Man's best friend is not always friendly. Each year approximately 4.5 million dog bites take place throughout this country. The injuries you sustain as a result of a bite often vary based on the size of the dog, the intensity of the attack, and the size of the victim. Unfortunately, your injuries can sometimes be quite severe. In 2015, more than 28,000 people required some form of reconstructive surgery due to the attack. Here are four of the most common types of injuries you may incur.
1. Puncture Wounds
Based on the shape of a dog's teeth and the force of their bite, most dog bites will leave behind one or more skin puncture wounds. These wounds can range from barely breaking the skin to deep gaping holes in your flesh.
Because a dog's mouth harbors a large number of bacteria, it is important to clean and close these wounds in order to prevent infections. You may be able to clean minor punctures with soap and water, or another type of medical cleaning solutions. Larger deeper punctures will need a professional cleaning to ensure proper irrigation.
Deep punctures will need closing using stitches, staples, or bandages that will allow drainage. Properly closing the wounds will ensure that the wound will remain free of bacteria and debris. Your physician will also probably prescribe an oral antibiotic and/or an antibiotic ointment to prevent any infection.
When a dog bites you, they use their front teeth to grab you, while their other teeth pull at your surrounding skin. Instead of releasing you by opening their mouth, many dogs will keep their mouths closed and use a tearing motion which will rip your flesh.
In adults, skin-tearing injuries often take place on legs and arms, but because of a child's small size, their injuries occur around their head, neck, or face. Skin-tearing injuries require immediate medical attention. These types of injuries commonly require surgery to close and repair them and may leave scars.
3. Nerve Damage
If you sustain a deep bite, the bite may damage nerves in the bite area. This damage can result in chronic pain, loss of sensation, and even mobility issues. While your physician will be able to treat your initial injury, there may not be too much they can do to restore the damage to your nerves.
4. Anxiety Disorders
If a dog bites you, in addition to your physical injuries, you usually suffer psychological injuries. Some of these may manifest as anxiety disorders. Some examples of disorders you may experience include the following:
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Nightmares and more
In addition to these, you may also develop Cynophobia, a fear of dogs or Agoraphobia, a fear of going out of the house. While these both are less common than some of the other anxiety disorders, they still happen.
You deserve compensation for all of your dog bite injuries. Depending on the extent of your injuries and the time you spend recovering, recovery from dog bites can be quite expensive. In 2016 alone, renters or homeowner's insurance paid more than $600 million in claims. This is a lot of money and does not include amounts paid out by dog owners who did not have or did not file their insurance.In addition to reimbursement for your medical expenses, you may be entitled to collect for the pain and suffering you have endured. Andreopoulos & Hill PLLC is here to help you receive all of the compensation you are entitled to. As you begin to heal physically, give us a call today so that we may help you recover financially.