There can be numerous long lasting effects from a single dog bite, and an experienced lawyer knows the psychological and physical damages that can be the result of just one incident. The National Canine Research Council reported an estimated 4.5 million canine injuries occur annually. Of those, 19.4 percent required minor medical treatment, and less than 1 percent required hospitalization. While a recent report states that a person is almost 4 times more likely to suffer a serious injury caused by shoes and socks, injuries caused by a canine are more likely to result in lifelong trauma.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend visiting a physician after any canine injury such as a tear, laceration, or puncture. If there is any discomfort or pain close to the injury site, damage could have happened underneath the skin, so medical care may be necessary.
If there is no breaking of the skin, the person should watch the injury site for warmth, redness, pain, swelling, and pus drainage. If any signs of infection or pain become present, medical care is needed.
Note: Infants and children account for approximately 78 percent of all canine attacks, and a healthcare provider should be seen after any type of dog bite.
A minor flesh wound can expose a victim to rabies. Rabies is a vicious disease that may not show immediate symptoms. In other words, just because the canine “looks okay” does not mean it is. It is common for an infection to spread from a small scratch or non-puncture injury.
Think about this: According to CDC statistics, 97 percent of all rabies fatalities are a result of an untreated canine injury. Rabies is a fatal disease if not treated promptly.
In around .01 percent of incidents, a fatality occurs from a seemingly non-remarkable dog bite. A lawyer, if consulted, can advise the victim or survivors of legal recourse. Almost every state has stiff penalties for negligent pet owners. In fact, a pet owner may find criminal charges and fines imposed on them for proven negligence.
Owners are legally responsible for the actions of their animals. Most states have leash laws, dog bite laws, roaming laws, and other rules that ensure the owner is always aware of and in control of their canine. Those same owners are required to guarantee public safety and not possess an animal that is a nuisance or potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, there are irresponsible pet owners and unpredictable pets.
With any dog bite, a lawyer can determine the responsibility and liability of the pet owner. The victim can prepare for the consultation by making a list of all the medical providers before contacting the attorney. It is also a good idea to obtain any police reports. The victim should get pictures of the injured area as well. All of this information will help the attorney make the best case possible against the negligence of the pet owner.