The average household dog is a friendly, energetic, and playful creature that brings happiness to the people around it. Perhaps due to this pervasive and positive behavior we find it hard to believe when a story about an animal attack or dog bite hits the news. How could man’s best friend cause harm to anyone? As unpleasant as it may be to accept, the truth is that dog bites can and do cause serious harm to people every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.5 million Americans will be bitten by a dog in a given year, many of which occur without provocation or warning. So just how serious can the injuries be?
Dog bite victims face three main forms of injuries and consequences:
- Disfigurement: Even small dog breeds can have powerful biting jaws and sharp teeth. Many dog attacks involve the canine causing lacerations, scarring, and disfigurement. Depending on the intensity of the animal’s attack, the injuries can be permanent. Nerve or muscle damage can also result, causing lifelong debilitation in the limb or body part.
- Illness: There is a common misconception that canine mouths are cleaner than a human’s and are bacteria-free. In reality, close to 20% of all dog bite wounds will become infected due to bacteria in the aggressive dog’s mouth. Serious illnesses that can result due to a dog bite include rabies and tetanus infections, both of which can be fatal if untreated. Always see a physician for immunization after being bitten by a dog, even if the wound appears to be minor.
- Traumatization: One of the most common consequences of a dog bite that gets the least amount of attention is emotional traumatization. Being attacked by a canine is a startling and frightening experience, especially for younger or older individuals. Many people who have been attacked by a dog will later report feeling fear whenever a dog is present, even if it is an animal they have learned to trust. Therapy and intentional acclimation to new dogs may help over time but the victim may never completely comfortable around dogs again.
If you have been bitten by a dog and suffered any sort of injury, physical or emotional, Florida State law permits you to seek compensation from the dog’s owner through civil litigation. For experienced help you know you can trust with a case of this nature, contact Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC. Our Stuart and Martin County dog bite attorneys have a long history of winning multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients. Dial 866-675-4427 today for more information about our services, or to request a free case evaluation.