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5 steps to take after a dog bite

Who can avoid bending over to pet a pooch? After all, dogs can be awfully cuddly, playful and cute. As you probably know, however, not all dogs are friendly. In fact, sometimes dogs can go from adorable to downright scary in just a few seconds. 

According to a recent study, California has more dog bites than any other state in the country. Of the nearly 4.5 million dog bites in the United States, around 14 percent occur in the Golden State. As such, even if you exercise caution, you may not be able to avoid a dog bite injury. If a dog bites you, you must act quickly to protect yourself and assert your legal rights. Here are five steps to take after a dog bite. 

1. Treat the wound 

Whether you have a minor or serious injury, you probably need to triage your dog bite. Usually, applying pressure is an effective way to stop bleeding. You may also want to flush the wound with water to remove dirt and other contaminants. 

2. Seek medical treatment 

Dogs have millions of bacteria in their mouths. Even if you think you have survived the dog bite without significant injuries, you must think about infection. Therefore, you should seek medical treatment to lower your risk of long-term damage. When you see a doctor, explain how you received the injury. Not only does this help you receive adequate care, but it also further documents the incident. 

3. Contact the police 

You may want to seek compensation for your medical bills and other damages. To increase your odds of receiving payment, you must have an official account of the dog bite. Therefore, contact the police and ask an officer to investigate. 

4. Obtain important information 

The dog’s owner’s insurance policy may cover dog bites. Still, you can only recover from an insurance company if you can identify the owner and establish liability. Accordingly, try to obtain the name and contact information for the dog’s owner. 

5. Document the scene 

You need as much information about the dog bite as possible. While police officers receive training on how to write official reports, their findings may be inadequate for you to prove your case. As such, try to document the scene yourself. Take photographs of your wounds, the dog’s fence and other relevant details and information that could help build your case. Also, talk to witnesses and write down their personal details. 

A dog bite can be unbelievably scary. Nevertheless, whether you receive compensation for your injuries may depend on what you do after the dog bite. With a bit of effort, you can likely increase your chances of recovering fully.

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