Dog bites can be traumatizing and life-threatening. Children who are attacked by dogs may be left with serious injuries, permanent disfigurement, and a lifelong fear of dogs. As a parent, it is your job to advocate for your child and ensure they get the treatment and support they need after a dog bite.
A big part of that is ensuring they get access to the medical treatment they need after a dog bite. Our team of Atlanta dog bite attorneys is ready to hold the negligent owner accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve—just call The Stein Firm at 770-824-3107 to set up a time to talk.
Secure Your Child Immediately
When a dog bite occurs, your top priority must be getting your child to safety. Remove them from the dog’s vicinity immediately, ensuring that the dog does not attack again. You may even want to carry them out of the dog’s reach if the dog’s behavior is erratic or threatening.
Check your child’s injuries immediately. Try to assess the depth of the bite and its proximity to any organs, as this could be very dangerous for your child’s health. If the injuries are minor—for example, if the dog’s bite did not break the skin or was only superficial in nature—you may treat the bite at home with soap and water, antiseptic cream, and a bandage.
Seek Medical Care
If the bite is severe, at-home treatment may just delay the emergency care your child needs, so get to a nearby emergency care center immediately. Atlanta is home to several hospitals, including Piedmont Atlanta Hospital and Emory University Hospital.
Even if your child’s bite is minor, you still should seek medical care. Dog bites have a host of germs and bacteria that are unfamiliar to your child’s body, and infection is a very real risk. A preemptive doctor’s visit can protect your child from the worst possible outcomes of a bite.
Once you’ve been to the doctor, keep up with their care and treatment recommendations. Dog bites can become infected quickly, so do not slack on the cleaning and care of your child’s wound. Don’t forget to tend to your child’s emotional needs during this time; they are likely terrified and struggling to process what happened.
Identify the Dog and Report the Bite
You need to verify that the dog who bit your child is up-to-date on their vaccines—especially their rabies vaccine. If you’re lucky, it’s a local dog owner you know. You may also be able to identify them if the dog escaped from their own yard, as you can track them down by their address.
If at all possible, get a picture of the dog before leaving the scene and get the owner’s contact information. Once you’ve taken care of your child’s medical needs, you can reach out to the owner and get the necessary documentation.
You should also report the bite to Fulton County Animal Services. They oversee all bite reports and quarantine procedures. If the owner knew the dog was dangerous or the dog had bitten others in the past, they may take steps to protect others from them.
Follow Up with a Dog Bite Attorney in Atlanta
You may be entitled to compensation from the dog owner. Much depends on whether or not the owner knew the dog was dangerous. An owner may have reason to believe their dog is dangerous if it has bitten others in the past or displayed other aggressive behavior. There are many ways to prove that an owner should have known their dog was a danger to others. For example, your attorney may uncover proof that the dog had to be sedated for grooming or vet visits or find bite reports from neighboring counties.
The sooner you talk to an attorney about your legal options, the more time they have to uncover the evidence you need to fight for compensation.
Get the Help You Need with The Stein Firm
If a dog bite has left your little one scared and injured, hold the negligent party accountable. Take action now by reaching out to The Stein Firm. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 770-824-3107 or contacting us online.