Dogs may be man’s best friend, but regardless of how much we love them, sometimes dogs bite people. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a dog bite, you may have found yourself wondering whether it was really serious enough to have you concerned and seeking medical treatment.
The problem? You may be thinking it’s only a dog bite, but the fact is, dog bites can sometimes cause quite severe damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not only are dog bites fairly common, with approximately 4.5 million people bitten by dogs each year, about 885,000 people bitten by dogs, or one in five, require medical attention, with half of this number being children. As for how serious a dog bite can be, in 2012 alone, over 27,000 people had to undergo reconstructive surgery as a result of a dog bite.
With these kinds of statistics, it’s important to know when you should obtain medical treatment for a dog bite. Medical attention should be obtained for a dog bite:
· if the bite has punctured, torn or lacerated the skin.
· if the victim experiences pain around the bite, even if the skin is intact. Because dogs have rounded teeth, skin may not tear as a result of the bite, but the amount of pressure exerted by the dog can cause severe damage to the underlying tissue that’s not visible to the naked eye.
· if the victim is an infant or a child, medical assessment should always be sought.
In addition, it’s extremely important to determine the rabies immunization status of the dog that bit you or your child. When rabies treatment is given promptly after exposure, rabies can be prevented, but if rabies treatment is not obtained and the victim develops the clinical signs of rabies, the result is almost always death. Given the seriousness of the risk of rabies exposure, checking the dog’s rabies immunization status is one of the first things you should do in the aftermath of a dog bite. Tetanus may also be an issue if the victim’s tetanus immunization is not up to date.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a serious dog-bite related injury, an experienced Texas personal injury attorney can help you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Robert Greening is the principal attorney at Greening Law, P.C. He has dedicated his 24 years of practice to the litigation of wrongful death and serious injury cases. If you have any questions, contact Greening Law, P.C. at 972-934-8900.