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Injuries & Complications Resulting from Dog Bite Attacks


Personal Injury

Over 4 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S., and of these, nearly a quarter will require emergency medical treatment. Injuries from dog bites are unique in comparison to other types of injuries, due their potential to cause severe injury at the time of the accident, as well as concurrent or subsequent complications due to infection. The Dog Bite Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. represent the victims of dog attacks in Gainesville, Ocala, and surrounding areas in Alachua or Marion counties.

The most common type of injuries in a dog bite attack involve some type of penetration to the skin, such as a puncture wound, scrape, scratch, cut, or other type of laceration. When a dog bites a person or other animal, there are two types of injuries in particular that can cause serious damage. The first involves puncture wounds, which if deep enough can cause damage to multiple layers of skin, muscles, or internal organs, in addition to presenting a risk for infection. The second type of skin injury that can cause serious damage involves tearing of the skin, which can occur when a dog clenches ahold of and/or shakes its victim.

Because our skin serves as a protective barrier, when it is pierced by an object, there are a variety of injuries that can occur to internal components of our body. For example, the powerful strength of a dog’s jaw can cause crushing injuries to internal organs, and in some cases even bones. In addition, dog bite injuries can result in damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, blood vessels, joints, and nerves which can result in partial or full loss of use of a body part and neuropathy, as well as a variety of degenerative conditions and future complications.

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Dog Bite Attacks also have the potential to cause severe scarring and disfigurement. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 30, 000 dog bite victims in the U.S. require reconstructive procedures to a repair dog bite injury. In severe cases, the disfiguring injury can even involve loss of a limb. Often, a victim will attempt to fight off an attacking dog using their hands, which can result in severe injury or loss of hands or fingers.

By far, the most problematic concern of dog bite attacks is the potential risk for infection. It is estimated that nearly 15-20% of dog bites become infected. The most common type of dog bite infections involve bacterial infections, such as Staphylococcus Aureus, Streptylococci, and Pasteurella. Depending on the type and severity of infection, there are a number of diseases and medical conditions which can result, such as impetigo, cellulitis, and in more serious cases, bacteremia, sepsis, and meningitis.

While most dog bite infections are bacterial in nature, some bites can cause viral infections, such as rabies. Due to the risk of infection, it is important that dog bite victims seek immediate medical attention in any attack where the skin has been penetrated, no matter how minor the incident. If you or a loved one were injured in a dog attack, understanding your legal rights, and taking measures to protect them, can help ensure that you receive any compensation deserved.