Dogs are man’s best friend, but unfortunately they are animals with an inclination to bite. Dog bites occur suddenly and quickly because you are unaware about the specific dog’s body language. Bite injuries can be in the form of fracture, scarring, and infection. These can cause significant physical and emotional pain. Dog attacking children can be traumatic for the victimized kid.
Types of dog bite injuries
Fractures – Dog attacks with compressive force and its jaw is capable of crushing your bones resulting in comminuted fractures. These fractures are linked with puncture wounds from dog’s teeth, which is vulnerable to bacterial infection. Thus, the victim not only suffers from skin wounds, but also is in pain from broken bones.
Moreover, if the bacteria from dog’s mouth contaminate the injury then it can root infection ranging from compliant uneasiness to fatal complications. In addition, if the person is diabetic or has pre-existing health issues, it can cause a delay for treatment can also contribute infection.
Majority of wounds are inflicted on head, face, and neck. Fingers, hands, wrist, and forearm are common sites because the victim attempts to protect themselves from the attack. Facial lacerations may need extensive reconstructive surgery.
Scarring – Depending on the wound size and depth of the bite wound, surgery or stitches may be needed. Many deep wounds, especially around visible areas may leave scarring and the victim can opt to undergo plastic surgery. Scarring in children can profound the impact on the kids mind and may experience emotional pain due to sustained scarring in visible areas.
Emotional suffering – Making sense of this traumatic accident can take time to regain a sense of security, especially kids. They may remain quiet and withdrawn. Counseling from mental health professionals will be needed.
What are my rights if I’m bitten by a dog? Well, there are several steps to be taken to ensure physical and emotional recovery.
- Identify the dog, its owner and where it lives.
- Even if the dog bite looks minor get it checked out because broken skin can possibly get infected.
- If the wound is minor and you treat it at home then clean the wound with clean water and dettol. Dog’s mouth is a breeding place for many bacteria, which can source infections. Washing allows removing the saliva and unsafe bacteria near the wound.
- At the local health department, report the bite. If it is a stray dog then you will be forced to take several rabies shots. These are painful and expensive.
- File a report at the police station and local animal control department.
- Identify the owner, check the dog’s history, license number, address because you have a legal right to compensation, under dog bite law.
- Take pictures of wounds, as soon as possible. It is necessary to document the extent of wounds.
- Dog bite laws are intricate and will need help from a dog bite advocate.
- They will help you prepare evidence including photographs, medical records, and witness statements.
- You may be eligible to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain & suffering as well as other expenses related to your injury.