Many people love dogs, though owning them comes with a risk. Even the sweetest pet can bite or attack another person without any provocation. Whether you pet a friend’s dog at their home or are suddenly attacked while enjoying a day at the park, you should know the risks of dog bites.
Dog bites often result in serious injuries. In some cases, you may only experience a few minor scratches or bruises from being knocked over. However, if a dog bites down with full force, they can cause puncture wounds, lacerations, broken bones, and nerve damage.
Even a small nip or scratch can become infected, making it essential to get medical treatment immediately. When a dog bites, it can cause emotional trauma that lasts for years. Some victims aren’t so lucky and succumb to these injuries.
Whether you get a small scrape or gaping wound after being bitten by a dog, it is imperative to watch for infection. Dogs have an array of germs in their saliva that can get into the wound.
You’ll want to watch for oozing fluid from your wound, swollen lymph nodes, muscle weakness, fatigue, and a loss of feeling in the area of the dog bite. You may even feel a lump under the skin, too. Even if you have received medical treatment, watch for any of these signs and get help immediately if your wounds become infected.
Before you get to a doctor or hospital, there are a few steps to help prevent infection. The moment skin is punctured by a dog, an infection can get into the body, leading to sepsis, rabies, or tetanus.
You should wash the wound with soap and warm water to clear the bacteria away. Dry it with a clean cloth and hold it over your wounds to slow the blood flow. You should follow this with a topical antibacterial ointment and cover with a sterile bandage. Even with these steps, you should also ensure you see your doctor or go to the hospital.
In Florida, you have the right to recover compensation for your injuries from dog bites. The state follows a strict liability model that holds a dog’s owner liable for injuries and damages in the event of a dog bite. You must have either been a welcome guest on private property or in a public place at the time of the bite.
It is important to note that you are protected by this law even if the dog didn’t actually bite you. If it pushed you over or you tripped over it, you may also have a case. After a dog bite, you should speak with a Boca Raton dog bite attorney to help you take the next steps. This will help you recover compensation, especially if you have life-changing injuries.