According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 36 percent of households in the United States have at least one dog. These animals can be great companions, but they can also bite. If a dog attacked you or a family member, the result is frequently long-term injuries, psychological trauma, or death.
Injuries Commonly Caused in a Dog Attack
Unfortunately, children are more likely than adults to be bitten by dogs, and their injuries are often more severe. Young children under six are at the greatest risk.
Because dogs have extremely sharp teeth, just one bite can cause significant damage. Here are some of the most common injuries victims experience.
Although a puncture wound may not cause much bleeding and only appear to be a minor injury, it needs to be treated right away by a physician. The damage can go deep beneath the skin and can lead to severe infections or nerve issues.
Fractures and broken bones are often quite serious and require expensive medical treatments. For some adult dog bite victims, they might also require lengthy periods off work to recover. Common injuries include:
- Broken nose and facial bones
- Broken arm, wrist, hand, or fingers
- Broken leg, ankle, or foot
- Broken ribs
- Hip fractures
- Skull fractures
If a dog attacks an individual's face and eyes, they can suffer a loss of or reduced vision. Unfortunately, this is precisely where children are often injured. Damage includes:
- Corneal abrasion
- Punctures and ruptures caused by the blunt force of the attack
- Perforation or dislocation of the lens
- Orbital fractures, which are fractures of the bones surrounding the eye
- Intraocular hemorrhage, which is bleeding of the eyeball
- Loss of an eye
Not all injuries caused by dog attacks are from bites. People can suffer different forms of traumatic brain injuries if they fell and hit their heads while running away from animals, or if their heads collide with hard surfaces during attacks. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to life-long changes in a person’s vision, mobility, memory, judgment, emotions, and other abilities.
Dog bites can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement. Because of their small size, children are often bitten on the face and suffer psychological trauma of visible scars for the rest of their lives.
If the dog bite is deep, it can cause nerve damage to a person’s arms, hands, legs, face, or other parts of his body. This can result in life-long pain and limitations in mobility, which can also affect a victim’s quality of life.
The likelihood of an infection is high when a dog bites someone. Rabies, Pasteurella—which is a bacterial infection that can cause pneumonia—meningitis, blood infections, and staph and strep infections are a few of the medical complications caused by dog bites. Some infections can be severe, and even result in fatalities.
Psychological Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Dog bite victims—especially children—can suffer psychological problems and post-traumatic stress disorder from the terror of the attack and the long-term consequences of their injuries. Nightmares, fear of dogs, fear of going outside, and anxiety are a few symptoms of a psychological injury.
Your Right to Compensation If You're Injured in a Dog Attack
Under California’s dog bite laws, the owner of a dog that bites someone is strictly liable to compensate the victim for their injuries. He's responsible even if his dog never bit anyone before, or he had no knowledge of the animal's dangerous tendencies. The victim is entitled to receive financial recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Did you or a family member suffer injuries from a dog bite in the San Diego area? I'm an experienced dog bite lawyer and can take over the burden of filing your claim and fighting for rightful compensation so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Call my office or fill out the form on this page to schedule your free case evaluation to learn more.