The Cleveland Clinic notes that getting a tetanus shot, or at least ensuring that you are up to date on your tetanus shot, may be a worthwhile precaution after getting bitten by a dog. You do not need to get a tetanus shot after a dog bite necessarily, but you may want to mention the dog bite to a physician if you need to treat your bite wounds.
If you get bit by a dog, you may want to take measures to prevent infection from developing in the wound. Once you take care of your health, you can hire a lawyer to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner.
Tend to Your Wounds After a Dog Bite
Dogs do not receive the same oral care that humans do. They may be susceptible to housing bacteria that can cause infection if it enters your system. Healthline lists steps you should take to protect your health after suffering a dog bite, such as:
- Cleaning your wound with soap and water, antiseptics, and antibacterial lotion
- Covering the wound with a clean bandage
- Monitoring the injured area, as the effects from a dog bite may vary in severity
Other signs could indicate your dog bite wound is serious. If the dog bite wound continues to bleed, expels strange fluids, becomes excessively swollen or red, or has visible bone or muscle, you may want to seek further medical attention right away.
Inquire about the shot history of the dog that bit you if you can. If the dog is not up to date on vaccinations, you could be at a heightened risk of infection. Your doctor might say that you need to get a tetanus shot after a dog bite at this point, especially if you are showing signs of infection and have not received a shot within the past five years.
Dog Bite Infections Can Be Serious
Capnocytophaga is one of the infections you can develop after being bit by a dog, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It notes that approximately three in every 10 people who develop a severe infection pass away, underscoring the seriousness of being bit by a dog.
The CDC adds that other possible outcomes of capnocytophaga infection are:
- Amputation of an affected limb
- Heart attack
- Stomach pain
- Pain in your muscles and joints
- Kidney failure
You may suffer other unpleasant and possibly fatal symptoms due to a dog bite infection. Because dog bites can have serious health consequences, dog owners must keep their animals restrained at all times, and they may be held liable for damages if they fail to do so.
A Lawyer Can Help You Fight for Compensation After a Dog Bite
The dog owner could be held responsible for your dog bite injuries and losses. A lawyer can help you pursue any compensation that you are entitled to collect as a dog bite victim, including financial coverage for:
- The cost of shots, including a tetanus shot
- The cost of medical care to clean, sterilize, stitch, and wrap your wound
- Lost income from needing to stay home and recover from your dog bite wounds
- Treatment for psychological trauma related to your attack
- The cost of transportation if you are unable to drive because of your wounds
- Permanent disability, scarring, or disfigurement
Your lawyer can calculate your losses and assign a total value to your damages. They can then initiate the claims process.
A Lawyer Will Aim to Prove Negligence
Negligence is the basis for a personal injury claim. Your lawyer will aim to prove that the dog owner, and any other responsible parties involved, was negligent by:
- Showing that the dog owner owed you a duty of care, which was to protect you from their dog’s dangerous behavior
- Establishing that the owner did not protect you from their dog and, in failing to do so, violated their duty of care to you
- Showing that the dog bite resulted in your damages
Your lawyer will take appropriate measures to build your personal injury case. They can represent you in negotiations to reach a settlement or in a trial to receive a judgment. Additionally, your lawyer may also do the following:
- Defend your rights
- File all necessary paperwork
- Ensure your lawsuit reaches completion
A lawyer can handle your legal needs so that you can focus on your recovery.
Call Berger and Green Today About Your Dog Bite Injury
Do not wait to call Berger and Green, as 42 Pa. CSA § 5524 dictates that you generally have two years from the date of your dog bite to bring forth a personal injury lawsuit. We can ensure that your lawsuit is filed before the deadline.
Call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 for a free consultation.