Sadly dog bites are a preventable injury, but still roughly every 40 seconds someone is bitten by a dog, Orange County personal injury law firms report. Every year, roughly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States, approximately 16 will die and one million will require medical treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most recent statistics show that about 31,000 victims of dog bites required reconstructive surgery for their wounds, the CDC reports.
Ten years ago, a San Francisco woman named Diane Whipple was killed by a neighbor's vicious dogs in an attack that landed their owners Marjorie Knoller and Robert behind bars for 15 years to life in 2008 (the appeals continue).
Those at risk: The highest number of dog bites were among children under 14 years old (roughly 40%), particularly ages 5 to 9 years old, according to CDC records. Additionally, most dogs that bite belong to a family or friend of the victim and half take place on the dog owner's property, personal injury lawyers have found.
Types of injuries: Personal injury lawyers have found that roughly 90% of all animal bites to humans are dog bites. A dog bite can create puncture wounds, skin tears, lacerations, bone fractures, tendon tears and muscle tears,
Treatment: Seek medical care immediately after a dog bite that breaks the skin causing a puncture or laceration because of the threat of infection. Also, the damage caused by an animal's teeth can tear skin, muscle, tendons and even fracture bones therefore a wound must be treated by a medical professional. The wound may be anesthetized and thoroughly cleaned with a saline solution by the doctor to prevent infection. The wound may or may not need suturing and surgery may be required in serious cases.
Minor dog bites that do not break the skin may not need medical attention, but should be carefully examined and watched for signs of infection. The types of bacteria that are associated with dog bites include Streptococcus, Pasteurella and Staphylococcus. Also, some patients bitten by a dog may face a more serious bacteria called acute osteomyelitis. Patients whose pain doesn't seem to go away may need to return to the doctor to determine if they have this bacteria as it can be life-threatening.
Rinsing the wound with water and elevating the injury may be the best way to treat the dog bite wound in the short term. The doctor or nurse will likely need to carefully clean the wound to prevent infection.
In order to treat a bite wound, doctors need to assess whether the lacerations are skin-deep or if they have torn into underlying tendons and muscles. The deeper the wound the more likely there is damage to these areas and the more work there will be to repair the wound.
Rabies: Being bitten by an animal that has rabies is very serious and can expose the victim to a life-threatening virus called acute encephalitis. The virus, which causes inflammation of the brain, must be treated immediately or it will infect the central nervous system and ultimately have fatal consequences. Treatment following a bite is normally successful provided it is administered within 10 days of the bite. Victims who are bitten by known animals can be checked to see if they have rabies or have been immunized, but if the bite was from an unknown animal it is more difficult to determine if they have the disease. Therapy to prevent rabies must start immediately after a bite so determining whether the dog has rabies or if the victim has received a tetanus shot is of vital importance.
Settlement: Seegmiller Law Firm has handled hundreds of cases involving victims who were bitten by dogs. In California, under Civil Code Section 3342, owners of dogs who bite a human being are strictly liable for the injuries their animal causes regardless of whether they were taking precautions to prevent the animal's attack and regardless of whether the animal had a previous history of biting. The law makes liability automatic so basically the dog's owner will take steps to ensure that it is not a hazard to the community.
For roughly 30 years, the legal experts at Seegmiller Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients who were attacked and bitten by a dog. Indeed, the personal injury law firm has a proven track record supported by settlements ranging from several thousand dollars to millions.
Seegmiller Law Firm handles only those personal injury cases that we believe will result in a settlement. There is no cost to clients until our personal injury law firm wins your case. Finding the best personal injury attorney can mean you will get the settlement you need to get your life back on track. Compensation for your injuries, loss of wages and pain and suffering can't take away the trauma of the dog attack, but it can help you rebuild your life.
Call us today at 1-949-225-3939 to speak with our personal injury law firm. Seegmiller Law Firm has offices in California including its headquarters in Irvine, offices that can serve you in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Top 10 Ways to Prevent Dog Bites