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Dog Bite Injuries

With more than an estimated 87 million dogs in the United States, it is not unusual for dog bite accidents to occur. Dog bites are common occurrences in Mooresville, Lake Norman, and across the state of North Carolina. Unfortunately, dog bites can be extremely traumatic and they can cause serious harm and even death. If you are the victim of a dog bite injury, you may need to consult with an experienced Mooresville dog bite attorney. If the dog owner was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Diseases and Risks from Dog Bite Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in five people who suffer a dog bite need to seek medical attention. It is likely that many thousands of dog bites go unreported, especially if the dog bites someone within its own family.

One of the reasons that dog bites are dangerous is because they can easily become infected. Some bites are deep and tear not only the skin but the underlying tendons, nerves, and muscles. Infections can often occur because bites are deep and because dogs carry a number of germs.

Rabies is the most well-known of the diseases that you can get from a dog bite. Rabies is a serious disease because it is often fatal. The virus spreads to the brain and once symptoms are apparent, it is too late to provide successful treatment. Pasteurella is a common type of bacteria that is present in many dog bite wounds. It can cause redness and swelling and can spread to the glands and joints. It most often affects those with compromised immune systems.

Capnocytophaga is a type of bacteria that is almost always present in dogs and cats. It does not make them sick and it rarely makes people sick. However, it can cause illness in those who have weakened immune systems, especially when it is spread through an open wound. Tetanus is a toxin that is produced by a specific type of bacteria. It can cause paralysis in people and may be a potential problem in dog bite wounds, especially those that are deep.

Preventing Dog Bite Injuries

It is important to try to prevent dog bite injuries from occurring. Small children are often the most likely to get bitten by a dog. As a parent, teach young children to treat dogs respectfully and do not allow kids to approach or pet unfamiliar dogs. Do not allow children to be alone with a dog, even the family pet. Never disturb a dog while he is eating as this can cause a negative reaction.

Dog owners are required to keep their dogs on a leash and under their control. When a dog owner does not take the steps necessary to prevent a dog bite, he or she may be considered negligent. You may need to take legal action against a negligent dog owner if you suffered a serious dog bite in Mooresville.

What to do After a Dog Bite Injury

Anytime a dog bite breaks the skin, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You must clean the wound with warm, soapy water right away. Apply pressure to the wound to prevent excess bleeding and wrap the wound in a clean, dry towel. Even small bites and scratches can lead to dangerous illnesses, so it is best to go to the doctor or emergency room.

Contact the police and try to find out the owner’s name, address, and phone number. The owner will need to provide proof that the dog was vaccinated for rabies and other diseases. If the owner cannot be found or cannot prove that the dog was vaccinated, you will need to undergo treatment for the prevention of rabies.

Report the dog bite to animal control. They will investigate the situation and determine how it needs to be handled. If the owner knew that the dog was dangerous or the dog previously bit someone, the owner may be negligent.

Take note as to whether there were any witnesses to what occurred. Sometimes there may be a surveillance video that caught the incident. Take photos of the wound immediately following the incident as well as during the healing process. Keep copies of all your medical records and bills so that you can request reimbursement for your expenses.

Contact the Arnold & Smith, PLLC Attorneys At Law today to discuss the details of your case. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries including money for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

Resources:

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention