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Should You Go to the Hospital after a Dog Bite?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Chicago personal injury attorneysEach year, millions of Americans are bitten by dogs. Although some bites might seem minor, many of them end up causing serious complications which can cost our clients thousands of dollars. At Livas Law Group, a Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we meet with dog bite victims to discuss their legal options, but they need quality medical care first.

Below, we review some of the relevant considerations to keep in mind. To obtain compensation, please contact us as soon as possible.

Go to the Hospital if the Dog Breaks the Skin

Some wounds are merely superficial, more like scratches. However, if the wound is bleeding, then it is definitely something your doctor should look at. A dog’s sharp teeth can sever veins, damage soft tissue, and possibly kill nerves. Your doctor can fully assess the damage. Ideally, you should go to the doctor or hospital as soon as possible.

If bleeding is heavy, hold a towel over the wound and apply pressure. This should help limit the amount of blood loss. Very deep wounds, however, might not stop bleeding without a doctor’s help, and you could need stitches to close the wound.

Clean the Wound if Possible

You can try to clean a superficial wound yourself using warm water and soap. Remove any debris that might have gotten into the wound, then cover with a sterile bandage before heading to the hospital. Cleaning the wound helps you assess the seriousness of the injury and kills some bacteria that might have gotten inside.

Watch for Complications

Even if your wound is superficial, it could become infected with one of the many germs in the dog’s mouth. About half of all dog bites become infected, so this is a real concern. If the wound shows any of the following signs of infection, go to a doctor:

  • Redness
  • Pus draining
  • Warmth
  • Intense pain

The doctor can prescribe antibiotics to stop the spread of the infection and promote wound healing.

Try to Learn the Dog’s Vaccination History

One serious complication is rabies. Not all dogs have rabies, but you will need immediate treatment if they do. If you know the dog, then find out if the dog has received a rabies vaccination. Your doctor will want to know that.

Visit a Doctor if You Experience Flashbacks or Anxiety

No one should overlook the emotional effects of a dog bite. Many people, including children, suffer intense emotional distress, including nightmares, anxiety, and flashbacks. If you find yourself re-living the dog attack, you could suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.

Emotional distress requires different types of intervention, such as prescription drugs to help with depression, anxiety, or sleeplessness, and sometimes therapy to talk through what you are feeling.

Speak with an Illinois Dog Bite Lawyer Today

Dog bites are serious injuries, and many of our clients incur substantial costs due to medical care and lost wages. At Livas Law Group, a Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, our skilled Chicago personal injury lawyers will fight for the compensation our clients need. Contact us today at 312-804-6102 to schedule a free consultation.




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