DC Dog Bite Personal Injury Attorney
Many dogs are sweet, gentle creatures around people they know. But our furry friends can feel threatened and anxious when around people they don’t. Sometimes, they bite and attack. Nearly 5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, with injuries ranging from minor cuts to severe infections and possible death.
Types of Injuries from a Dog Bite
On the minor side, and the injuries that make up the majority of dog bites, are cuts, scratches, rashes and bruises. These don’t require a hospital visit, or stitches. A bandaid and some Neosporin will do the trick.
Another common injury is a deep wound. Severe bites like punctures and skin tears may result in torn muscles and ligaments, requiring surgery and stitches.
The most dangerous of injuries one can suffer from a dog bite are bacterial. After the dog’s teeth puncture the skin, bacteria is injected to the body. Of these infections, tetanus, pasteurella, and MRSA are common.
Tetanus is possible usually if the dog has interacted with soil. Tetanus bacteria is found in soil dust and manure. This bacteria gives rise to tetanus, causing lockjaw, difficulty swallowing, and widespread pain.
Pasteurella is found in 75% of pet bites. It causes redness and inflammation, which sometimes develops into infections of the bones and abscesses. If it goes untreated, pneumonia may occur.
The development of MRSA (staph) depends on where the infection occurred. It can lead to skin irritations like listers and abscesses, and can travel to the bloodstream and lungs. MRSA is especially dangerous because it will not respond to common antibiotics (methicillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin).
Less common but more serious bacterial infections are capnocytophaga and rabies. The former is found in the mouths of dogs. It doesn’t make the animal sick, but can cause infections and sepsis. It is especially dangerous to immunocompromised individuals. Rabies is spread to humans by the saliva of infected animals. Fortunately, it is not common due to widespread vaccination. However, it is fatal when not treated. Rabies causes flu-like symptoms, discomfort, cerebral dysfunction, delirium, and more. If the owner of the dog who bit you does not have proof of vaccination, seek treatment immediately.
Dogs are more likely to bite if they feel threatened. Never hit or tease dogs, or disturb a eating, sleeping, or playing dog. Use caution.
After a dog bite homeowners insurance often will pay for medical treatment, scarring, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
If you’ve suffered injuries from a dog bite, call the experienced attorneys at Cohen & Cohen today for a free case evaluation. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.