A dog can be man’s best friend. A dog can also cause serious injury if it attacks or bites someone, regardless of the reason.

While some dog bites result in a minor injury that can be treated at home, this is not always the case. Here are some things you can do immediately following a bite accident:

  • Place a clean towel over the area to stop any bleeding
  • Keep the area elevated
  • Wash the bite with water and soap
  • Apply a bandage to the cut

Although you may believe this is enough to treat the affected area, you won’t know for sure until you visit with a doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry, as some dog bites require more advanced treatment.

Here are some of the questions a doctor may ask you:

  • Are you familiar with the owner of the dog?
  • Do you know if the dog is current with all its vaccinations?
  • Do you have any health conditions that could result in you being at greater risk of infection?

It’s never easy to deal with the aftermath of a dog bite or attack, so it’s best to consult with a medical team that can walk you through the treatment and recovery process.

Depending on the details surrounding the situation, you may be able to seek compensation from the negligent party. This isn’t something that always comes into play, but you should consider if it’s an option. The money you receive can be used for everything from paying medical bills to paying for personal expenses if you’re unable to work for an extended period of time.

Source: Web MD, “Dog Bites,” accessed Oct. 25, 2017