Man’s best friend can quickly turn into a vicious enemy. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year in the U.S., with California ranking among the top ten states for the number of people bitten by dogs each year. Approximately 800,000 people need medical attention after a dog bite. The majority of dog bite victims are children. Sadly, many victims of dog bites will have permanent injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered permanent dog bite injuries, you might not know where to turn for help to protect your legal rights. Injury attorney Michael Henderson is the one you can trust to help you maximize your financial recovery. Contact the team at Henderson Law today to discuss your options with an award-winning dog bite injury lawyer.
1. Permanent Scarring From Dog Bites
A dog’s teeth are hard and sharp. They also have powerful jaws. Those physical attributes allow dogs to grasp their prey and tear it apart. Dogs don’t chew nicely and take little bites. Instead, they bite, rip and hold. As a result, you may serious and permanent injuries from the dog bite.
Unfortunately, canine teeth easily rip through skin, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. The way a dog bites makes deep, jagged tears in a person’s skin. Even if the dog bites and releases without pulling or tearing, the sharp incisor teeth can make large puncture wounds. Scar tissue forms as the wound heals where the dog’s teeth entered the skin.
Some breeds of dogs are renowned for their brutal nature. They keep attacking when their victim starts to bleed. These dogs begin to attack the soft areas on a person’s body like a person’s face. Even the most highly trained and skilled plastic surgeons will have difficulty repairing the wounds to prevent scarring and disfigurement in that situation.
Physicians have several tools at their disposal to repair dog bites. They might use skin grafts, stitches, and surgery to repair the damage. These procedures could minimize but not eliminate the risk of scarring.
Nerve damage is also a possibility. A dog’s teeth can penetrate deep enough into a person’s arm or leg to injure the victim’s neuro-pathways. You may be at risk of losing mobility or sensation in your injured hand due to nerve damage.
A provoked, scared, or sick dog will bite even if the dog has never shown a propensity for viciousness. This demeanor catches people unaware, causing a docile and friendly dog to lash out and bite. A person not expecting a friendly dog to attack might be slow to react and get bit. The dog could take a finger or a piece of a finger when defending itself. A bigger dog could take off multiple fingers from a person’s hand, or so severely damage a person’s hand, foot, or arm that that doctors might have to amputate it to save the victim’s life.
3. Infections from Dog Bites
A dog’s mouth contains many bacteria. A dog bite can lead to nasty infections. These infections can cause a wound to go septic or even gangrenous. Signs of infection might set in after a day or two. Symptoms of an infection include:
- Swelling near the bite,
- Streaky red lines coming from the bite area,
- Pus and discharge,
- Prolonged pain,
- Warmth emitting from the wound, and
Seeking medical attention for an infected wound is the best course of action.
You should try to determine if the dog had all of its shots. If the dog is not up-to-date on its vaccinations, you should see a doctor immediately. The doctor might take precautions to prevent you from developing rabies. The local animal control officer might quarantine the animal as a precaution if there is a suspicion the dog has rabies.
Psychological and Emotional Damage
Some people are naturally afraid of dogs. Others become afraid after they suffer an injury. Dog bites can cause deep and lasting stress, anxiety, fear, depression, and other psychological ailments. Some psychologists might describe the emotional response to a dog bite as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
PTSD can have a profound adverse effect on a person’s life. It may lead to sleepless nights, chronic fatigue, and withdrawal from everyday activities. Some dog bite victims find it hard to go outside out of fear of being attacked again.
A child may have an extreme psychological response to a dog bite. Not only could a child develop a deep-seated fear of dogs, but they might also have nightmares, mood swings, outbursts, and behavioral problems in response.
Complications from Dog Bites
California law allows dog bite victims to sue for damages even if the dog has never bitten before. You should consult a highly experienced dog attack attorney to help you maximize your financial recovery.
Even if you chose not to seek medical care, you may be entitled to seek compensation for a dog bite. California law allows you to seek damages for medical, financial, and emotional harm you have suffered from a dog bite and its complications.
Trustworthiness, Integrity, and Experience Get Results
Dog bite injury attorney Michael Henderson has over 25 years of experience getting results for victims who suffered injuries from dog bites. With determination, exemplary skills, and decades of experience, Michael has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients. He boasts a perfect AVVO score of 10.0 and is a member of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers, according to the National Trial Lawyers Association. These outstanding achievements reflect his integrity and effective advocacy. Contact Michael Henderson today for a free consultation and trust your valuable rights to a proven winner.