Atlanta Dog Bite Injuries
There are as many different kinds of dog bite injuries as there are different breeds of dangerous dogs. Serious dog bite injuries are always painful and traumatizing, and they always require medical attention and treatment. They might also require surgery and rehabilitation, and the lasting effects of a dog bite injury can sometimes be permanent. Dog bite injuries can be fatal as well, as happens in the United States dozens of times every year.
At Zagoria Law, we have handled enough dog bite cases to understand the medical issues surrounding different kinds of bites and injuries, what treatment is required, and what the long-term effects and needs of the victim are likely to be. We use this knowledge and information to build a strong case proving the need for significant compensation to deal with the medical costs and consequences of a dog bite. Our team is here for you while you go through this difficult time to make sure you get the care and support you need. At the same time, our Atlanta dog bite lawyers will be aggressively pursuing the responsible defendants and making sure they compensate you for the harm done.
Learn more below about different kinds of dog bite injuries, and call Zagoria Law at 404-653-0023 for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured by a dog bite in Atlanta.
We call our longest teeth “canines” because they are the most prominent feature of a dog’s mouth. A dog’s canines are long, pointed and sharp. They are made to bite deep into tissue and allow a dog to latch on with its powerful jaws, or to rip and tear flesh. A puncture wound by itself might not look too serious, and some people might even think they can treat a puncture bite themselves without going to the doctor. But puncture wounds can be deceptive. A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria that can be harmful to humans, and a puncture wound can deliver that bacteria deep inside the dog bite victim’s flesh. Washing the wound at the surface won’t get rid of that bacteria, and a serious infection can set in. Infected puncture wounds can be extremely difficult to treat, and the infection can grow to where the victim’s limb has to be amputated. The infection can also get into the bloodstream and initiate a life-threatening case of sepsis.
Nerve damage is another potential consequence of a puncture wound that can cause long-term or permanent effects, including lingering pain, loss of feeling, or limited mobility of the affected area.
A dog’s powerful jaws and teeth can easily crush bone; that’s what they are built for. Depending on the size of the dog, the size of the victim, and the location of the wound, fractures can happen anywhere on the body. Fractures from a dog bite will often be open compound fractures where the bone breaks through the skin, which are riskier and more difficult to treat than simple or closed fractures. The bones are often comminuted as well, meaning they are crushed or broken in several places. Surgery is often necessary to correct severe fractures, including the insertion of screws, plates or other hardware to help the victim’s bones heal properly. Fractures from dog bites also put the victim at risk of osteomyelitis, an infection in the bone that causes painful swelling and may require surgery to drain infectious fluid or remove damaged tissue and bone.
Scarring and Disfiguring Injuries
A dog bite or attack can leave the victim with facial scars or disfigurement that fundamentally alter their appearance or limit their movement in a hand or limb that was attacked. Insurance companies don’t cover cosmetic surgery, even after a dog bite, but our experienced dog bite attorneys know the difference between cosmetic surgery performed to enhance one’s looks and reconstructive surgery needed to restore a normal appearance or improve function.
Physical scars can cause emotional scars as well, not just from the terror of the attack but from the living reminder of the event in the form of a scar. Scars on the face or other visible parts of the body can lower one’s self-esteem or create other emotional issues that can be properly addressed through mental health treatment that should be compensated the same as other medical treatment for dog bite injuries.
Head and Face Injuries
Head and face injuries are not uncommon in dog bites, as the victim may have been approaching the dog in a friendly manner when the attack suddenly occurred. These injuries can include facial lacerations and puncture wounds that leave permanent scars, eye injuries from a scratch or bite ranging from abrasion of the cornea to the loss of an eye, and head injuries such as concussions or penetrating head wounds and traumatic brain injury.
A strong or deep bite can damage nerves. Depending on whether the nerves are bruised, nicked or severed, the effects may be temporary or permanent. Effects of nerve damage can include chronic pain at one end of the spectrum or complete loss of feeling at the other. Nerve damage can also include partial or complete paralysis of an affected limb.
Rabies is a virus that can be carried by dogs that haven’t been vaccinated against the disease. A rabid dog is more likely to be aggressive and to bite, which can transfer the virus to the dog bite victim. Unless treated promptly and properly, rabies is a fatal disease, and by the time symptoms appear, it’s usually too late. This is why one of the first questions after any dog bite is whether the dog has had its rabies shots or not. Treatment for the prevention of rabies in humans after a dog bite is painful and unpleasant, involving a series of shots. But the symptoms and end result of rabies are far worse.
An animal attack is no doubt a traumatizing experience for anybody, regardless of their age, gender, or prior experience with dogs. When a dog bites and latches onto an arm or leg, or starts to scratch or maul, you might legitimately fear for your life. The memory of that experience can alter the way people think and behave, and it can be a trauma that lasts for months or years or never fully goes away. People who live through horrible events like a vicious dog attack might experience mood changes or personality disorders like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Victims can develop a life-long fear of dogs or open spaces where animals might be present that limits their ability to function in public or enjoy life as they did before the attack. Psychological injuries like these are very real and debilitating. They can and should be compensated to the same extent as physical injuries are.
Help Is Here After a Dog Bite Injury in Atlanta
If you or a family member has suffered a dog bite injury in Atlanta, call Zagoria Law at 404-653-0023 for immediate assistance receiving medical care and getting financial compensation for the harm inflicted on you.