4 Steps to Take Following a Dog Bite Accident in California
Dogs are beloved for good reason. They are loyal, protective, and fun to play with – most of the time. The unfortunate fact is that though most dogs are fun and playful, some can be aggressive. Whether they bite out of aggression or fear, a dog bite can be a serious situation. In some cases, it can be fatal. Most people who are bitten by dogs are disabled, elderly, or children. In fact, about half of the people wounded by dog bites are children 12 years or younger.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog then there are steps to take. Read on to learn about them. Remember to contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 877-982-0707 for a free legal consultation so we can cover your legal options.
1. Treat the injury
First and foremost, make sure that the person who was bitten by the dog is safe. There are two main types of dog bites: Superficial and puncture wounds. If the wound is just superficial then it is a scrape or a simple gash. This can be cleaned by running water over the wound to clean it and the applying either rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound. You can then use a topical antibiotic cream and a bandage to keep the wound covered.
However, if it is a puncture wound then the wound should be left to bleed in most cases. The exceptions are wounds on the head or neck which should prompt you to call 911 immediately. Likewise, if the wound is excessive or there are many wounds, then call 911. Otherwise, let a minor puncture wound bleed for five minutes. This actually cleans out the wound. Once five minutes has passed, if it has not stopped bleeding on its own, apply pressure. If it continues to bleed then you should head straight to the emergency room.
2. Document everything you can about the attack
If the dog was not yours then you likely have legal options to recover damages such as medical costs and pain and suffering. This requires that you can document the attack with things like pictures of the wound and documentation from your doctor. If there were witnesses, get their contact information.
3. Understand the law
In California, we have what is known as “strict liability” regarding dog bites. Put simply, it means that a dog owner is liable for any injuries caused by their dog, even if they had no reason to believe their dog could be vicious.
4. Talk to an attorney
Now is the time to contact a personal injury attorney who can help you understand what your options are. At Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas we are happy to start you off with a free legal consultation. Just give us the facts about your case and we can discuss your likely legal options. Call now at 877-982-0707.