Puncture wounds and tearing wounds are caused when the attacking dog clamps down the jaw muscles and fangs (long canine teeth), puncturing and tearing the skin and flesh of the victim. Bites often are accompanied by scratches from "swiping” with a tooth or clawing with the paws during the attack.
The most frequent target of dog attacks is the face, including the lips, nose, and cheeks, causing approximately 44,000 facial injuries seen in U.S. hospitals per year. These wounds can result in disfiguring scars that can have lifelong consequences from both a physical and emotional standpoint, especially in children. Additionally, facial scars and scars on other parts of the body can require repeated painful and expensive plastic surgeries to try to reduce or remove the scar.
Emotional or Psychological Injuries
Children and adults who have been attacked and injured by a vicious dog can carry emotional scars with them for the rest of their lives. These psychological injuries can affect every part of their lives, from holding a job to being able to sleep at night. Some people develop Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with symptoms of frightening memories, flash backs of the attack, nightmares, unreasonable fear for personal safety, difficulty concentrating, and emotional withdrawal. Such mental injuries may require lifelong psychological treatment and counseling.
This disease that attacks the brain and nervous system is transmitted in the saliva of animals infected with the rabies virus. Rabies is a fatal disease if it is not treated in time. Dog bite and dog attack victims must seek medical attention immediately after being bitten, in case the attacking dog had rabies. If the animal cannot be identified, caught and tested, it is necessary for the bite victim to undergo a series of 6 shots (1 human immunoglobulin and 5 rabies vaccine shots) over a period of 28 days. Treatment must be started early (before rabies symptoms appear) or the disease will cause death.
These injuries can occur if the dog bites the head of the victim, or if the victim hits the head on a hard object while trying to fend off the attack. Head injuries can be as simple as a bump on the head or as serious as a fractured skull or brain injury causing permanent disability.
Broken Bones and Crush Injuries
When a dog attacks, broken bones can result if the victim is knocked to the ground or falls when fleeing the attacking dog. The powerful jaws of some dogs can cause bone-crushing injuries even when the skin is not broken because of clothing protection.
Dog bites cause an average of 18 deaths per year in the United States. When a victim dies in a dog attack, the surviving spouse, children or parents of the victim are entitled to file a wrongful death action for the loss of such things as the future earnings of the victim.
If you have been injured by an animal attack, it is important to contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
The experienced attorneys of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation, collect the important evidence, and will deal directly and firmly with the responsible parties.
To contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff and to get a free and confidential case evaluation, please fill out and submit the contact form on this page or call us toll-free at (888) 285-3333.