Infection is a serious risk of a dog bite.
For most people, dogs are man’s best friend (or woman or child’s!). They can bring an immeasurable amount of love and joy to a family’s life. However, dogs can also present a danger. If they are not properly trained, cared for and monitored, they may become aggressive and attack other people. In some cases, dog bites can result in serious injuries or even fatalities.
Dog bite laws vary from state to state. In California and Arizona, owners of dogs are generally responsible if their dogs bite others while they are public property or if they are lawfully on private property. This is true regardless of whether or not the dog has bitten anyone in the past or otherwise shown a tendency to be aggressive or vicious. In other states, there may be a requirement to prove that the dog had a history of being aggressive or even biting someone before the owner is held liable for a dog bite. However, if the victim in a dog bite case has done something to provoke the dog — such as hitting it or taunting it — then even in states such as Arizona or California, the owner’s liability for the bite may be reduced. In the majority of cases, the dog owner’s renter’s or homeowner’s insurance will cover a claim for a dog bite. An experienced dog bite lawyer can help you determine if you have a viable claim for a dog attack.
Every year, there are more than 4.5 million injuries due to dog bites in the United States. The most common types of injuries are flesh wounds, such as punctures at the site of the bite. As a general rule, this type of flesh injury will result in bleeding, bruising, stiffness, pain, soreness and perhaps scars. If treated properly by cleaning, applying anti-bacterial cream and bandaging, this type of injury will usually not involve complications. However, if a person is bitten by a larger dog — or if a smaller person or child suffers a deeper bite — then more significant injuries can result. A deeper bite can result in torn ligaments and muscles or even broken bones. This can result in the need for emergency medical treatment, stitches or even surgery.
The primary complication from dog bites is infection, which occurs in approximately 20 percent of dog bite cases. There are a number of different types of infections that can occur from a dog bite, which range from relatively mild to potentially fatal in terms of seriousness. They include:
- Tetanus: a toxin caused by bacteria that can lead to paralysis in humans who are not vaccinated. This is particularly problematic in deep bite wounds.
- Rabies: a virus that can be transferred from the saliva of an infected dog or other animal through a bite; it spreads to the brain of the infected person or animal and is almost always fatal.
- MRSA: a deadly bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotics.
- Pasteurella: a common type of bacteria found in infected dog bites, which can cause pain, redness and swelling at the site of the bite.
- Capnocytophaga spp.: this is a type of bacteria that lives in a dog’s mouth, and can be spread through a bite, particularly to those with weakened immune systems.
If you have been attacked by a dog, you will need an experienced dog bite lawyer to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation and learn how we can help you. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!