The number of animal attacks has increased significantly over the years. Today, dogs bite millions of Americans every year. A significant number of these attacks cause serious injuries. Some of these serious injuries are outlined below. Much like the number of attacks, the medical bills associated with these bites have increased, as well. That is partly due to high medical bill inflation and mostly due to a better understanding of dog bite injuries.
These victims can work with a Marietta personal injury attorney and obtain the compensation they need and deserve in these situations. Dog bite victims have several options in Georgia, and each option has some pros and cons. However, a number of insurance company defenses are available as well. Common ones include provocation, which is a form of comparative fault, and assumption of the risk, which usually involves a “Beware of Dog” warning sign. So, only the most aggressive and experienced lawyers should handle these cases.
Direct Physical Injuries
Dog bite injuries usually begin before the bite. When a large breed dog, like a Rottweiler, knocks over a vulnerable victim, like a small child, the individual usually sustains a head injury, as well as broken bones.
Both injuries are permanent, at least to an extent. When brain cells die, they do not regenerate. As a result, these victims often go through personality changes and mood swings for the rest of their lives. Broken bones often never fully heal. Since bones are not fully developed until adolescence, many children have brittle bones. As a result, they usually experience some permanent loss of function.
Then, when dogs bite, their sharp teeth often cause deep puncture wounds as well as severe surface tearing lacerations. Those deep wounds often prompt severe internal bleeding. Since internal organs do not have skin to protect them, even a pinprick could cause profuse bleeding. Imagine what a dog’s sharp teeth can do. Making matters worse, internal bleeding is usually hard to diagnose and treat.
Surface lacerations are usually signature dog bite wounds. These injuries usually require expensive, long-term treatment at specialty wound care centers. More on these issues below.
Furthermore, like broken bones and head injuries, surface lacerations are usually permanent. Reconstructive surgery cannot completely remove the physical scars these wounds leave. It cannot remove the emotional scars either. More on that below, as well.
Dog Bite Infections
These wounds become infected at a much higher rate than other kinds of wounds. These infections include tetanus and rabies. Capnocytophaga is much more common. This bacteria thrives in animal saliva. Many people get Capnocytophaga infections after a dog or cat licks them. Imagine what can happen if the bacteria is essentially injected into the body.
These infections are normally not life-threatening or even serious. But these infections can cause serious complications, including gangrene, kidney failure, and heart attacks. Additionally, doctors must often amputate toes, fingers, or entire limbs amputated in severe cases.
Usually, a Marietta personal injury attorney must file a separate claim for these damages against the doctor or hospital which provided negligent medical treatment.
Severe traumatic events, like dog bite attacks, often cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A chemical imbalance in the brain causes PTSD.
The connection between the amygdala (part of the brain that controls emotional responses) and the cerebral cortex (logical responses) is like a horse and rider. As long as the rider stays on the horse, the horse is under control. But an unridden horse could run free.
Extreme stress expands the amygdala and shrinks the cerebral cortex. The resulting imbalance causes symptoms like anger, hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, and depression. Since it is a chemical condition, PTSD has a chemical cure. Unfortunately, the effective drugs are so powerful that the dangerous side-effects often outweigh the benefits, especially for children.