Examining the Potential Complications of a Dog Bite Injury
It is estimated that some 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog in the United States each year. Of those, nearly 885,000 seek medical treatment, 30,000 require reconstructive surgery, and 3 to 18 percent develop an injury-related infection. Startling as these statistics may sound, there is treatment available. The following sections can help you learn more about the potential complications of such injuries, their treatment, and the forms of compensation that may be owed to dog bite victims that have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a pet owner.
Dog Bite Injuries and Infection
Of all the potential complications that a dog bite injury may face, infection is the most likely to occur. Most are minor and can be treated with antibiotics, but because healthcare professionals may initially miss the signs of an infection, it is critical that victims return to the hospital if they notice:
- Excessive swelling near or around the injury site,
- Extreme or persistent pain near or around the injury,
- Red streaking around the injury site,
- Loss of sensation in the injured body part,
- Night sweats,
- Limited mobility or use of the injured body part,
- Swollen lymph nodes, and
- Pus or discharge from the wound.
It is also important to note that some infections may be deadly, especially if they go untreated. As an example, dog bites may lead to acute osteomyelitis, an infection that can develop in the bones or joints that may spread to other parts of the body. Sepsis is another deadly infection that may occur if a dog bite-related infection goes untreated.
Treatment for infections will typically involve the use of oral or intravenous antibiotics. In extreme or particularly serious cases, the victim may need to be hospitalized for treatment.
Scarring and Disfigurement After a Dog Bite
Another common complication involved with dog bites is the risk of scarring and disfigurement. Some cases may be immediately apparent (i.e. when the skin is severely damaged), but others may not present until after the wound has healed. In either case, victims may require reconstructive surgery to try and correct some of the scarring or disfigurement, and they may suffer psychological effects from changes to their appearance. Both may be compensated for if the injury was caused by the negligent actions of a dog owner.
Our Wisconsin Dog Bite Injury Lawyers Can Help You Seek Compensation
Wisconsin state law may entitle a dog bite injury to compensation, but obtaining it is often a lengthy and complex process. Additionally, there are defenses that pet owners may try to use to eliminate their liability under the law. Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can protect your rights, including your right to seek full and fair compensation for any losses you have experienced. Schedule a free initial consultation with our Green Bay dog bite injury lawyers to get started. Call 920-739-7366 today.