced with the fight or flight response, forcing you to decide whether to defend yourself physically or stay still. You might have a hard time shaking those feelings and resolving them.
It can be tough to go back to the place where the attack happened, and you might have lingering trauma responses whenever you see an unfamiliar dog. You might have trouble engaging with the familiar dogs in your life as well.
There’s a lot of collateral damage that occurs in situations like these. It might be necessary to talk with a professional counselor to process your feelings and find a way forward. Those are expenses that should be covered in your compensation as well.
Have You Been Bitten By a Dog?
Hopefully, the ideas above give you some food for thought when it comes to dog bites. If you’re in a situation concerning a dog bite and you’re not sure what to do, we’re here to help.
Contact us for a consultation and find what course of action might be necessary.
The Gumprecht Law Firm
3455 Peachtree Rd NE Fl 5
Atlanta, GA 30326
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