No parent ever wants to think about their child being bitten by a dog. But unfortunately, it happens more often than we would like and it can lead to diseases, such as rabies, being passed along. So what should you do if your child is bitten by a neighbor’s dog? First and foremost, clean the wound. You should also stay calm, ask the neighbor if the dog has had its shots and seek medical attention for your child. Save all evidence of the injury and medical bills in case you decide to sue the dog owner. In this case, you will need a great personal injury lawyer. Finally, we will look at preventing dog bites from occurring.
Children and Dog Bites
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are most at risk of getting bitten by a dog. If your child is playing outside and gets bitten by a neighbor’s dog, there are a few things you should do.
First, wash the wound with soap and water. Apply pressure to the wound if it is bleeding. If the bleeding is severe, it is essential that you take your child to the hospital, though, in general, this is always recommended in case your child needs a shot.
You should also call the neighbor and ask if their dog is up to date on its shots. If so, get the contact information for their veterinarian. If not, your child will need to get a rabies shot. Remember to try to remain calm and collected so that you can assess the situation and take appropriate action.
What’s more, you should make sure to document everything that happened. Take pictures of the wound and keep a record of all medical treatment your child receives. This will be important if you decide to take legal action against the dog owner.
Seek Medical Attention
To avoid any unpleasant shocks later on, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention right away following a dog bite incident. Even if the bite does not seem serious, there is a risk of infection and sometimes children do not have the words to let you know when they are in pain or discomfort.
After you have seen a doctor, you should still watch out for signs of infection over the following days. These signs include redness, swelling, or discharge from the wound. If you notice any of these signs, take your child to the doctor again right away.
Who is Liable When My Neighbor’s Dog Bites My Child?
If your child is bitten by a dog, you may be wondering who is liable. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident. If the dog was acting in a predatory or aggressive manner, the owner may be held liable for damages.
However, if the dog was not acting aggressively and the child was trespassing or provoking the animal, the owner may not be held liable. In some cases, homeowners insurance will cover dog bite claims, regardless of who is at fault.
If you are unsure about who is liable in your situation, it is best to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. There are lawyers who deal specifically with issues of children being bitten by a dog and have expert knowledge of liability and seeking compensation. They can help you to pursue justice and have your medical expenses covered.
Preventing Dog Bites
Finally, let’s talk about preventing your child from getting bitten by a dog. Teach your child that they should not play aggressive games with dogs, like tug-of-war or wrestling. These can encourage biting behavior.
Moreover, be careful not to leave young children alone with a dog, even if the dog is friendly. Kids sometimes do things that unintentionally provoke a dog, like pulling its tail or ears, and dogs, after all, are animals that can act in unexpected ways.
As a parent, it is natural to feel protective of your child and want to take action if they are hurt in any way. However, it is vital to remain calm and take the proper steps after a neighbor’s dog bites your child. The first thing you should do is clean the wound. Then, assess the situation and make sure that your child is not seriously injured. It is always a good idea to seek medical attention following a bite incident. Once you have done that, you can think about liability for the incident. If you think the dog owner was liable, talk to a lawyer who can help you seek justice and compensation. Finally, consider how to prevent future bites.