Many think of dogs as man’s best friend, but when a strange dog is barreling at you or baring its teeth, the last thing you think of is cuddling or playing fetch. The reality is that dogs attack thousands of people each year, and many victims are injured, maimed or killed during the attack. Children and postal workers are particularly susceptible, and insurance companies are paying out in record numbers to those who are injured.
Dogs that bite are more likely to be abandoned or euthanized, so there is a benefit for canines as well as people in lowering the number of dog bites each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people face a dog bite each year. Pets can cause other injuries as well. Even a dog jumping on you because it is happy can cause an injury that leads to an insurance claim.
How should you handle a dog bite?
If you end up in the situation that a dog attacks you, the first step is to seek medical attention immediately. Go to professionals to treat major injuries, especially any life-threatening damage.
You can treat minor injuries with standard first aid. Dogs can hold onto the skin with the front teeth even as they lacerate the surrounding area with their other teeth. Clean all the wounds thoroughly, and you should squeeze as much blood as possible from the area to remove infection.
Dog bites can lead to infections like tetanus and rabies if the dog has not had up-to-date shots and the victim does not have the right immunizations. If the owner does not have proper vaccination records of the dog, it is always a good idea to have a thorough exam after a dog bite, no matter how small the wound may seem.
Should you file a claim?
It is important to document everything that happens after a dog bite, in case you need to file a claim with the owner’s insurance company. If you have been involved in a similar incident and need compensation for medical bills or any other associated cost, you would benefit from speaking to an attorney today.