If you live around Orlando, you have undoubtedly seen someone walking or running with their dog, and indeed, many dogs play a critical role within our society every day. For example, the City of Orlando’s police department currently owns 14 dual-purpose canines that execute critical tasks such as finding drugs and even detecting bombs. But despite all of the great things that a dog can do when they’re properly trained, some dogs can, and often do, attack humans without provocation. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Health, there were 1,408 emergency department visits due to dog bites in Orange County in 2017, and Orange County had the fourth highest amount of emergency department visits in the state of Florida that year.

Additionally, if you have been bitten by dog, you should seek medical attention immediately, because many dog bites can cause you to sustain serious injuries due to either the viciousness of the attack itself or the multiple diseases that you can contract due to a dog bite. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every five people that have been bitten by a dog requires medical attention, and the Florida Department of Health has indicated that over 600 Floridians are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries every year. As such, there are a few things you should always do after being attacked by a dog.

What To Do After a Dog Bite

Being bitten or attacked by a dog can be a traumatic event, but there are four things you should always do after being bitten by a dog, both to protect your legal interests, and to minimize the chances that you will contract a disease.

  1. Contact the police and animal control
  2. Get the name and contact information of any witnesses
  3. Get evaluated by a doctor immediately
  4. Contact a dog bite attorney

1. Contact the Police and Animal Control

If you speak with any dog bite attorney in Orlando, all of them will tell you that one of the main factors you have to prove in a dog bite case is that the dog actually belongs to its owner. Although this may seem like common sense, many dog bite victims are so traumatized after the attack that they immediately leave without determining who actually owns the dog that bit them.

As such, the first thing you should always do after sustaining a dog bite is to call both the police and animal control. The police will not only investigate how the attack occurred, but they will also try to determine who the dog’s owner is. Moreover, by calling animal control, you are ensuring that you have a second source that can verify that the attack took place, and that they will ensure that the dog doesn’t attack anyone else.

2. Get the Name and Contact Information of Any Witnesses

From a legal perspective, a witness can be a valuable asset during the litigation process, because witnesses can corroborate your account of how and where the dog attack actually occurred. As such, you should always obtain the contact information of any witnesses that saw the attack take place and give this information to your dog bite attorney later.

3. Get Evaluated by a Doctor Immediately

Regardless of whether the dog bite is serious or minor, you should always get evaluated by a doctor after being attacked by a dog, because dogs do carry a number of different diseases that can be dangerous and even fatal to humans. Most accident victims are hesitant to seek medical attention, because they are unaware of how serious a dog bite can be. In this regard, 1800-Injured has compiled a list of common medical questions dog bite victims usually have.

What Kinds of Disease Can You Get From a Dog Bite?

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are five types of diseases that you can contract from a dog bite, which are listed below:

Do you Need a Tetanus Shot After a Dog Bite?

If your tetanus shots are not up-to-date, then yes, you will need to get a tetanus shot in most cases. If you are up-to-date on your tetanus shot, you normally won’t need to receive another tetanus shot, but you should always check with your doctor to make sure your vaccination is up-to-date after being bitten by a dog.

How Long Does It Take To Heal From a Dog Bite?

The length of time needed to recover from a dog bite depends on the severity of your injuries, and whether or not your wounds get infected. According to the Center for Disease Control, up to 18% of dog bites become infected with bacteria. As such, some dog bite victims can take longer to heal than others. For example: it can take a victim that has been infected with rabies anywhere from 10 days to two years to fully recover from the virus, but victims with minor dog bite injuries can heal within days or a few weeks. The big thing to remember is to always get evaluated by a doctor immediately after the dog bite has occurred and throughout the recovery process.

4. Contact a Dog Bite Attorney in Orlando

Under Florida’s Dog Bite Laws, dog owners can be held liable when their dog bites or attacks a person or another animal, but these cases can become complex depending on how the attack actually occurred. As such, you should always contact a dog bite attorney in Orlando after being bitten or attacked by a dog, because a dog bite attorney will be able to explain the legal remedies available to you for seeking damages from the dog owner, help you build your case by gathering evidence, and assist you with calculating the amount of damages you have sustained as a result of the attack.

1800-Injured is a medical and lawyer referral service that connects accident victims with local dog bite attorneys in the Orlando area. If you or a loved one have been bitten or attacked by a dog, call 1-800-Injured now to be connected with a dog bite attorney today.