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What Should I Do If I'm Bitten by a Dog?

Despite the old adage, dogs aren’t always man’s best friend; in fact, any dog has a propensity for violence if provoked, stressed, or threatened. If a dog bites you, there are important medical steps you must follow to ensure the wound doesn’t get infected. In the worst-case scenario, an infected wound may necessitate hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.

For standard dog bites, review the following steps:

  1. Gently press on the wound to encourage controlled blood flow. This helps flush out infection-causing bacteria.
  2. Wash the wound thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water for several minutes.
  3. Apply pressure with a clean cloth to slow the bleeding. Go to the hospital immediately if the wound is still bleeding after 20 minutes.
  4. Apply an antibiotic to the wound before covering it with a sterile bandage.
  5. Visit your doctor or an emergency clinic. You may need a tetanus shot if it’s been over 5 years since your last immunization.
  6. Take any antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
  7. Change your bandages once or twice a day to prevent infection.
  8. As the wound heals, watch for signs of infection, including: intense pain, swelling, redness, and pus discharge.

Dogs are carnivores with incredible jaw strength, and severe bites require immediate medical attention. If you’re concerned about the severity of your wound, apply pressure and quickly go to a hospital or call for emergency services.

Filing a Dog Bite Injury Claim

In Nevada, a dog owner isn’t necessarily liable for a bite injury under the “one bite” rule. A dog owner is only responsible if their pet has displayed aggressive attack behaviors in the past and is classified as “dangerous” by animal control. It’s important for victims to report dog bite injuries to the County Health Office or an Animal Control Officer so that records remain updated.

You can file a personal injury claim under the following stipulations:

  • The dog has previously bitten someone
  • The owner displayed great negligence
  • The dog is officially recorded as “dangerous” by animal control
  • The owner was in violation of state or local animal control laws during the incident

If you’re planning to file a claim, it’s important that you make copies of your medical records and take pictures of the initial wound. This is vital evidence your lawyer can use as part of your case strategy.

You may be awarded the following damages in a successful lawsuit:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

Pursue Legal Action Today

Contact Bernstein & Poisson if you’re interested in pursuing damages for your dog bite injury. Our Las Vegas dog bite attorneys can evaluate your case, help you file a claim, and negotiate on your behalf. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay unless we win!

Call Bernstein & Poisson at (702) 602-8869 to schedule your free consultation.