The Lasting Impact of a Dog Bite: Why a Single Bite Could Have Lifelong Consequences – and What to Do About It
The dog down the street may not seem like much of a threat, at least until it bites you. Having a dog take a bite out of your leg or tear into your arm is certainly traumatic, but did you know it could also be a crime?
If you are the victim of a dog bite, you need to take prompt action, not only to protect your health but to hold the owners of the animal responsible. Dog owners have many responsibilities, and that includes keeping their animals contained and preventing dog bites from happening.
Whether it is the scary Rottweiler down the street or the vicious pit bull in the alley, you have a right to be protected, and you have the right to pursue justice if you are victimized. And while holding the owners of those dangerous animals legally responsible is one course of action, you also deserve to be compensated for your injuries.
From time off of work to medical bills to ongoing trauma, the long-term impact of a dog bite can be long lasting and very serious. So before you write off that dog bite as no big deal, you might want to examine how this single event will impact your life, both now and in the future.
Serious Health Consequences Could Result
When you are bitten by a dog running loose in the neighborhood, your most obvious concern is rabies. This dread disease is nearly 100% fatal, and you cannot afford to risk your life hoping that the animal that bit you was properly vaccinated. That is why it is so important to find the owner of the dog that bit you, and why time is of the essence.
Rabies is obviously the biggest and most life-threatening concern, but the danger is not over if you find out the animal is current on its vaccinations. Dogs can carry a number of other diseases as well, and a single bite could have serious repercussions.
From flesh-eating bacteria getting into your system to zoonotic illnesses that could crop up weeks or even months later, the health risks of dog bits are legion, and their danger is often underappreciated. If you suffer a dog bite, your first stop should be the emergency room, or at least your family doctor.
Avoidance is Not an Option
Being bitten by a dog is a traumatic experience, one that could have lifelong implications. Even if you are an animal lover, being a dog bite victim could make you view all other canines with a newfound suspicion.
Making matters worse, avoidance is simply not an option when it comes to dogs. If you have a fear of snakes, avoiding those slithering creatures may not be a problem, but steering clear of dogs is another matter entirely. With so many dogs on the streets, avoidance is simply not an option. And as a dog bite victim, you have every right to seek compensation for your injuries, including the ongoing emotional impact.
The Damage May Not Be Immediately Apparent
It is easy to dismiss a dog bite as no big deal, especially if you do not appear to be seriously injured. But before you settle the case or chalk it up to simple bad luck, there are some things you need to know.
One of the most important things to know about dog bites is that the full extent of the damage is not always apparent at the outset. Dog bite related illnesses could take days or even weeks to manifest themselves, and if you settle too quickly, you could miss out on the compensation you need to pay medical bills and recover from the incident.
Tissue damage can also take some time to appear, especially if the bite becomes infected. Soft tissue injuries can cause severe pain weeks after the bite, long after you first became a victim. If you want to protect yourself and your rights, you need to take these long-term implications into account.
Why Pursuing a Personal Injury Case is the Right Thing to Do
For responsible dog owners, even a relatively minor bite can be a real wakeup call. If the owner of the dog that bit you is responsible, they will try to do the right thing, whether that means securing the fence or euthanizing a dangerous animal. But not all dog owners are responsible, and some simply do not care.
When you have an irresponsible or uncaring dog owner in your neighborhood, everyone is at risk. In those cases, it may take a personal injury lawsuit to spur the dog owner into action.
By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you are doing your part to protect yourself, but you are also performing a valuable service for your neighbors. Instead of assuming that nothing can be done, you can take proactive steps to protect others in your area, including innocent children, from the threat posed by that dangerous animal.
Dogs make wonderful pets, and the vast majority of those canines will never bite a single soul. The owners of dangerous dogs do a great disservice to everyone, from the victims of their bites to society as a whole. If you are victimized by a vicious dog, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries, and for pain and suffering that could go on for many years to come.
When it comes to pursuing your rights, you cannot afford to make a costly mistake. If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you need to act fast, seeking prompt medical care and then finding the right personal injury law firm. Fast action is the best way to protect your rights, so you can recover from your injury and avoid additional dangers. You may not be able to undo the dog bite, by filing a personal injury lawsuit can at least help you mitigate the damage. You may think that pursuing a personal injury case is all about you, but it is also about protecting the entire community.