When a dog attacks or bites someone, it can be a traumatizing experience for the victim. Even a seemingly minor incident can result in severe pain, serious infections, and expensive medical bills. Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dogs don’t harm anyone, but alas, it happens far too often. For example, if someone neglects to put a leash on their dog and then the dog attacks someone, the dog owner may be found liable. These types of unfortunate incidents can almost always be prevented, and when they aren’t, an injury victim often has the prerogative to seek justice and monetary compensation in a dog bite injury lawsuit.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has shared that approximately one in five individuals who are bitten by dogs will need medical attention. The association also reports that young children are more likely to get bitten by dogs than older individuals, and are also more likely to sustain serious injuries.
At first glance, a dog bite may not seem too concerning. However, a dog bite can lead to a capnocytophaga infection, which can have a wide range of serious symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), signs of capnocytophaga can appear within one to 14 days after being bitten, and may include:
- Stomach pain
- Joint or muscle pain
- Blistering, redness, swelling, and/or pus at the bite wound site
Certain individuals are more susceptible to a capnocytophaga infection than others. For example, those with immune system disorders may be more at risk of developing a capnocytophaga infection after being bitten by a dog. When someone is infected with capnocytophaga, cytotoxin is produced, as well as small blood vessel blockage. As a result, infected individuals may suffer from tissue death, rashes, organ failure, and gangrene. Overall, the risk of contracting a capnocytophaga infection is somewhat rare, even when bitten by a dog. However, those who are infected with capnocytophaga can get very sick, and may even die as a result of the infection.
Dog bites happen far too often, with approximately 800,000 cases of dog bites each year requiring medical attention, and 334,000 people seeking treatment in hospitals. If you or a loved one is bitten by a dog, it is important to act quickly. You’ll want to wash the wound with soap and water right away; it is crucial not to rush this process, and take five to 10 minutes to thoroughly clean the wound. Slow down any bleeding with a clean towel or cloth, and apply an antibiotic cream to the area. Next, you’ll want to wrap the wound in a clean, sterile bandage before seeking medical attention. Your doctor will give you specific care instructions for caring for your bite wound, but they will likely include looking for signs of infection, such as swelling, increasing pain, redness, or fever.
Although many cases of dog bites will eventually improve with the right treatment, some victims are permanently disfigured as a result of a dog attack. Depending on the size of the dog and the extent of the attack, some victims may sustain more than just a bite wound. They may sustain significant injuries that may, in some cases, be fatal. Although fatal dog attacks aren’t nearly as common as other types of dog attacks, they do still happen, and it is extremely disheartening when these types of incidents could have easily been prevented.
If you were the victim of a dog bite, you may be working with a personal injury attorney on a dog bite lawsuit. As you wait for your case to finalize, you may have a lot of questions about your lawsuit’s timeline. In particular, plaintiffs are often eager for their cases to wrap up so that they can collect their settlements. However, it is important to know that even though your attorney is working to finalize your case as quickly as possible, it is also a process that cannot be rushed. After all, your attorney wants to get a fair settlement on your behalf, and these types of cases can sometimes be time-consuming. Instead of settling on what could potentially be a lesser amount, it is a good idea to explore your options.
One of these options is pre-settlement funding, which enables plaintiffs to receive money upfront, while their personal injury lawsuit is pending. At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding as an option for plaintiffs looking to receive money sooner. If you have questions about how the process works, would like more information or would like to find out if your case is eligible for pre-settlement funding, contact USClaims today.