To know if a dog bite is serious, you must get examined by a medical professional. If you had to seek medical treatment for a dog bite, and another party is found liable for your injury, you might be legally entitled to compensation for your injury.
It is important to note that any dog bite can be serious, especially one that breaks the skin. A dog bite wound is a potentially life-threatening injury, with complications that may include:
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
If left untreated, the bacterial infection from a dog bite might spread to other areas of the body and lead to sepsis, which can become fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three out of 10 people die from a serious dog bite infection.
The CDC also reports that nearly one in five dog bite injuries do need medical attention to avoid complications. It may be hard to judge if a dog bite is serious from just looking at it with the naked eye, but extreme pain is an early sign you should seek formal medical attention. If you are experiencing discomfort, visit a hospital.
Know Which Key Symptoms to Watch Out For
Dog bite injuries are typically treatable, even if serious complications develop. However, permanent injuries could also result from a dog bite if left untreated. There are a few telltale symptoms that let a person know if they have a serious dog bite, such as:
- Growing redness: This can be a sign that the wound is becoming infected.
- Rotten smell: Wounds need to air out and breathe, or bacteria will fester.
- Fever: Shivering or chills may be a sign of a severe dog bite infection.
- Large asymmetrical discoloration of wound: This can be a sign of gangrene, another serious infection that can result from a dog bite.
These symptoms are clear and strong signals that you need to go to an urgent care clinic or emergency room to treat your injury.
Dog bite injuries are covered by most health insurance or homeowner’s insurance plans. This means that you will likely not be dealing directly with the dog’s owner. This can be a relief for victims who were bitten by a friend’s or neighbor’s dog. If the dog’s owner has insurance, they will also not be paying out of pocket for your injuries.
Be Sure to Get Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Much of the risk of a moderate dog bite wound can be mitigated by proper care. It is important to practice the following if you have a moderately serious dog bite wound:
- Rest: Resting helps diminish physical stress in the wounded area.
- Ice: A Ziplock or plastic bag with water and ice cubes may ease inflammation.
- Compression: Using a bandage to compress a wound may stop the bleeding.
- Elevation: Elevating the wounded area lowers blood pressure at the wound site and mitigates swelling.
- Breathability: Allowing the wound to breathe helps to avoid infection.
Practicing wound care for dog bites helps to prevent infection from developing. It can also help to prevent scarring. The effects of scarring are far-reaching. In addition to causing embarrassment if they are in a highly visible place, such as the face, scars can also hinder movement.
For a free legal consultation, call (412) 661-1400
You May Be Entitled to Compensation for a Serious Dog Bite
Dog owners owe a duty of care to people around them, usually to restrain their pets from harming others. In Pennsylvania, owners of dangerous dogs must always keep their dogs confined within their yard or on a leash. If they fail to do so and their dog bites someone, they can be liable for any injuries the victim suffered. Establishing that the dog that attacked you was dangerous can be difficult, especially while you are focusing on recovering from a serious injury. A lawyer can help.
If your case is successful, compensation to which you are available may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Once a lawyer investigates your case, they can help you determine the value of your case.
Contact a Law Firm About Your Dog Bite
If you have medical bills or lost wages due to a bite from someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to financial compensation. A representative with Berger and Green may answer your questions during a free consultation about your case.
It costs nothing to have a conversation with us, so call us today at (412) 661-1400. We handle cases on a contingency-fee-basis, so you owe us nothing unless and until you recover compensation.