Dog attacks are horrific experiences. It doesn’t matter if you are a fervent dog lover. Once you are caught unaware by a vicious animal, your affection vanishes. In that moment, it is human vs. beast.
When you’ve been victimized by a ferocious dog, you could suffer in many ways. Here are some common dog bite injuries.
Most directly, a dog attacks you from the outside, going for tender flesh and soft spots. With teeth and nails gnashing, it’s only natural that you would sustain skin damage.
This is damage to the top layer of skin. Abrasions resemble a rug burn or a skinned knee. If a dog is unable to reach down into deeper layers of skin, you will likely suffer this superficial skin damage.
These cuts are characterized by their jaggedness. They are not clean cuts. The edges are normally ragged and misshapen. Depending on their depth, they may require stitches.
Incisions are clean, straight cuts. These are the cuts surgeons use to get into the body. Despite their clean appearance, they take longer to heal and can leave thin scars.
These cuts are deceptively dangerous. From the outside, they appear only as small holes. However, they can reach deep into the skin. When a dog’s teeth travel down into those deeper layers and back up, they can leave bacteria and viruses behind. If the outer wound closes, these infections can get trapped underneath. If you’ve experienced any puncture wounds in a dog attack, consult a doctor immediately.
This is the most severe form of skin damage. At its extreme, it can be fatal. An avulsion is when skin is pulled completely away from the body, exposing the bone and muscle underneath. If untreated for too long, the skin could die, requiring grafts to repair.
If a large dog pounces on a small human, that person could easily suffer bone damage. Even if the victim is larger, they could hit the ground hard in an animal attack. Legally speaking, any injury you sustain during the attack counts as a part of that attack.
Damage to the cranium could lead to brain damage, considered a catastrophic injury. This can affect cognitive abilities and autonomic functions. Similarly, spinal injuries can also be catastrophic. Minor injuries can still result in severe pain and decreased mobility. More extreme injuries can cause permanent paralysis, affecting movement and involuntary functions.
Legally, if any bone injury affects your livelihood, it may be considered catastrophic. For instance, if a professional dancer breaks their leg during a dog attack, it may affect their ability to perform.
Sudden, traumatic animal attacks can affect more than just your body. People can suffer PTSD-like symptoms. They may experience nightmares or develop a phobia of animals, even if they were deep animal lovers before the attack.
Children are particularly susceptible to traumatic effects after a dog attack. They can develop agoraphobia, or a fear of the outdoors.
By law, you can receive compensation for more than just physical harm. If psychological damage has hindered your life, you could be entitled to damages.
Liability in a California Dog Bite Injury
Some states require that dog owners are liable for attacks only when that dog has a ferocious history.
In California, dog owners have a strict liability for any damage suffered in an attack. Regardless of the dog’s history, if it attacks someone, the owner is responsible.
In the best-case scenarios, dog owners will be amicable and simply reimburse you for your medical bills. If, however, they are stubborn and unwilling to pay your damages, you could take them to court. Furthermore, your injuries could extend beyond your initial treatment, and a lawsuit may be your only option for full reimbursement.
If you’ve been injured in a dog bite incident, contact our law office for help. We can offer you a free consultation and evaluate your case. Call us today at (916) 571-1550, or reach out to us online.