Most people know what to do after they’ve sustained an injury that punctures the skin – clean and cover the wound, then find medical care if necessary. Dog bite injuries, however, need a more specialized treatment considering the various viruses and bacteria present in an animal’s mouth that could enter a victim’s bloodstream. If a dog has bitten you or your child, our Kansas City dog bite lawyer suggests taking these steps immediately to protect your health and the safety of others in Kansas City.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Injury In Kansas City
Millions of dog bites occur every year throughout the United States, with half of the victims being children. The most important step to take following a dog bite or attack is to properly manage the wound. Here are the most important steps to follow after a dog bite to maintain health and prevent infection:
1: Clean the Wound
Wash out a dog bite area with soapy water and apply antibiotic ointment as the wound heals. Dog bites are incredibly unsanitary injuries, and the most important step to avoid infection is to sterilize the bite with soap and water to prevent further damage while awaiting medical care.
2: Follow First Aid
Elevate the dog bite and cover the wound. Make sure to cover the bite with a sterile bandage or towel to stop any bleeding as well.
3: Get Medical Care
Dog bites can be severe injuries, even if they do not appear to be particularly dangerous. The highest risk from a dog bite is infectious disease and infection from bacteria. Following a dog bite, go to a doctor immediately. This is also important for establishing medical testimony for a personal injury claim.
What to Do to Prevent Future Dog Bites
The greatest predictor of a dog bite is the dog’s history and past behavior. This holds true even more than popular beliefs about certain breeds and their aggression. Most dog bites occur from familiar dogs or even household pets. The more dogs in a house, the more likely one of the dogs is to bite. Avoiding a bite requires taking precautions to minimize risk, and several common-sense ways exist to avoid a bite in the future.
Never approach an unfamiliar dog and start petting it. Ask permission from owners first, and make sure the dog does not have a history of aggression. When approached by an unfamiliar or stray dog, keep your distance, do not make eye contact, and do not pet unless they sniff you and do not show signs of backing away.
Monitor a dog’s behavior – often a dog will attack not because they are aggressive in nature, but because a person fails to understand the dog’s limitations and needs. Stressed dogs are more likely to attack, so do not corner an animal at any time and do not disturb them while sleeping. As an owner, make sure to warn guests about your dog’s limitations – particularly if they have a history of not getting along with groups like men or children.
Kansas City Dog Bite Laws
Missouri statutes do not make exceptions for liability if a dog attacks for the first time. Statute 273.036 assigns liability for a dog bite to the owner, regardless of history. Unlike many states with “dangerous dog” laws that can declare a dog with a history of attacks dangerous, Missouri requires strict control over a dog’s behavior – meaning courts hold owners responsible for protecting guests or visitors to their property, even for trespassers.
In many cases, the authorities can’t do much after a dog bite, especially if it’s the animal’s first offense. However, talking with a dog bite injury attorney may help you get fair compensation and prevent future attacks from others in the area and allow you to determine your next steps to seek justice for your injuries.