If you’re bitten by a dog, the chances are that you’re going to be hurting. Dog bites can be deep and may damage bone, tissue, ligaments and more.

Of course, the most significant issue for someone who has suffered from a dog bite is the risk of infection. If you are bitten by a dog, one of the things you may want to do is to go to the hospital and obtain antibiotics. Sometimes, the hospital will provide IV antibiotics and require you to have surgery to clean out the wound. Those steps minimize the risk of an infection taking hold.

Usually, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention the same day as a dog bite. Most people do because these bites can be bloody and scary. If you don’t know if the dog has had its vaccines, try to secure it or to have someone else secure it. That way, it can be monitored and tested for serious diseases for which you may need additional medical treatments.

How soon do you need to seek attention for a dog bite?

Depending on the severity of the bite, you might not rush to the hospital right away. Infections can begin in as few as eight hours from the time of the bite, so getting early treatment is a good idea.

If you’re bitten, the owner of the dog is generally going to be held liable. You may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against them or be able to negotiate a settlement that will help you cover your losses.