You might know if a dog bite is serious soon after the incident, especially if the bite breaks your skin or if the area swells significantly within a day or two after the bite. Even a dog bite that seems minor at the time it occurs can lead to significant health problems for the victim.
It is important to keep an eye on the area of the wound for several days afterward. Even if you do not seek medical care immediately after the accident, you may find that you need care later.
Infections Can Lead to Complications after a Dog Bite
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the most serious health concern after a dog bite is the possibility of infection. Because of this possibility, victims of a dog bite need to seek medical attention or receive first aid as soon as possible.
If the dog bite breaks the skin, Cleveland Clinic recommends seeing a doctor within eight hours of the bite to minimize the risk of infection. The sooner doctors are able to begin treating the potential infection, the better chance the victim has at a full recovery. Documenting any of your injuries will also be important if you later choose to pursue legal action.
Dangerous Types of Dog Bite Infections
Even with a bite that barely breaks the skin, an infection can occur. Rabies is one possible cause of illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), another potential cause of serious infection after a dog bite could include Capnocytophaga.
- Capnocytophaga: This type of infection comes from bacteria found in the mouths of many animals, including dogs. Victims will notice fever, vomiting, blisters, and swelling around the wound—often within hours of the bite.
- Rabies: If a dog infected with the rabies virus bites you, you could contract rabies. Symptoms of rabies include headache, confusion, and fever. Symptoms typically begin at a mild level, but rabies typically becomes life-threatening.
Doctors may be able to treat dog bite infections successfully if they diagnose them early enough.
Seeking a Personal Injury Settlement after a Dog Bite
If another person’s dog bites you, we can work to help you seek a settlement for your medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and reduction in quality of life. If a dog bite led to the loss of your loved one, we can help you seek compensation for their wrongful death.
According to the City of Dallas, people who allow unsecured dogs to bite and injure someone could face criminal charges. We can use this criminal charge as a key piece of evidence in helping you seek a settlement.
Keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in the event that a lawsuit is necessary for a just settlement. For this reason, we recommend beginning your case as early as possible to protect your legal rights.
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How Do You Determine the Severity of a Dog Bite?
In the immediate aftermath of a dog bite, you may need emergency medical care for your wounds. Sometimes, though, people may just choose to return home, believing that the injuries are not all that serious.
A dog bite may be considered serious if basic first aid is not stopping the bleeding or if the cut appears to be deep enough to warrant stitches. Emergency care is a smart idea, no matter how severe the bite seems to be, however.
Even if you do not seek emergency care, you should see your primary physician within a couple of days if you believe an infection is possible.
Common Injuries after a Dog Bite That You Can Include in a Personal Injury Claim
If you are going to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit after your dog bite injury, we may be able to seek a larger settlement for you if your injuries are especially severe. These injuries may leave you with permanent disfiguring, ongoing pain, or emotional trauma. However, you might be able to seek a settlement even for injuries that seem moderate. We can assess your potential case value on your behalf.
Beyond infections, some of the most severe injuries we see after a dog bite attack include:
- Facial trauma: If a dog bites the victim in the face, even a small bite can lead to scarring and disfigurement.
- Significant bleeding: Some dog bites that result in deep wounds can cause bleeding that will not stop without stitches or even surgery.
- Crushing injuries: If a large dog grabs your leg or arm in its jaws, it could cause a crushing of tendons, bones, and blood vessels, leading to lingering injuries or amputation.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: After a dog attack, some people will have trauma related to the attack that leaves them suffering from repeated nightmares or from a significant fear of dogs that reduces their quality of life.
If We Do Not Win a Settlement for You, We Do Not Receive Payment
When you hire the team at Loncar Lyon Jenkins to represent you, we will not add to the stress of your financial situation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not require payment ahead of time. Instead, our fee comes from the final settlement amount in the case.
If we do not win a settlement for you, you do not owe us anything. Call us today for a free case review.