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Being a dog bite victim can be painful and confusing. Perhaps, one minute you were petting a seemingly friendly dog, then the next you are applying pressure to a deep wound to stop the bleeding.

If a dog does bite you — friendly or not — you might be eligible for compensation to help you heal from the injury. Moments after you are bit, it’s important to try not to let the pain prevent you from careful follow-up.

Speak to owner

After a dog bites you, one of the first things you should do is ask for contact information from the dog’s owner. You don’t have to decide whether you’d like to seek damages at the scene. But if there isn’t a specific person responsible for taking care of the pet, then it’ll be difficult to file a claim. Having a way to contact the owner will also help you obtain vaccination history about the dog to verify they don’t have rabies.

See a doctor

Since infection can happen, it’ll be important to clean the wound with water. From there, you will want to try to stop the bleeding by pressing a clean cloth on the cut, apply antibacterial cream and put on a bandage to keep the wound area clean.

Even if you clean the cut and get the blood flow to stop on your own, receiving medical attention is crucial. By having a medical professional evaluate your wound, you will find out if stitches or surgery is necessary. You can also get peace of mind that the cut isn’t infected or that you haven’t contracted rabies. Plus, it’ll provide a record for the dog owner’s insurance company or attorneys to reference if you seek compensation for medical bills or pain and suffering.

Get legal help

After going through a traumatic experience, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything bedsides restoring your health. To help you with the legal side of your recovery, a personal injury attorney can assist you with the settlement process.