Dog bites happen, whether the result of aggressive play or actual aggression. Some bites may seem minor at first. Many people avoid seeking medical care unless the wound seems particularly bad, opting to treat the bite at home. However, even dog bite injuries that do not seem serious right away can harbor hidden dangers like infection. It is generally best to seek medical treatment if you were bitten by a dog. Early treatment can prevent more serious complications later, but if serious complications happen to you anyway, there will be a medical record of the bite. If you were injured by a dog, you should get in contact with a qualified attorney as soon as possible so they can begin collecting evidence promptly.
What Serious Complications Can Dog Bites Cause?
Deep puncture wounds and lacerations caused by dog bites are usually immediately obvious. You may be able to tell right away if your wound will need stitches or glue. Other health complications that can arise from dog injuries may require a doctor’s diagnosis, or may not become apparent until days after the bite. If you were bitten by a dog, beware:
- Infection – Infection is the greatest hidden danger of dog bites. A bite does need to cause serious skin damage that requires stitching to result in infection. Bites by small dogs can become infected, and often go untreated because they are not seen as serious. Infections from dog bites can result in long-term hospitalizations, sepsis, and in rare cases, even be fatal.
- Nerve damage – Dog bites can cause damage to the nerves that transmit signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Some dog bite victims are left with permanent loss of functioning.
- Crushing injuries – Even if a dog bite did not break the skin, the force of the bite can still cause injuries like broken bones and torn ligaments. In the winter, this is a particular risk. People are often bitten through a thick coat or gloves and may be fooled into thinking they are not injured because they did not see blood. If the bite area hurts or is bruised, or if you are having difficulty moving the affected body part, you may need an imaging test done to check for hidden injuries.
- Disfigurement – Dog bites can cause deep lacerations and puncture wounds that leave the victim forever disfigured. Scarring and disfigurement can have a profound psychological impact – especially when the victim’s face is disfigured.
- Rabies – Rabies in domestic dogs is very rare but must be ruled out because if it is present, rabies is fatal. Taking the word of someone you may not know well – or at all – that their dog has been vaccinated is not ideal. It is best to follow the recommendations of the doctor who treats your bite, which may depend on whether the dog’s vaccination status can be proven quickly.
Dogs can be wonderful companions, but they also have the potential to cause serious harm if their owners do not maintain control over them. It is generally up to the dog’s owner to ensure that their pet does not injure a person.
Speak With a Wisconsin Dog Bites Lawyer
If you were bitten by a dog, seek appropriate medical treatment and contact an experienced Green Bay dog bites attorney as soon as you are able. The sooner an attorney is able to begin collecting evidence on your behalf, the stronger your case could be. Call Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. at 920-739-7366 to schedule a free consultation.