Here in the United States we love our dogs, but it can’t be denied: sometimes dogs do bite people. If you’re suffering from a dog bite, you may be hesitant to obtain medical treatment. After all, what are the risks? It’s “only a dog bite”. As it turns out, dog bites can actually cause quite severe damage.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year, with children accounting for half of this number. While a dog bite may not be serious, about one in every five of those bitten, or 885,000 people, require medical attention. Again, children account for half of this number. And exactly how severe can dog bites be? Quite serious, as it turns out. Over 27,000 people required reconstructive surgery to repair the damage caused by dog bites.
In addition to the psychological trauma experienced by the dog bite victim – particularly so in the case of a child – the physical damage caused by a dog bite can be quite extensive. One problem is that the damage that’s been sustained often cannot be ascertained simply by looking at the wound. Because dogs’s teeth are rounded, the wound from a dog bite may not look severe from the surface, but depending on the pressure exerted by the dog, extensive damage may have occurred to underlying tissue.
There is also the issue of rabies. If the rabies status of the attacking dog cannot be determined, rabies treatment will be necessary. Rabies treatment can prevent rabies, but if treatment isn’t started and a person develops the symptoms of rabies, the risk of death is extremely high. Tetanus may also be a problem, if your tetanus immunizations are not up to date.
So when you should get treatment for a dog bite? If the victim is an adult, medical treatment should be sought if the dog bite punctures, tears or lacerates the skin, or if there is pain near or at the site of the wound. In cases where the victim is an infant or a child, medical evaluation of the dog bite should always be obtained.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a serious injury related to a dog bite, an experienced California personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact Bradley Kramer and his experienced legal team today to schedule your free consultation.