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December 3, 2014

What are the Potential Complications of Bite Injuries?

furiousAccording to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA [1]), there are an estimated 70 to 80 million dogs owned in the United States. While dog ownership provides many benefits to humans and our canine companies alike, dogs also have the potential to cause serious injury when they bite. Dogs have extremely powerful jaws that can exert hundreds of pounds of pressure per square inch, potentially doing serious damage to human tissues. Fortunately, state law often allows people who are bitten by dogs to recover for their medical expenses and other associated expenses. To start the process of making a claim, victims should discuss their case with an experienced personal injury lawyer in their state.

Dog Bites can Cause Serious Complications

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report [2] that approximate 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. While the initial injury associated with a dog bite can often be extremely painful and cause other issues, sometimes what is more concerning to victims are the complications that can develop as a secondary result of the initial attack. These can include the following:

Neurological damage – Nerves do not regenerate as well as other human tissues, and dog bites that cause neurological damages may result in numbness, tingling, or even the loss of mobility in certain parts of the body.

Infection – Contrary to popular belief, dogs’ mouths are not actually more sanitary than our own. The reality is that dogs’ mouths contain millions of bacteria that could potentially infect a wound. In some cases, an infection develops long after a bite has occurred but while a wound is still healing.

Emotional trauma – A dog attack can be a traumatizing experience. For some people, an attack may trigger an emotional response that significantly affects their lives. Some may develop a fear of dogs that keeps them from enjoying activities they once enjoyed, due to the ubiquity of household pets. These and other emotional issues may be compensable through a personal injury case arising from a dog bite.

The laws regarding dog bite injuries can be complicated and vary greatly from state to state. Consequently, anyone who has been injured in a dog bite should discuss their case with an experienced lawyer in their jurisdiction.

[1] http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-statistics

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/dog-bites/

 

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