If you’re bitten by a dog in Austin, Texas, you may be interested in looking into all of your legal options to get compensation for your injury. After all, you should not have to cover the medical bills if the bite was the result of someone else’s negligence, for example. However, before you get to the legal aspects of the situation, you need to make sure that you treat the bite properly so that the injury does not get worse.

The first thing to do is to wash the wound out. You can typically do this with warm water and a little soap. While it may sting, the water takes the edge off. You then want to take a clean cloth, like a washcloth, and press it down over the bite. Hold it there until you can see that the bleeding has stopped. The pressure can help the blood coagulate.

After taking the towel away, you still want to keep the wound clean, so you need to get a sterile bandage and put it over the damaged tissue. Then you should try to keep the bite elevated, if possible. If you can — when the bite is on your arm, for instance — raise it up higher than your heart. This will keep it from swelling too quickly, and it can help fight infection.

Finally, you want to get in touch with a doctor. He or she can provide extensive treatment and give you antibiotic ointment that can promote clean healing.

Taking these steps can help you get through the incident, but you still may experience a lot of discomfort, pain and suffering, emotional distress or medical costs, which is why the last step should be investigating your legal options.

Source: Family Doctor, “Cat and Dog Bites” Oct. 17, 2014