Almost five million Americans are bitten by a dog every year, and half of those dog bite victims are children between the ages of five and nine. Most dog bites are by a dog that the victim already knows — either their own dog, or one belonging to a friend or family member.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five dog bites requires medical attention. This is because a bite from a dog, cat or other animal can carry bacteria that can cause potentially serious, sometimes even fatal, infections, so any wound caused by a dog or cat bite should be treated immediately.
Follow these tips to clean and treat a dog or cat bite:
- Wash the area thoroughly with gentle soap and water.
- Apply pressure to the wound with a clean towel to stop any bleeding.
- Cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
- If there is swelling, raise the wound above your head to help reduce it.
- After a few hours, remove the bandage (unless the wound is on the face).
- Treat the wound twice daily with antibiotic ointment.
If the bite is to the head, hand or foot or it leaves a deep wound that doesn’t stop bleeding after 15 minutes of applying pressure, seek immediate medical attention.
Even though the state of Texas does not have a dog bite statute, there are many local animal control laws that, if violated, could allow a dog bite victim to recover compensation for a bite. For example, if you live in an area that requires all dogs to be leashed and you are bitten by an unleashed dog, you may be able to recover under what is known as the “negligence per se” doctrine. You just need to prove that there was a statute violation and that this violation caused your injuries.
The statute of limitations to file a dog bite lawsuit in Texas is two years from the date of the incident. After that, you are not entitled to any recovery.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.