Most people are surprised to learn that dog bites happen as often as they do. After all, a dog is man’s best friend. Although most dogs can be great companions and family pets, the fact of the matter is, dog bites and attacks do happen. In fact, it has been reported that dogs bite 4.7 million Americans annually, with half of these dog bite victims being children ranging from ages five to nine.
Dogs may bite for a number of reasons; they may have felt threatened in specific situations, although some dog bites and attacks are also unprovoked. And while it’s common to automatically think of large dogs and aggressive breeds when it comes to serious dog bites, it’s important to remember that any dog (of any size) is capable of biting and seriously injuring someone. While some dog bites may not seem too severe initially, it is important to always seek medical care immediately after a dog bite and to continue to monitor the wound, because infections after dog bite incidents are a common occurrence.
Capnocytophaga is one common infection that can result from dog bites, and it may take anywhere from one to 14 days for victims to become sick. However, symptoms most often occur within three to five days of being bitten. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, it is important that dog bite victims are aware of certain signs that they may have been infected with Capnocytophaga. Some of the main warning signs include fever, vomiting, headache, confusion, blistering around the bite wound, stomach pain, joint and/or muscle pain, and pus or other signs of infection at the site of the bite wound.
Noticing the signs of Capnocytophaga is crucial for getting prompt treatment, as this dog bite infection can have serious implications. Some of the complications that can result include:
- Amputation of limbs, fingers, or toes
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Death: Approximately three in 10 individuals with this infection die due to severe complications
Capnocytophaga isn’t the only type of infection that can result from dog bites. VCA Hospitals reports that there are several other types of infections that can result from dog bites as well, including cellulitis, abscess, septic arthritis, septic peritonitis, pyothorax, and osteomyelitis. As the medical website notes, different areas of the body are also prone to specific types of infection when a dog bite occurs. For instance, an infection may develop in the bone, tissue, or joint. Depending on the location of the dog bite, serious complications can result when dog bites occur in the chest or stomach and can result in infection of the chest and abdominal cavities. Additionally, infections can be localized to one specific area, or they may turn into generalized infections that spread to other parts of the body.
If a dog bites you and the area becomes infected, treatment will depend on the type of infection and severity of the infection. The wound should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible. A doctor may leave small puncture wounds open so that pus can drain out, although lacerations are typically sutured, with infected skin tissue being removed. More complex cases may require surgically closing the wound. Topical and/or oral antibiotics are also commonly prescribed to help fight the infection and stop it from progressing into something severe or potentially deadly.
If you developed an infection after a dog bite, you may have dealt with a slew of complications, including health implications, a painful recovery, and expensive medical bills. Because a dog owner is the one responsible for ensuring their dog doesn’t harm others, he or she may technically be found liable in your dog bite case. As such, you may already be working with a personal injury lawyer in order to pursue monetary compensation in a dog bite injury case.
Waiting for a dog bite lawsuit to settle can be stressful and frustrating, particularly if you are counting on that money to take care of bills and other important expenses. Many plaintiffs prefer to wrap up the process as quickly as possible in order to receive money, but it’s important to note that your attorney is working hard at getting you the highest settlement possible for your case. Because there are several components and considerations of dog bite lawsuits, it is essential that this process is not rushed. However, if you need money sooner, you may have another option known as pre-settlement funding.
Also known as a lawsuit advance, this service can give plaintiffs the option to receive money upfront while their cases are still going through the settlement process. At USClaims, we specialize in helping people receive money faster through pre-settlement funding. Contact us today to learn more about the pre-settlement funding process and to see if your dog bite injury case qualifies.