What To Do Right After a Dog Bite or Attack | The Law Offices of G Turner Howard III

Anyone who’s endured a dog bite or attack can testify to the fact that it’s a scary experience. The trauma alone can be a lot to deal with afterwards, but there’s also medical bills and third-party accountability to consider.

You shouldn’t have to deal with these things on your own. By hiring a personal injury attorney to fight for your rights, you’ll have more time to focus on healing physically and emotionally— without the stress of a complex legal process.

Avoid infection by seeking help immediately

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “roughly 50% of dog bites introduce bacteria” to a wound. “Unvaccinated and feral dogs can also potentially carry and transfer rabies,” meaning the more you know about the dog that bit you, the better. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

No matter whose dog bit you or why, it’s important to seek medical care and legal support as soon as possible, so you can receive the fast, fair compensation you deserve.

7 steps to take right after a dog bite or attack

Though each case is different, there are things everyone can and should do to ensure their own safety after a dangerous encounter with a dog. Experts in health and wellness at the Cleveland Clinic recommend these seven easy steps to lower your risk of infection or complications after a dog bite or attack:

  1. Gently wash the wound with a mild soap and run warm water over it for 5-10 minutes. This will help ensure the wound is protected while you seek medical attention.
  2. Slow the bleeding by softly pressing a clean cloth to the wound. Do not press hard enough to cause further damage or pain.
  3. If accessible, apply antibiotic cream. Common over-the-counter brands include Neosporin and Equate’s Triple Antibiotic Ointment. As an alternative, you can also use petroleum jelly products, such as Vaseline, to keep the wound clean and moisturized.
  4. Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage to prevent any dirt or bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.
  5. See a doctor! This is the most important step of all, as you may not realize just how severe your symptoms are in the moment. While this article provides tips for maintaining a healthy wound right after an incident, only a licensed doctor can provide the comprehensive care you need to heal quickly and properly.
  6. Change your bandage every day based on your doctor’s advice after examining the wound. Typically, they will have you do this multiple times a day, reapplying over-the-counter ointment in between changes.
  7. Watch for signs of infection. This can include redness, swelling, increased pain, or fever.

Hiring an attorney: what does the process look like?

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered after a dog bite or attack. After decades of experience serving clients in personal injury cases, the G3 Help Me team knows exactly which questions need to be asked right away. For example:

  • Did the bite occur on public or private property?
  • Was the dog prone to attacks?
  • Did the owner have enough time to provide ample warning?
  • How severely do the injuries sustained affect your daily life?

The first step in getting you a fair settlement is asking questions like this during your free, confidential case evaluation. By discussing any unique factors involved in your situation, we’ll be able to provide a more in-depth picture of what you can expect from your case. Then, we’ll take your case to court and fight on your behalf… Because you deserve the best!

If you or someone you know in Knoxville or the Tri-Cities is looking for help after sustaining a dog bite injury, we’re here to help. 
Give us a call at (865) 658-4012 to schedule your free, confidential case evaluation today. And as always, stay safe out there.

*Information in this article was sourced from Cleveland Clinic’s online forum, Health Essentials.


After spending his secondary years of study at The McCallie School in Chattanooga, G Turner Howard III earned his BA at Tulane University. A member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, he received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Before becoming an attorney, he earned a Master’s and Doctor of Divinity at Andrews Theological Seminary and Columbia Theological Seminary. He also served as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army in Vietnam. With more than 20 years of experience, his firm has helped clients receive millions of dollars for personal injury, and in many cases, much faster than they ever expected.
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